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Apr 05
2013

Pastors Should Post Sermons on a Personal Website

Posted by: Steve Marr

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I have advised many pastors to develop a personal website. Many are reluctant to take this step because they believe this separates the pastor from the church.  A pastor may give 40 to 100 sermons a year if they preach an evening service. That’s a lot of content over ten, twenty, or thirty years.Consider posting your messages on a personal website.  Include a MP3 file download, if available. Sort your messages by topic and post your best material. People can use your topical index to find content of interest. If you only have an audio version, consider using software that will convert audio to text so that you can offer a print version. When these are posted, search engines will pick up key words and direct future people to your material. You can still post a video and/or audio version for download.  This provides more options.  

In addition, when counseling, or covering topics with people, you can refer them to your earlier material for additional information. When I answer questions I frequently add one or more links from past articles. At times I send a link suggesting that they read the article and then re-ask the question.
You may ask, “Does the pastor or the church have rights to sermon material?” It is best to address this question when you call a pastor to a position. Most churches only post a few sermons online; some archive many. Make an agreement about when the church posts and when the pastor posts.  If you wish to post past material, do your best to confirm with a past church if this is acceptable. However, a pastor should always highlight the current assignment in order not to neglect present church responsibilities. The pastor can always credit material that was presented at a former church.

A tremendous amount of rich and vibrant material that could help minister to people today is lost. When I was living in Tucson, Arizona I had the privilege of listening to messages by Pastor Ross Haslop, who in his 80’s could preach a crystal clear sermon. He had written out nearly 60 years of preaching material that still applies today.

Some pastors are reluctant to create a personal website believing they don’t want to call attention to themselves. A website outlet is not about promoting a pastor personally, but provides a channel to expand the impact of God’s word to others. Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory!” (1 Chronicles 4:10, NIV). Using a personal website is one tool that can enlarge your ministry opportunity.

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