What’s the easiest way to make information available to the leaders in your system? I think you’ll find that a blog is an easy to start resource that’s always-available, makes it easy to share, and offers some huge advantages over almost every other method.
It’s easy to get started. Just follow the outline below to jump-start a blog today. It’s not hard to do. There is a range of available products, from free with limited functionality to pay-as-you-go with enhanced capabilities.
Blogs are not only easy to start, they’re always available. While you can leave out hard copies of leader materials on the small group table in the lobby…as soon as the building closes (or someone picks up the last copy) it is no longer available. On the other hand, if I make the same resource available online, my leaders can read it wherever they are…even when they’re out of town.
Another very big advantage that a blog offers is that information becomes super easy to share. When a leader recruits a member to facilitate Thursday night’s session…they only have to email a link to the leader’s notes. When a new leader is identified at a small group connection or 28 people attend your HOST orientation…it’s easy to send them a link to the online resource you’ve created to enhance their experience.
How To Get Started
Here is a basic guide to launching a blog:
- Choose a blog platform. You can sign up for a free version with Google’s Blogger or WordPress. Both offer good functionality and are easy to understand and get started. A good example of Google’s Blogger functionality is Eric Dunaway’s Journey Together. Or take a look at Rick Howerton’s old blog site using the free WordPress platform. Although they’re built on free platforms…they offer a lot of functionality. You can use the sidebar to feature archives or promote an upcoming leader’s meeting or a blogroll (a list of recommended sites). My new site for small group leaders and coaches at Parkview is an example of a pay-as-you-go platform. GroupLife @ Parkview uses the pay-as-you-go WordPress platform. Note that I have my own domain name (www.parkviewgrouplife.com). I’m going to write a separate article for designing a blog using the pay-as-you-go WordPress platform. Steps 2 and 3 here are for free Blogger or the free WordPress.
- Once you’ve chosen your platform, step 2 is to just get started. On Blogger it literally takes 3 to 5 minutes. You choose a name and choose a template (colors, look and feel, etc.) and you’re rolling. Once you’re rolling you can arrange the features of the template (put in a blogroll, add archives, add a picture, etc. Not hard at all. Very similar on WordPress.com.
- Write a welcome post. Take a look at mine right here. Notice that in mine I direct readers right away to “sign up to get the update.” That is a very important detail to me. Once they’re signed up to get the update…they’ll be notified as soon as I write a new article. Also, note that in my welcome article I have a link to take a survey. I am always looking for a little more interaction and a little more information. I’ll have more about using SurveyMonkey.com in an upcoming article.
Hopefully, this will get you started! The first step really is to take the plunge. Jump in! If you don’t yet have a blog to get the latest information to your leaders…you’re missing out on a huge advantage. If you missed my overview article, you can catch up right here. You can also catch my follow-up article on three free blog tools that can really boost your participation right here.