OK, you put a lot of time and effort into constructing and presenting a powerful sermon. You have crafted the language in such a way that the theologically sound message comes through very powerfully. The preaching moment is now over. Many of these sermons live on through audio CDs or video DVDs, but there are a growing number of preachers who are leveraging the internet to gain a greater hearing for their sermon. In addition, these methodologies can increase the length of time that people rmember the message. Finally, it allows visitors to experience a little bit of the worship hour at your church.
OK, So what can A preacher do?
This is simple. You already have the audio of your sermon. Why not post it in its entirety to an Audio Podcast. Surprisingly many people, including preachers, listen to these sermons that are available online. Now there are paid services that bring together a number of preachers and there are free services that will require a little more technical expertise.
My suggestion would be to take your audio and get ahold of someone in your congregation who has a bit of technical expertise and have that one upload your sermons online. Then let your congregation know that sermons are now available. It shouldn’t cost much and it will allow your sermon to be heard beyond the four walls of your congregation.
Now you could simply post your sermon in text. You can do this to a service like SermonCentral or you can post it to your own blog (website). The nice thing about either option is that it allows your sermons to show up in Google search results. You can post a full text version of your sermon, summary, or perhaps an outline.
Again, grab ahold of a technically savvy individual in your congregation and get your sermons up on line.
Everyone uses YouTube. You can put your sermons up on YouTube. There are a number of powerful preachers who do this today. Go into youTube and simply type in preachers and you will see a number of them. If you already have a video recording of your sermons, then put them up there now!
In my internet consulting work, I always emphasize the necessity of getting an email list. You want to grow a list of people who you can contact at any time with inspiring and powerful messages. Sending a sermon summary (or outline or full mansuscript) will definitely help you to grow such a list as well as bless the people who are reading.
Get your congregation to sign up and then start sending messages to the congregation. An email list can be a very powerful way to “meet” with your congregation outside of the church.
Did you know that you can stream your worship service for free? Head on over to Ustream.com and check it out. Some stream services as well as many other kinds of things. Again you will probably need some technical person to help you, but more than likely you already have an audio/sound team that can handle this.
Everyone is on social networking sites. Even pastors, preachers, and evangelists make use of these pwoerful platforms. Why not create a “Facebook Fan Page” for your ministry and post links to the sermons as well as maybe summaries. There are text limits to Twitter and Facebook messages, but that only forces you to be succinct. Check them out and use them in your ministry.
You have put a lot of effort into the sermon, use the web to magnify them. If you have any questions do not hesitate to send me an email or write them in the comments. If you have used or plan to use the internet to magnify the power of your sermon, I would like to hear bout that as well.
A SoulPreaching.Com reader asked for a list of websites and web resources that are helpful to preachers especially African American preachers. I told the reader that I would send it to the list and ask them for suggestions. I thought about 3 or 4 off the top of my head and will post them here. These are Free resources that provide valuable information to preachers.
Please take this time to give the sites that you have found that help you in your preaching in the comment section below.
The other day someone emailed me about turning one of my websites into a internet TV show on his website. I visited the site and saw that it looked very impressive. I also searched and found 4 other sites that do the exact same thing. They charge you to put your feed up on their site.
Because video and audio take up massive amounts of storage you need someone to host these files if you are looking to be a television show. I then remembered that this is what many churches are trying to do. They have a model of internet ministry as television show.
I then began to think about my own philosophy of web ministry and how people use the web. There are no doubt many people who go to the web to find video and audio of preachers. Because of the advent of high speed internet access to the masses this is becoming more and more an occurance. However, when I think about how people normally use the web I think of Google and Yahoo. Individuals find what they want and find it quickly.
A big blob of video or audio content does not provide accessible data quickly. One has to listen to the whole thing. I began to think of the individual who has a question about a Bible text addressed in a pastors sermon. If the pastor had put up an audio file alone then the questioner would not find that file when the questioner searched in his or her favorite search engine.
However the pastor who simply posts his whole sermon will get a hit on that very topic and provide the information to the user.
Get the information to the user in the best form in the best way. Old fashion plain text posted to a website in bite sized chunks will be found by the search engines and inform web searchers for years to come.