1) Keep parishioners coming to your site
Your pastor’s homilies are a perfect way to get parishioners coming back. I’ve heard from many church staff who receive calls on Monday asking for a written version of Father’s homily. My pastor and associate pastor do a great job with their homily and would sometimes like to see those in writing. If you make your website for the parishioner, you can expect more visitors to your site and less phone calls in the parish office.
2) Helps to create a conversation
One benefit of blogging is that it’s not only a one way communication, it can create a dialogue. Nobody has ever raised their hand in church during the homily and to say they disagree. Having this online lets them voice their opinion. Many blogs (including the one on LPi's WeConnect website builder) has comment moderation and approval if you are hesitant to allow comments. You can also ask specific questions about how your parishioners are celebrating the season or how are they going to use Sunday’s Gospel and homily during the week.
3) Teaches Catholic church beliefs
I am a cradle Catholic, yet still wouldn’t be able to answer questions from non-Catholics. When I Google the phrase, “why do Catholics” the autofill suggestions are: pray to saints, light candles, eat fish on Fridays, and pray the rosary. I’m not sure I would have a great answer to each of those questions Google suggested. You have the ability to give people the resources they need to grow their Catholic faith.
4) Increases your website page rankings
There are too many factors to get into here and numerous other sources on how Google’s page ranking works with tips to get on page 1 of search. The simplest tip I can give is to create quality content on your website that people want to read. Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines are trying to provide the user the most relevant content to match their search, or in layman’s terms, give ‘em what they want. Adding church news or project updates into your homily posts on a regular basis will help your website move up the rankings as well.
Have you added the Sunday homily to your website? What have you seen as a result? Any tips that I missed? Please share below in the comments.
Keith Alberts has been providing personal education to church staff for more than 3 years about the need for easy to use online tools they can simply manage themselves. This includes online giving, websites, social media, and a custom church app. Through LPi, he conducts Building a Vibrant Parish seminars to give best practices of parish communication for Catholic churches in a fun and open setting. You can connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.