reasons-pastors-should-have-a-blog

The title of this article may seem both presumptuous and audacious. Do I really believe every pastor should have a blog? Yes I do. I speak to pastors in numerous settings, and I am able to share with them the benefits of such a discipline in writing.

Understand that writing a blog can begin simple with little time pressure. The pastor can commit to write 400 words a week in one post. I do recommend that the number of posts increase to at least twice a week later, but you need to start somewhere.

I think you will be amazed how much the blog benefits the church and your ministry. Here are seven reasons why it is so important:

  1. Heavy doses of communication are vital in any relationship. This reality is powerfully true in the pastor/congregation relationship. Healthy churches have healthy pastor/members relationships. Healthy relationships are enhanced through ongoing communication. And the blog is an incredible way to communicate regularly. For this reason, I am very grateful for the Internet age.
  2. The pastor is able to present those most important emphases or visionary matters. The sermon just does not allow sufficient time to do all the communication a pastor needs to do. If done well, the blog can serve as an ongoing forum for communicating the most important matters in the church and to the church.
  3. No pastor can communicate with every member one-on-one. Church members can feel neglected if they do not get some type of communication from their pastor. Admittedly, a blog does not replace in person communication, but it certainly is better than no communication at all. I have heard from numerous church members who tell me that they really feel like they know their pastor through the blog.
  4. A pastor can do pastoral care via the blog. One of the most powerful blog posts I ever read was by a pastor who ministered to the entire church after the death of three teenagers in a car accident. While he spent hours of in-person pastoral care with the family of the teenagers, many others in the church were hurting. He reached out to them magnificently through his blog.
  5. A blog can be an outreach ministry. The first place a prospective guest visits is the church web site. That is why it’s mandatory for churches to have a quality site. If the church’s home page has a link to the pastor’s blog, many will read that article as well. Guests, both Christians and non-Christians, are more likely to visit your church if they feel like they know something about the pastor.
  6. The blog can allow for expansion on the sermon. Most pastors preach around 35 minutes a week. That is an incredibly short time to communicate God’s Word. The blog allows for an expansion and more detailed communication of the sermon.
  7. A blog is highly affordable. In fact, it can be free. There are no longer any financial barriers for any pastor who is serious about entering the blogosphere. It’s time for all of you to take that plunge!

Does your pastor have a blog? How often is it published? What is the nature of the content? What reasons would you add for pastors to write a blog?

Get these posts delivered to your inbox daily

Subscribe today and receive my free downloadable resource on the minister's salary!

Comments

  1. Mike says

    And by “blogging,” I’m assuming Dr. Rainer does NOT mean that, if we looked at your blog today, the most recent blog post is telling us how excited you are for Easter Services!
    …in 2012!

      • J. Blanton says

        I do not blog. Most of my congregation are older and not familiar with the blogosphere. However, I do write an article (From the Vicar) weekly. It is one bulletin page long (about 400 words). It goes on an insert with the birthdays,, anniversaries, and announcements on the back of it. The article gives me an opportunity to address my congregation in a more informal manner and to make a scriptural point. The congregation loves it. I find lots of bulletins after the service, but rarely the insert. Blogging is a great idea, but if not practical, then try a regular article.

  2. Keith Atchley says

    Thanks for the article. Being bi-vocational I can see where blogging would help me communicate with the church. What are some good resources to learn how to blog?

    • Thom Rainer says

      Keith and others:

      I’m speaking most of the day today speaking. Keep the comments and questions coming. I’ll get to them later today. Thanks.

    • Jonathan Howe says

      Keith,

      Here are a few resources:

      • churchm.ag is a great site for church-specific blog resources and ideas
      • faithcontext.com is another
      • my personal blog at howeoriginal.com has quite a few articles on it as well. Search for “social media”
      • And finally, on Thursdays, the “Notable Voices” posts here at ThomRainer.com typically include a social media-related post or two.

    • says

      Hi Keith,
      I am also bi-vocational. I am sure Thom will respond also, but you may want to start looking at http://michaelhyatt.com/ (just search blogging) and http://www.problogger.net/. There are a whole lot more resources out there but those two should be able to get you started. My advice is don’t worry about posting frequency and SEO right away. I blog, but blogging is not my life. Let me know if I can help any.

    • Thom Rainer says

      The responses in the comments are where I would point you Keith. Michael Hyatt is somewhat of a guru in this area.

  3. says

    Excellent thoughts here, Thom! WordPress and Blogspot are both free, and having your own domain is not expensive. It is a cost-effective way to minister to a large number of people.

  4. says

    While I realize that you are shooting for just seven, here’s a couple more great reasons:

    – It helps you be a better communicator. You start mulling over how to most affectively communicate a message, grammar, style, etc. You learn to be more concise, to polish your written “voice”.

    – It helps you become more deliberate about your message. Spoken words are often easy and “throw away” comments…but writing forces you to think about every word you type.

    One last thing I’d say is that Twitter helps as well. Nothing like a 140 character limit to keep you message short to get the point across to a attentively challenged society.

