Blogging lessons from my Dad, the preacher

Jul 28, 2014 | Better Blogging

My father was a Lutheran pastor for more than sixty years. By the time he died he had preached thousands of sermons. What he learned from that experience can help you blog more effectively.

What blogging and preaching have in common

Preachers don’t get much choice about when to preach. The people in the pews expect a sermon as part of the service. And they don’t want to hear the same sermon every week.

Bloggers usually work on a regular schedule, too. We have to create new material whenever a post is due.

Develop a process

It took my father about two years to develop the process for writing his sermons. Once he had the process, he used that for every sermon he preached. When you have a development process for your posts, it’s easier to produce quality material on schedule.

Talk to your readers

My dad used to tell his interns and preaching students that if they called on their parishioners during the week, they’d never have to wonder what to preach about on Sunday. That technique will work for you, too. Talk to the people who read your blog and you’ll learn what they like and don’t like and what problems they have that you can help with.

Use stories to make your points

Dad believed that stories made his points both powerful and memorable. Once, he had a student at a preaching clinic who thought that stories were “frivolous” and “lightweight.” Dad responded by noting that stories were Jesus’ preferred method of teaching. He figured that if it was good enough for Jesus, it would work for a parish pastor. Stories can make your blog posts more powerful, too.

Keep improving

Dad was (pardon the pun) religious about getting better. Every Sunday we had a spirited (some might say rowdy) dinner table critique of Dad’s sermon. When he was on vacation, he devoted a couple of days to reviewing his sermons from the previous year, looking for ideas to use and ways to do better.