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March 7, 2016

Produce Sharable Content

Many churches struggle with producing great content week after week. Their communications calendar (if they even have one) sits empty, their Facebook and Twitter accounts are nothing more than events and announcements, and the blog has turned into nothing more than a daily devotion or it’s been weeks since you’ve had a new post.

When you compare yourself to your favorite nationally known megachurch, you may fall short when it comes to the amount of content and the quality of the content that they produce. They likely have a substantial media team and the resources to put it all together.

I think it’s important to stay in perspective of your context and grow at your own pace. But that doesn’t mean you can’t produce consistent quality content week after week, even if you are a small church with a single communications person on staff.

content-low

So where do you find content? Let’s start with the Sunday sermon.

Your preaching pastor produces 30 to 60 minutes of content for you every Sunday. If he creates sermon notes, ask to be copied on them every week. This will make it really easy to schedule some of the content ahead of time. If not, just listen to the sermon and take your own notes.

Here’s some examples of content you can easily pull from the sermon and post throughout the week, every week:

  • Quotes from the sermon. Post some as text, and others as images. You can use photos from Sunday as the background, or create a graphic that fits with the theme of the sermon series. There are plenty of free tools and apps on your phone to do this (Try Canva, ReType, Over, Ripl, Adobe Post, and Word Swag) You could also use the visual composer inside of Harvest Social to create awesome graphics.
  • Scripture that your pastor uses in the sermon can be posted throughout the week as you encourage people to study on their own. Think about creative ways to post this as well, including creating images.
  • Video clips. Rather than just posting the full sermon video or audio, think about taking at least one clip per week (or up to 2-3) that focus on quick topics and post those directly to Facebook as well as YouTube. You can link over to the full sermon for more context. Shorter clips (5 minute max) are easier to watch on the go, and are more likely to be shared and distributed all over the Internet.
  • Blog posts. Take a topic from the sermon and turn it into a quick blog post. If your pastor used a bullet point type of list or a story/illustration then pull it out into an individual blog post. Having someone transcribe the sermons each week makes this nice and easy. Don’t hesitate to share what other pastors, theologians, and commentators have taught on the same subject as well. Posts like that can help people dive even deeper into the scripture and subject that was taught.

When you break out the sermon into easily digestible content like this, you’ll find that not only does your congregation retain and apply the teaching better, but you’ll also be exposed to new audiences. After all, it’s easier to share a clip, quote, image, or blog post with friends than it is a full sermon or just a simple invitation to church.

The sermon alone should give you enough content to at least post one related item per day on social media. If you’re looking for more, then continue to look around you for inspiration.

bible

That Bible sitting on your shelf collecting dust has about 1900 pages of evergreen content.

For example, that Bible sitting on your shelf collecting dust has about 1900 pages of evergreen content. You can share verses, write devotions, share study notes and commentary, and more. Ask your coworkers to submit their journal entries and thoughts as they read the Bible on their own. It’s a lot easier to clean up someone else’s thoughts and turn into a post than it is to come up with fresh new content on your own.

Sunday is also a great opportunity to get new photos, even if you have to take them with your iPhone. Don’t just focus on the stage, but get shots that show what it’s like to be a part of your church. Take photos of volunteers and help share their stories. Interview staff and share a quick video of them welcoming people to church. People’s stories can be great content for blog posts as well.

If you’re struggling to post anything at all, hopefully this has given you a good idea where to start. Often times the best content is already being produced for you or it only takes a few simple steps to capture it with what you already have.

Justin Dean is a church communications advisor and entrepreneur based out of Atlanta, GA. From 2011 to 2015, Justin served as the Communications Director for Mars Hill Church in Seattle. He now leads DOXA Media Group, a consulting agency producing many products and services designed to help churches and ministries relate and engage.

My full bio can be found at justinjdean.com/bio

9 Comments on “Produce Sharable Content

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