  5. Jeff says

    While this article is compelling (and some condeming for those who do not “blog”) for a pastor to blog, it does not appear to take into account the cultural differences and settings of ministry. (The community which I serve is not a hot bed for the blogsphere.) While I believe churches and pastors should take advantage of technology and the benefits it offers, there remains no substitute for shepherding and doing life with the people whom God has called me to serve.

  6. Kyle says

    What should I name my blog? I have struggled with the idea of naming my blog after myself. I am concerned that doing so would promote me as pastor thus leading to a more personality driven church. Perhaps, I am simply misunderstanding the tool a bit. However, if you could share your thoughts I would appreciate it. Thanks.

    • Jonathan Howe says

      This is a common question. I’ve seen multiple approaches.

      The most common is to go with your name if at all possible. See ThomRainer.com. ;-) But there is the obvious pushback on that approach—especially from ministers. But at the end of the day, it’s your site, so why not have it be named yourname.com? Also, when people see your name as the pastor on a sign or website, they search for your name. YourName.com (or .net or whatever) is the most logical conclusion for someone trying to find you or your blog.

      Another common approach is to use a church tagline or phrase unique to your fellowship that at least ties your site to your church. The big question that arises here is “What if you leave that church?”

      Then there is the random inspirationalsaying.com approach. These can be good if they are memorable, but people invariably resort to searching for your name online instead of the saying.

      All that said, I’d just stick with yourname.com (or some variation) if at all possible. Yes, you may have someone say something, but often that’s not a reflection of you, but of them.

      Jonathan Howe – Blog administrator

  7. Laurie Neumann says

    Great post! I think one of the most important reasons to use a blog is to improve communication with your congregation. A pastor is only one person, but you’re right – everyone wants to know he cares about them and keeps in touch with them. A blog is a fairly easy way to do this.

    I think it can also keep the sermon fresh in people’s minds if you blog about it during the week. You don’t want people to leave church on Sunday and forget about it, but sadly, this is what happens so many times.

  8. says

    My thoughts exactly. I see a blog as huge tool for influence beyond the local church and into other nations of the world. Though my blog is not as consistent as I would like it to be (I’m working on that) it has been seen in over 140 countries. All this can be done at relatively no cost and a few hours a week. Well worth the investment. :)

  9. says

    I agree completely! And your blog should be posted to FB and Twitter and emailed out to your mailing list! It’s ALL about relationships and communication!

    My pastor-husband and I are passionate about helping ministries get all these different “gears” of communication working smoothly and easily together!

  10. says

    I completely agree. Like it or not the internet, social media and the digital age are here to stay until they morph into something else all together new and different. I know that my pastor and my husband (a student minister) struggle to find time to do all the activities involved in keeping a strong online presence- updated website, blog, facebook, twitter…add google + or instagram to the mix and it’s virtually a full time job. I have learned for my purposes the value of discipline and planning when it comes to social media activities including blogging. There are many tools and resources available like Hootsuite I use to help accomplish my goals. I would be interested in hearing what you or other church staff workers use to maintain your online presence while balancing your many other roles in ministry. Thanks, Amy

  11. Monsa says

    Thom, thank you for this post. I have never really thought of blogging as a ministry tool for all pastors, but you have changed my thinking.

    • Monsa says

      I came across this quote by Matthew Henry that I think is very applicable to this topic: ‘Ministers may be serving Christ, and promoting the great ends of their ministry, by writing good letters, as well as by preaching good sermons.’ While letters are more personal and a very limited audience, he still gives some sound advice for today.

  12. says

    On the upside, having a blog will help the extrovert communicate effectively from the silence of the office (typing is much like talking in that regard) and, because the words will be public, affords the opportunity to polish our thoughts.

    On the downside, once something’s “out there” it’s out there. The lack of metacommunication that we rely on for much of the meaning in a conversation is missing and thus it is easy to be misunderstood.

  13. says

    Thank you for the encouragement guys. I really needed this kick in the pants to become more consistent in blogging. I’ve read Platform & Hyatt is a Howe wannabe. As a former publisher, Hyatt is a Rainer wannabe. I’m just playing around, of course. Keep up the good work guys!

  14. says

    Every pastor should have a blog? I resist words like “every.” Most pastors I’ve known need to take things off their plate rather than add items. Creating a blog is easy. Attracting readers with dynamic content is hard work that requires time and discipline.

  15. Gregory Taylor says

    I’m the Associate Minister at my church. My pastor doesn’t have a blog. Do you think it’s ok for me to start a blog?

  16. says

    I enjoy your blog Dr. Rainer. Yes, I do have a blog. I pastor a rapidly growing church and agree with your reasons pastors should blog. I would add one additional reason and that is to provide Biblical perspective on current issues. I am an expository preacher and rarely leave my text for any reason refusing the media to be the reason I preach on something. When the text lets me deal with an issue then I deal with it but not before. With that being said, our members need to know what God says on these issues. Blogging enables us to weigh in on it without taking up pulpit time.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


three + 4 =