Last week I wrote an article entitled, “Build Momentum & Create Unity With A Blog“. I’ve received a lot of questions about this topic recently. Underlying many of these questions has been the more foundational question of, “Why?” In particular, “WHY go through the pains of learning new technology and building new systems to create a blog when email works just as well?”
Answer: Because email DOESN’T work as well.
Reasons Why A Blog is Better.
Let me explain why. Following are some of the top reasons why I want you to consider creating a ministry blog. Remember, I’ve outlined three target audiences for three kinds of ministry blogs: congregation, volunteers, leaders.
- It Gives People Options
Unless your target audience is living in the last decade, email is no longer the preferred method of communication for the world at large. Yes. Most people now have email, but in today’s social media driven culture, people want to have choices. A blog gives those choices to people. The tech savvy may choose to subscribe to your blog via a blog reader like Google Reader, NewsGator, or BlogLines while the less tech savvy still have the option to utilize email.
- It Leverages Social Media
Similarly, there are ways to connect blog entries to various forms of social media. For instance, every blog post could also be connected to your personal or church Twitter, FaceBook, or LinkedIn accounts.
- It Encourages Feedback
If you keep your blog’s ‘Comments’ feature turned on, then you will encourage input and feedback from your readers. Sometimes blog comments can become a great place for people to get engaged in the topic, especially if the author stays connected in the comment discussions.
- It Expands Your Influence
A good blog will make it very easy for readers to re-post individual articles to their friends and family – as well as to the world at large. For example, at the bottom of this post you will find several buttons that you may use to repost this article on your social media medium of choice (including email). You may also ‘Stumble’ this article which will increase the chances that stumbleupon users will find your website.
- It Is Searchable
It is easy for your readers to find you or a particular article. In fact, often they can search and find what they need right from a Google Search. For instance, if you Google “Ten Systems of the Local Church” you will very likely see several of my posts show up in the results. Additionally, you can add a search field to your blog, making it easy for your readers to search your blog for something you said in an old post.
- It Stays Active
Emails come and go at the click of a button. It shows up in the inbox, we read it, then delete it. Not true for blogs. Every entry is saved and readily available for your readers to quickly find and read again, as needed.
- It Can Be Organized
One of the best benefits of a basic blog is the use of labels or tags. An intentional blogger will tag every article with a category or label of choice. For instance, blogs promoting events could be tagged, “events”; devotional blogs could be tagged, “inspirational”; leadership blogs . . . you get the point. Again as an example, check out the labels on my blogs to the left on this site.
- It Maximizes Communication
It is so easy to help new members, volunteers, or leaders ‘catch up’ on things you have communicated and said in the past – especially if you use labels effectively. For example, let’s say you have a Host Ministry blog for your greeters & ushers. Every new recruit could be sent to the blog with instructions to read all entries labelled, “How To Greet” as part of their initial training.
- It Gets Things Done
Let’s face it. You probably don’t have the time or emotional energy to write a ministry or volunteer manual. To do it right you would want to include a lot of great material, like inspiration, instruction, policies, procedures, and especially values. You never get around to it because it’s such a big project. Your blog gets it done. Assuming you blog regularly, you will be closer to your goal in 18 months of blogging than you have been in years.