Pastors wear so many different hats.
And if you’re a pastor who’s exhausted it’s really hard to imagine adding one more thing to your to-do list. Especially when it’s already so long and there are fewer people to help you with it. In fact, it can even feel challenging to keep Jesus the main thing these days.
And yet, we’re all very aware of the growing number of people who don’t yet know the difference, the good kind of difference, that Jesus can make for them in their everyday life.
So how do we make time for sharing Jesus’ good news with people in ways that make sense for them (without adding to our overwhelm)?
Did you know that you can consistently inspire, encourage, disciple, and even provide hope for others throughout the week without burning yourself out on creating new content? Here’s how: you repurpose content that you’ve already created.
If you have spent hours preparing content for a sermon, Bible Study, or small group and you believe that the content is life-giving, answers questions that your community is asking, offers hope, helps people understand the difference Jesus can make in their everyday life, and adds value to people’s lives, then resharing your content throughout the week is exactly what you can be doing to remind people who they are and who God is.
When it comes to sharing Jesus’ good news with people who don’t yet know that it’s for them, let’s take a cue from Jesus and meet people as they are, where they are. So let’s go to where people already are.
Helping people (re)discover the difference Jesus can make in their everyday life hinges on proximity. Proximity is what allows us, and our community, not only to discover exactly what it is that keeps our neighbors up at night but also how we can share the Good News of Jesus with them in a way that is actually Good News for them in the here and now.
If we have ever hoped to be able to spend time with people in their daily lives, sharing the Gospel with people as they are where they are, then we have that opportunity at our fingertips everyday.
“Join me” vs. “I’m with you” content
So, where are they? Beyond the people we encounter in person in our communities as we go about our everyday living, we also know that currently there are nearly 5 billion internet users globally who spend an average of 6 hours and 58 minutes every day online. And where exactly? They spend 35.2% of their online time in the public spheres of social media.
Now, you might personally think that there’s a lot that’s not right with social media, and that’s totally fine. You’re right. Let’s be honest, God thought there wasn’t a lot that was right with the world when Jesus was born, and yet, God still chose to show up in the flesh. If we hope to engage with people as they are where they are, one place we can readily show up and engage with people as they are where they are is in these online public places.
Through social media, you can be with people in their everyday lives every single day. While your goal might still be to help people connect with you and your community in person, I want to challenge you to first go to where they are. Long gone are the days of “if we build it they will come.”
The biggest mistake pastors and churches make when sharing content with others (on social media, in emails, etc.) is: sharing too much “join me” content and not enough “I’m with you” content.
If the only consistent message you share with others is a call to action to join us at your next gathering, very few people will be inspired, encouraged, or find hope in what you share. But when you choose to share content with others that inspires, encourages, offers hope, and comes alongside them, there’s a much greater likelihood that they will be interested in what you, and your community, might have to offer them.
How much to share when
How do you know how much of what to share then? A rule of thumb is to use the 70/30 or 80/20 rule depending on what works in your context. So, 70% of what you share would NOT ask for anything in return (like watching a service online). Rather, only 30% of what you share would ask people for their participation in checking something out, telling them about a service or community gathering time, or whatever you’re promoting or inviting people to participate in.
The goal is to be investing in others 70 or 80% of the time consistently so that they’re more open when you invite them to participate in something. When it comes to social media, people spend on average 2 hours and 27 minutes every day on social media platforms in order to be inspired, encouraged, entertained, and to be part of a community. Advertisements for gatherings do not do that. That’s simply not going to be meaningful to someone’s life today. But a quote from your sermon or the Bible, or a word of encouragement to them through a Facebook or Instagram live—that’s what people find meaningful and love to share with others in their own sphere of influence.
So here are three simple steps to repurpose your sermons to share Jesus’ good news with people as they are where they are:
Step 1: Read the need
Picture the people in your church’s neighborhood. What do they want? What do they need? What would excite them or inspire them? What questions are they asking about life? What keeps them up at night? If people are feeling isolated, afraid, alone, cut off, anxious, hopeless, afraid, etc. then we want to meet them as they are where they are and help them (re)discover how Jesus can make a difference in their everyday life.
Step 2: Split your content into smaller chunks
Share meaningful content by repurposing your sermons (or other content). If you prepared a sermon, put together a Bible study, wrote a devotional, or created any other type of content this week or last week, you can share all that throughout the week. You don’t need to create new content. You simply need to repackage it throughout the week.
Step 3: Fine tune (based on shares)
Pay attention to which content you share gets reshared. This is an easy gauge to see what the people you’re connected to think is a value-add to them such that they want to reshare it with their own sphere of influence. Take notice and share more content like that.
Seven ways to share your sermon on social media
So how exactly might you consistently share inspiring, encouraging, and hope-filled content throughout the week? Whether through your weekly e-newsletter, emails that you send out, or on social media, here are 7 ways to repurpose your sermon:
- Turn one sentence in your sermon into a quote graphic
- Create an infographic from a sermon point
- Share a Scripture quote that you cited in your sermon
- If you have 2 or 3 main points in your sermon share each point on separate days throughout the week
- Share your call to action mid-week and ask people how it’s going
- Share a 60-second clip from your sermon as a video with a link to the whole sermon
- Go live on Facebook or Instagram for 10 minutes giving a summary of your sermon and talking about what it looks like in real life or sharing “behind the scenes” about your own thoughts on the sermon
If you approach this as an experiment, you’ll discover what works in your context, with your network, and with their spheres of influence.
Here is a Free Pastor’s Guide to Repurposing Content that will walk you step-by-step through how to repurpose content from this coming Sunday’s message. Set aside 20-30 minutes to go through this guide this weekend. And next week, get ready to inspire, encourage, disciple, and provide hope throughout the week to your community while still having time to get all the other things on your to-do list done.