What's in this session?

  • Custom Playlists (2:32)
  • Expand Your Website (3:50)
  • Instant Podcasting (4:36)
  • Search Engine Boost (4:55)
  • Complete Archive (5:56)
  • Downloadable Resources (6:19)

Show notes and resources

Free Bonus: Click here to download The Perfect Church Homepage Infographic – a complete visual breakdown of the essential elements that every church website homepage needs

The Transcript

Alex Mills: Well, hey there and welcome to Pro Church Daily, the show where in 10 minutes or less you are gonna get a daily dose of tips and tactics to help your church share the message of Jesus while we try and navigate the biggest communication shift we’ve seen in the last 500 years. I’m your host, Alex Mills. Joined as always by the boss man, it’s Brady Shearer. And today, we’re talking about why your church needs a sermon engine.
Brady Shearer: There’s really something interesting about your church’s web set. A lot of the times there’s content that new visitors care about, and then there’s content that your existing congregation cares about.
Alex Mills: Right.
Brady Shearer: Your church’s sermons represent one of the few crossovers where both existing members of your church and new visitors really care about. I think you said something recently to me when you took an audit of, “Why are people coming to my website?” One of the biggest drivers of traffic was people looking for your sermons.
Alex Mills: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s one of those things, you put so much effort into the content you create weekly, which is that sermon. Your pastor’s putting hours of prep into it.
Brady Shearer: So much time.
Alex Mills: And then, a significant labor to get up in front of a big group of people and deliver that message once, twice, maybe three times if you’re running three services. You need a place that’s dedicated to host that content for people to revisit. Or, like you said, for new visitors to visit for the first time even before they’ve even come to your church.
Brady Shearer: You just spoke to the weekly nature of creating sermons.
Alex Mills: Yeah.
Brady Shearer: That means you’re doing more than 50 every single year.
Alex Mills: Yeah.
Brady Shearer: Which means, in a couple of years you’ll have hundreds of sermons, and that’s why a lot of churches don’t create a home base for all their sermons. Because thinking about 250 pages to your website-
Alex Mills: Where do you put it all?
Brady Shearer: … it becomes so cluttered, and people are looking for sermons but it’s impossible to find them.
Alex Mills: Right.
Brady Shearer: So, we just upload them to YouTube. We upload them to Vimeo. We have a podcast, but we don’t have a home base for them. And we think you need a home base for your sermons, for your messages because you don’t wanna be sending all of your traffic, that should be going to your website, and then putting it elsewhere.
Alex Mills: Right.
Brady Shearer: Because you’re just giving away that traffic to behemoths like YouTube, Vimeo, and your … like, Apple. I mean, that’s fine but that traffic is yours. It belongs to you. Keep it on your own website.
Alex Mills: Yeah.
Brady Shearer: This is what a sermon engine is for. And then, not to mention the fact that, hey, we’re living through this huge communication shift. Your sermons can be listened to any time, anywhere and the sermon engine also makes that possible.
So, here are six components, six reasons and amazing features of a sermon engine that make it even better than the reasons that we just stated.
Alex Mills: Right.
Brady Shearer: Reason number one is a sermon engine should allow you to create custom playlists. So, a lot of us group our sermons in series.
Alex Mills: Of course.
Brady Shearer: So, in your sermon engine, you should be able to group all of your sermons by the actual series, which is nice. But, what if you could group them by even more than a series? You could group them by the topic, by the speaker, by the scripture, by the popularity. So, you could create a playlist, The Best Sermons of 2018, like here are the sermons that our church loved the most for this year. Custom playlists, a great way or organize your sermons when we’re thinking about hundreds of different messages, finding ways to make them easily accessible in groupings, call them playlists.
Alex Mills: And super approachable for first time visitors who are looking at your website, checking our church.
Brady Shearer: Yeah.
Alex Mills: What do these people believe, or what does a Sunday morning service like at their church, and maybe they’re gonna listen to a message before they even walk through your front doors. And so, if you could have a featured playlist like, “Yeah, these are some of our best sermons from this past year,” or, “These sermons were from our core value series.” And so, first time visitors can easily sort through, like you said, sometimes hundreds of sermons easily, quickly, and you can curate those lists and host them right on your site.
Brady Shearer: Another reason your church needs a sermon engine is to expand your website. Again, don’t put this content on another website that does not belong to you.
Alex Mills: Right.
Brady Shearer: You can add your sermon engine to your existing website. Put it on a sub domain. So, if your website is hopechurch.com, and your existing website doesn’t have the functionality to build a whole sermon engine in the theme or what you’re already using, just put it on a sub domain. Every church does this, Life Church, Elevation Church, every big church has different sub domains for different content. We do this on the Nucleus Church website. We have blog.nucleus.church, playbook.nucleus.church. It’s your same website. You add it to your sub domain so it’s, sermons.hopechurch.com, or it’s media.hopechurch.com. It’s all on your existing website. And so, you can expand your home base already that you have.
