... writing online journals and news
Blogs are simply online journals. They can be used to keep people informed of church news, sermons notes, general thoughts about current events. Note, for some churches social media networks, such as Facebook, are a much better option. Blogs aren't the same as a website but they can be an effective part of a church website if done well.
Don't have a church blog if:
- It's not going to be updated reasonably regularly
- You don't have a net savvy target audience
- Others in the church aren't actively supportive
- You don't have anything interesting to say
- You lack good writing skills
Consider having a church blog if:
- You want to keep a chronological online journal
- You can write in an entertaining or engaging way
- You want to reach out to youth and students
- You live in a area with many web users
- You can prioritise blog updates over other life pressures
- You are committed to it long term
- You want to engage people in online debate
Some churches have Pastor's blogs (with postings about current church events, sermon thoughts, world news, local happenings, etc). This can help those both in and outside the church understand the church leader better. Some Christians keep blogs about 'life as a Christian' etc and these can be very powerful evangelistic tools.
Not only can the authorised person make posts on the blog but also they can permit others to write comments on the posts. You could encourage your youth workers to run blogs that the youth can interact with: helping build community.
Over time the blog will grow and it will automatically archive previous posts providing a historical view in to the mind and life of the author. Most blogs archive in a reverse chronological order so you can see this month's postings, last month's postings etc.
The trouble with blogs is that worldwide there are many people writing blogs that barely get read. Before embarking on a church blog consider who you are targetting it at and what the likely response will be.
A blog can almost certainly work alongside your existing church website (church123 is compatible with all the major blogs) and feeds from the blogs can be embedded in the site.
A church blog can be setup for free with many reputable providers. Be careful of unknown providers as if they close down you may lose all your blog history (previous posts you may have made, potentially over a number of years!)
Well known easy to use free blog providers:
If you run your own servers then you may wish to look at www.movabletype.com which is free for personal use and has reduced rates for charitable / educational and non-profit organisations.