Ah, the world demands so much from churches, eh?
You’ve published a website and are feeling somewhat caught up with modern technology. But wait, a website is now so…well, not quite passé, but let’s just say…expected. As a church, what could you now be doing to reach out with the message of Christ?
Blogging is one of the latest social phenomena for connecting people, along with MySpace, Facebook, Flickr and other ever-evolving online communities. Trying to keep up with technology can leave us feeling lost and out of date. But before you scoff blogging off as just another distraction from the one needful thing—God’s Word—take a moment to learn how easily it can spread God’s message faster and farther than ever before.
Just what is a blog and how does it differ from your church website? Short for “web log,” a blog is a regular posting of information. It’s often written in a more personal tone and entries are posted daily or weekly, with the most recent entry listed at the top of the page. The author of a blog is a blogger. It’s readers can randomly happen upon the blog while online or can subscribe to receive regular updates. Readers also have the opportunity to post comments, thus adding to the sharing of thoughts and ideas.
This may all be information you already know, but according to a November 2007 Church Marketing Sucks poll, there still is a slow percentage that is completely unaware of this technology.
Why should this be disturbing?
Churches are notorious for expecting members to conform to traditional ways of worship and communication. Connecting with younger generations, particularly, has long been one of their most difficult challenges. Blogs offer a direct line of communication in a format that has become mainstream for anyone under the age of thirty.
Churches use blogs in as many different ways as there are churches. Some use them to communicate congregational events to its members. Others use them as an outreach to wider audiences. A simple search for “religion” on WordPress shows hundreds of ways writers use blogs to reach the masses. “We have the world at our fingertips and we can do a whole new kind of evangelism,” writes Rev. Ken Gosnell in his website, where he also describes four ways blogging can change a church.
How to get started
If you can write, you can blog. Blogs are published online using simple content management programs. You don’t need to know html, php, ajax or any other geekish language! Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad and WordPress are some of the many blog publishing programs available. Overall, they’re easy to use and self-explanatory. Best of all, most programs are free and available online.
So, what are you waiting for? Get going on your blog today! Send me a comment, link the world to your blog and spread your message of Christ!