Sermon preparation can be intense. You spend hours upon hours immersed in a biblical text and all of the commentaries and tools that amplify its message. You prayerfully seek to be influenced by the sermon before preaching it, repenting of known sin in your own life and examining your own heart and soul. You pour it out before the congregation like an offering to God.
And then it’s over.
All of that work… all of that study… and then it’s done in less than an hour.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could give your sermons life well beyond Sunday?
In the world of blogging and social media, you can do just that. Here are some suggestions for how.
Blog your points, one at a time.
A full sermon transcript or manuscript is too long for a blog post, but one point with its explanation is just the right size. So if you’re presenting three or four major truths this Sunday, write three or four corresponding blog posts during the following week.
You could publish these new blog posts on your church’s website, but it’s often more effective to post them on your own blog and then share them to the church’s social media accounts or via email.
Post memorable quotes from the message.
Every good message needs to have single sentences within it that really drive home the truth of Scripture. Boiling those principles down to 280 characters for a tweet or a little more for Facebook can extend the influence of the moment.
Even better, turn them into a graphic. You can do this with your mobile phone using an app such as Over or WordSwag and post them directly to Instagram and other social networks.
Divide the message into video clips.
It’s a good idea to post your entire sermon to both Vimeo and Youtube, giving each a title and description with keywords that can be found in common searches. Youtube is, after all, the second largest search engine after Google.
You can also trim out pieces of the sermon for two- to three-minute clips to share on social media. If your clip is 60 seconds or less, you can use it as an ad on both Facebook and Instagram.
Use the audio for a podcast.
You can use an app like SoundCloud, which has some great features for audio blogging and podcasting, including a nice embeddable media player. And since it’s html5-powered, people can listen on mobile phones.
Your voice plays a major role in determining how others respond to your teaching. Just a few, simple adjustments can make listeners feel happy, uplifted, and more likely to engage positively with your audio content. In Step 1 (of Voiceology), we’ll walk through the science and power of voice and discover the key to keeping people hanging on your every word.
Write a small group study guide based on the message.
What do you do with all the material you chop off before the presentation? Turn it into a “digging deeper” study and distribute it to small group leaders.
This is one of the best ways to recruit new leaders and start new groups. You can invite people to host their own group, reminding them that you aren’t looking for great Bible scholars; you’re looking for people who will open a space and use the material you’ve already developed and provided.
Create ebooks from whole sermon series.
Even if you don’t preach from a manuscript, it’s a good idea to write as much as possible in your notes in the moment of inspiration so that, later, you’ll be able to edit it into shareable ebooks.
You can distribute your ebooks through your website, Facebook, and even the Amazon Kindle store and other outlets. It’s bigger than the bite-sized blog but not quite the overwhelming size of a full book.
Marketers often refer to ebooks as “lead magnets” because they attract people to your mailing list. If you can distribute a free ebook to people who live in your local community, they’ll subscribe to your email list and you can follow up with an invitation to attend your services.
If you’re a pastor, you’re a content creator whether you’ve ever thought of yourself that way or not. You produce some of the greatest and most important content on earth.
It’s a shame for that knowledge to go to waste. Utilize modern technology and social distribution points to extend the message and fill every conversational space with the truth and glory of God!