Sunday is coming!
Saturday night comes quickly, you’re drawing a bit of blank and already up way too late with nothing to show for it. Your notes are ridiculous and jumbled and you really have no idea what you’re going to preach on in the morning.
But that’s ok. It’s just a sermon right?
You’ll just step into the pulpit and tell everyone you don’t have a sermon this week. Maybe you’ll have one next week, maybe not. At any rate, it’ll be ok.
If you’re a church communicator like me you probably got a little wide-eyed at that statement. Maybe a little frustrated if you’re not keen on sarcasm (another downfall of mine!). The fact is, you value what you communicate on Sunday mornings. You put in work! You put in time! And you don’t skimp on preparing for Sunday because you know how important and valuable and necessary it is.
Sunday’s sermon can be a gateway to life change. It can be the starting point of someone’s faith journey. It can be a tool to disciple and sharpen those who hear it.
Here’s the rub, guys.
We give attention to Sunday’s work because of its impact, but we’ll never be consistent at blogging unless we are able to see our websites and content through a similar lens.
It’s not an inspiration issue. It’s a value issue.
At some point every pastor or church leader has been excited about starting a new blog to help, disciple, inspire or coach. You do all the things, and want to do it all right; you get get hosting, install WordPress (or whatever you use), grab a theme, build a site, add all your stuff, deep dive through your headshots for a good one, add plugins you don’t need, get overwhelmed with said plugins, connect a newsletter, and *usually* forget to add security and normal maintenance stuff.
And finally, after all the overwhelming stuff you just did, sit down to write a blog…and you’re pretty consistent for a few months.
Then Easter happens and you’re playing catch up. Then a team member leaves and you have to pick up the slack until someone else steps in. Then you fall behind in sermon prep because of your back to school outreach. A new ministry starts and you now have another direct report.
We enjoy blogging and creating content butWe haven’t made the transition from a ‘good idea’ to an ‘invaluable tool and resource
Finally you login after months to write and you get overwhelmed with a crowded dashboard, tons of update notifications, and it takes forever to load because your site isn’t optimized and you don’t know where to start and AHHH! IT’S NOT EVEN WORTH IT! and you log out until your next ‘excited to blog again’ endeavor next year or so.
I really want to give you keys to consistent blogging. I really do! But we have to start with the value we place on it.
For my entire adult life until the last year or so, I’ve been in vocational ministry, from conference speaker to community pastor to church planting stint to XP…and for my entire adult life until the last year, I’ve been a decently consistent blogger. But when I stepped out of my executive pastor role to focus on digital communications and consulting with churches, the value I had placed on my personal ministry blog suffered.
And because the value suffered, so did my consistency.
And because my consistency suffered, so did my influence.
I blamed my decline in influence on the fact that I wasn’t in “ministry” at the moment. Oh, Andrew’s not a “pastor” anymore. Time to unfollow his insta and unsubscribe from the blog, right. And ya, there were probably a few like that. My insecurity around it only led to more inconsistency unfortunately.
My insecurity around stepping away from a a ‘pastoral role’ only led to more inconsistency. Did I have anything to really say anymore now that I’m not a pastor?
But, being the nerd at heart that I am, I looked at my analytics, and I noticed a direct correlation with my blog traffic not around when I stepped away from my church role, but when my consistency tanked. I even got a few messages from people that had followed my ministry for years saying ‘Andrew, we miss your blogs.’
They didn’t say ‘we miss your sermons’ or ‘we miss your anointing.’ Though, I’m sure they meant to say that, right? Instead, they said ‘we miss your posts!’ It shook me ya’ll!
You see, I hadn’t recognized the value my consistency added to other people’s lives. I hadn’t taken time to see how my posts helped others, discipled others, led others. Because I didn’t have a pulpit anymore, I had convinced myself that the things I said somehow carried less weight.
I’m positive many that will chance across this feel the same way, whether you’d admit it or not. You’re convincing yourself of stupid stuff, just like I did.
Some of you have been in ministry, and you’re convincing yourself that your voice is diminished because in this season you’re not in full-time vocational ministry.
Some of you are bi-vocational pastors and don’t feel like you have much to offer because you think ‘full time’ is some kind of milestone you have to reach to be successful.
Some of you, both bi-vo and full time, are working your butts off and trying to figure out how you’re going to find the hour a week it might take to knock out a solid post.
Some of you are staff pastors, youth pastors, associate pastors, whatever and because you’re not the lead guy you’ve somehow convinced yourself that your voice isn’t as needed.
Stupid stuff, see?
So, what it really comes down to is value.
You have to value your voice, the voice God has given you. The voice that speaks life change, and counsel, and leadership, and wisdom, and theology and discipleship, and points people towards Jesus. That voice.
And you have to value the medium. You have to go beyond your pulpit, the 35 minutes a week people might get to hear you at church. You have to value the ‘content hub’ that something like PastorBlogs can be.
My prayer for this entire platform is that God will use it to help disheartened pastors and church leaders find their voice again. I don’t see Carey or Craig signing up for an account after all. Instead, I see guys and gals like you.
I see the campus pastor that travels sometimes and needs an outlet for what God is pouring into him.
I see the pastor of a church of 175 using PastorBlogs to recap and expound on what he’s teaching on Sundays.
I see youth pastors using PastorBlogs as a tool to connect with parents and partner with them in discipling their students.
I see up and coming leaders using our learning management system (coming soon) to create coaching and leadership content to equip and resource other pastors.
I see church planters using this to share their journey and connect with people that will pray, give and go with them.
I see church consultants (like me!) using this platform to add value to the church at large and connect with people to work alongside.
I see a lot guys!
I want you to value it to, and I can’t “make” you value it. I created PastorBlogs knowing full well that most of the leaders that start it wouldn’t follow through and subscribe to the platform. It’s a hard truth, but it is what it is.
It was an easier truth to swallow because I know that for most it wasn’t PastorBlogs as a platform they don’t like. It’s just that at the end of the day, they don’t place value on blog content, whether it’s video, audio, or written.
Let me share some numbers with you. I had just under 100 people sign up to get notified when the beta went live back in April.
Out of that 100 I had just under 35 sign up for a beta trial. Out of that 35 just a handful have opened my ‘on boarding’ email from the Getting Started checklist, subscribed to the service (which is the same price as a Squarespace site) and followed through to create their own websites. I’ve been honored to help a few of them hands on!
I’ve also taken a bit of time to visit some of the sites of both people that signed up to be notified and that signed up for a trial. Only 2 had blogs that were posted to with any regularity.
That’s why my first post on PastorBlogs isn’t about ‘follow these nine keys to be consistent with blogging’ or ‘how to monetize your new blog’ or ‘how to build an email list’ or some other crap that you’ll maybe read but probably not implement.
Because at the end of the day, consistency isn’t our issue. Value is. Consistency is never a problem for the things we’ve learned to value.
Those posts will come, I promise.
But I wanted to start the PastorBlogs blog off by drilling home one point; consistency is never a problem for the things we’ve learned to value.