Getting people interested in the Bible can be a tough challenge. Even Christians are reading the Bible less and less these days. Googling ‘Bible reading statistics’ brings up quite a few articles about it.
The problem is not that the Bible is archaic or irrelevant. The challenge is to help people to apply Scripture to their life. But not by simply plastering Scripture onto their lives. Instead, we should be introducing the Bible into the issues ordinary people care about and making it applicable to everyday situations.
So, what are people talking about? What topics are trending on Twitter? What’s in the news? These are the topics that Christian ministries should be engaging with. Blogs are a great way of doing this, allowing you to comment on trending topics and apply Scripture to them.
A community of bloggers
In my parish in Sweden, our blog has become part of our ‘Creative Arts’ ministry, along with our art and drama groups and our rock band. All parishioners can contribute to the blog, and speak his or her own mind.
Each week one of our priests blogs about the Sunday Bible readings, not simply posting a sermon on the readings but applying them to a topic that has been in the media or discussed on social media that week. It’s a great way of demonstrating that the Church and the Bible are relevant to our lives today. That they have an authentic voice in society.
Some topics will always resonate with people. Whenever we offer to pray for fans of the United Bible Societies’ Digital Bible page, of which I am one of the admins, certain issues come up time and time again: family, relationships, work, school, health and finances. The Bible offers much wisdom on these all these topics, which you can share through your blog. You can then invite people to church groups and activities relevant to that topic.
Conversations online and offline
A blog is a part of a conversation, which can start online and end up offline, or vice versa. Blogging expert Mark Schaefer suggests that we only see about 2% of our audience in the analytics. A blog post can resonate offline, invisible to analytics.
One good recent example is a recent blog post that our youth group read about children in Swedish jails. Our young people talked about that post for weeks, and still mention it now. An online post initiated conversation offline.
A recent development happening here in Gothenburg is that beggars have started to come into churches. Our church talked about this offline, and then the vicar blogged about it. Offline conversation transferred online allows more people to take part in it. This flow of conversation tells me that the blog is working.
Strategy and patience
Blogging takes patience. I have built up my parish blog for a year. Having a strategy, consistent posting and a team of contributors are all necessary. Here are a few more tips to help you build your ministry blog:
- Have a responsive blog theme for mobile access.
- 18 is the new 12, so increase your font size to 18 px.
- Line height should be around 27 px.
- Make sure to have social media sharing buttons on your blog.
- Share your posts in social media.
- Mention newspapers and journalists on Twitter if you link to their articles.
- Use an analytics tool like Google Analytics to follow up content and visitor statistics.
- Keep to your posting schedule.
- Use blogging communities like Triberr and Google Plus Communities to reach your target audiences.
Content is king – contribution the ace
All these tips rely on quality content. You may have read that content is king. Applying the ideas I present in this post also brings out the ace in the deck: contribution. Display the benefit and value your ministry offers to the community. An active blog, a positive voice, adds to that.
I welcome your thoughts, questions and examples – please comment.