Pastors spend more time than anyone knows preparing their sermons, but for many of them, the sermon disappears as soon as it’s preached.
It’s important for pastors to start thinking about other ways that can turn their sermons into digital content. Here’s why:
1. You want them to have a longer lifespan
If you’re going to invest as much time as you do into your teaching ministry, you should be getting as much life as you possibly can from the content you’re creating. Creating a strategy around a couple different digital mediums can make your sermons way more productive in the long run.
2. People consume content differently
Not everyone in your church is paying close attention on Sunday morning. They might be sitting there with fidgety kids, or they might have their own responsibilities during the sermon. On top of that, some people listen better when they’re actively doing something, and a church service isn’t always the ideal place to keep them engaged. Providing alternative digital solutions enables people to avail themselves of your teaching in a manner and place that’s best for them.
3. You can grow the audience for your teaching outside the church
Imagine someone coming home from a service and being so inspired by something you taught that they can’t wait to share it. Digitizing your sermons gives them that opportunity. They can email them or share them on their Facebook wall. Who knows? Maybe you can generate a whole new audience!
Ultimately it’s about giving your teaching an opportunity to reach more people—and touch more lives. It might be a lot easier, and less time-consuming, than you imagine.
Here are six ways you can digitize your sermons:
1. Turn them into blog posts
This is kind of an important choice. If you write a robust enough outline, turning your sermons into blog posts is pretty easy, but the potential wins from doing so are enormous.
Some people in your congregation get more out of reading than they do from listening. So from a congregational standpoint, having your sermons available for your church to read and reflect on is a good idea.
But if you’ve ever been on Facebook in your life, you know that blogs are one of the most easily sharable forms of digital media there are. It’s a great opportunity to share your content with the online world. And with the ability to subscribe to your blog, you can create regular readership.
As an extra win, you can use your PowerPoint slides as blog images!
2. Turn them into podcasts
Podcast are getting more and more popular. A recent Edison Research poll found that podcasts are more popular than they’ve ever been. They’re getting easier to create and share all the time.
If you’re already recording your sermons on MP3 files for your website, or even on CDs to distribute to your congregation, turning them into a podcast is a simple process.
3. Turn them into videos on a YouTube channel
You don’t have to have incredible production values to create a YouTube channel dedicated to your sermons. You can get a good quality video using one camera mounted on a tripod.
And if you’re already videotaping your sermons for your website, starting a YouTube channel for sermons is as easy as starting an account and uploading them there, too.
4. Turn them into livestream events
I’m so thankful for livestreaming on Sunday mornings when I’m not feeling well. Many people would rather tune into a live service than watch a pre-recorded video. This is also a great opportunity to minister to shut-ins and people who lack regular transportation.
You don’t have to make a big investment into livestreaming to get started. Plenty of churches have tested the water by livestreaming their services through a free service like Google Hangouts.
5. Turn them into ebooks
Just work through a really powerful sermon series? Why not turn that content into an ebook?! It’s another fantastic way to make your teaching available to the readers in your congregation, or as a wonderful freebie to new visitors.
6. Turn them into social media
One of the easiest things you can do with your sermon is to pull out some of your best quotes and use them as social media updates. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are the perfect place to feature custom pictures featuring your quote. Don’t forget to watermark the quote with your church’s URL!
Picmonkey is a great (and free) online tool to help you create stunning images for your social media quotes.
Capitalizing on Mobile Apps
Every one of these methods for digitizing your sermons can be supported by a mobile church app. Your app can be used to deliver sermons to your congregation, making it easier to stay engaged and involved, but it can also be shared with others as a way for them to consume your content—while getting to know your church better!
[Last modified by Blake Adams on Oct. 10, 2017]