Alex Mills: So good.
Brady Shearer: Another reason you need a sermon engine is for instant podcasting. If you have a sermon engine, you can also use that as your podcasting host. Because when you upload sermons you can create an RSS feed using that, and now you don’t need to have your existing podcast platform. It’s built into the sermon engine.
Alex Mills: Awesome.
Brady Shearer: Another reason a sermon engine is awesome, why you need one, is for that search engine boost.
Alex Mills: Yeah.
Brady Shearer: Improve the SEO of your site by keeping people on your site by keeping your messages on your site. You’re creating that content every single week. Imagine if we didn’t have a prochurchtools.com and all we did was host our content on YouTube and Apple. Maybe that’s where you consume the content, but you’re probably going to our website once a week, check out a featured resource, check out a link we send out in the email list, and we’ve got thousands of people finding us through search and then going to our website, the platform that we own, that belongs to us. I don’t want to send you to YouTube. If you’re gonna be there already, great, but I wanna get you back to my website because that’s the property and entity that belongs to us. Your church website is that same thing for you.
Alex Mills: Exactly.
Brady Shearer: Keep people there.
Alex Mills: And especially if you’re using that website as a central hub to facilitate people taking next steps. You don’t wanna send them away from that location.
Brady Shearer: Keep it there.
Alex Mills: You want them there so that they can listen to your content, interact with your sermons, and then take a next step. And then, fill out the plan to visit card, or whatever, and actually come and visit your church. You wanna keep them there.
Brady Shearer: Yes, absolutely. Another reason why your church needs a sermon engine, a complete archive. Allow online visitors to browse messages and switch between audio and video. If you have 500 messages, you’ve worked so hard on them, you should have a giant archive for all them so people can go back and listen to their favorites, so people can go back and listen to ones that they may have missed, and that’s another huge benefit of the sermon engine.
Final reason a sermon engine is something your church needs is downloadable resources to accompany the message, and this is a huge one. You can attack scriptures, group questions, transcripts. So, if someone is listening to a message in church on a Sunday, and then you can say, “Hey, this is gonna be on our sermon engine later today, or tomorrow.” They go in there and then there’s group questions for the small group they’re hosting. There’s the transcript so they can go through something that they may missed, and that’s also great for those that are hearing impaired.
Alex Mills: Absolutely. It’s accessible.
Brady Shearer: You can have scripture attachments so that they can dive deep into the scripture that the message was based on. They’re inspired to read their bible more. There’s so many amazing moving parts and variables that are contributing to the need for a sermon engine, and that’s one of the most important ones.
Alex Mills: Well, and that really helps facilitate moving away from this lecture style way of consuming a sermon, from I come to this location on a Sunday, I listen to you speak to me, and I go home. But, it facilitates more of a participatory fluid interaction with the content, and with the scriptures, and with God. You get to … You would be surprised how many times I get asked for a transcript after I preach.
Brady Shearer: Yeah.
Alex Mills: Judy will come to up to me, sweet Judy, old Judy will come up to me after the service be like, “Can I just get a copy of your notes? I just wanna rest with that all week.” And she’s retired, she doesn’t have anything better to do and that’s what she wants. It’s what she needs, and so this is a great way to facilitate that.
Brady Shearer: We have release, officially as of today, the Nucleus Sermon Engine. We found that there really wasn’t a great solution for this.
Alex Mills: No.
Brady Shearer: Everyone that uses Nucleus as their website builder, as their central hub was asking, “Well, what about our sermons?” And we were like, “Well, you can just add them to a card.” I’m like, “What if we built the ultimate sermon engine of all time?” So, we went ahead and built that.
Alex Mills: Did.
Brady Shearer: And not only that, but we’ve actually created what we’re calling The Essential Sermon Engine bundles. It’s completely free, and you can download it for free at the featured resource link that’s in the show notes for this episode. It’s five different resources including a free trial to the Nucleus sermon engine, no credit card required, 30 days, build your sermon engine for free. See if you’ll like it, and then you can follow through from there.
But go and get this essential sermon engine bundle, because it includes these other resources, 21 ways to increase your sermon downloads in 30 days, 17 powerful secrets about sermon podcasts updated for this year with recent data, five sermon “Photoshop” templates-
Alex Mills: Nice.
Brady Shearer: … the anatomy of an optimized sermon page, which is an infographic, and then that 30 day free trial. It’s all in there. The essential sermon engine bundle, go download it. Link for that in the show notes for this episode. Build your sermon engine because it’s awesome and necessary for every church.
And that’ll do it for this episode of Pro Church Daily. We’ll see you next time.

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