How can my church make sermon content more projectable?
Preaching today is as simple as it was hundreds of years ago -- pray, study, proclaim. Modern distribution, however, now affords pastors a much more capacity for projection.
Now, some cranky Christians might object here and point out that God did not give the Great Commission to an iPad, but to a group of real living, breathing members of the body of Jesus Christ. If live, real-time ministry was good enough for Jesus, should it not be good enough for his church, even in the 21st century?
That argument might be a great start, but it's a lousy finish. Moses gave us tablets. Paul gave us parchments. Rome gave us the codex. Gutenberg added steroids. Al Gore uploaded it to the web. And today...be honest here...are you reading this on your smart phone? Yep...I think we're done here.
Each week, your sermon contains thousands of words of content. Most people speak around 150 words per minute, meaning that a 30 minute sermon can generate around 4,500 words. How much is 4,500 words?
- Ten (10) 400-word blog posts.
- Three (3) 750-word editorials that can run on a newspaper's editorial page
- One half of a chapter of a 100,000-word book. Every 20 weeks, you could conceivably preach the length of a 300 page book.
- Guest blogging, guest editorials. News website and blogs thrive on fresh, winsome content and they are often open to contrarian and innovative positions.
- Tracts. If your sermon was good enough for 30 minutes live, could a distilled version in a tract also gain some traction?
- Monographs. You can verbally explain the Bible's take on the day's leading issues, or you could have a wall of monographs ready for pick up. These monographs are simply your distilled sermons on topical matters like marriage, parenting, theology, and so forth. Monographs are great tools for explaining more in-depth answers to questions like, What does God think about marriage? Abortion? Bankruptcy? The trinity? Caring for the poor?
- Email Newsletters. Gone are the days when you can simply load up a bunch of email addresses and press send. Today, most ISPs (like Gmail, etc.) tag that kind of email as spam, and besides your email not getting delivered, you can actually get into some legal trouble. Easy solution: start using an email platform like MailChimp, Delivra, Constant Contact.