As an integral part of their approach to Christian education, I'm hearing of a number of churches talk about something called "content strategy." (If you're in education, you're probably also very familiar with this word.)
Very simply (and straightforwardly), this emphasis on "content strategy" focuses on being strategic with their content. Oftentimes, this plays out in being intentional with WHAT content is created and/or recommended (keeping in mind who it's designed for, and the goals desired), and HOW the content is distributed/presented/made accessible.
I happen to be a fan of being strategic with content myself, so I figured I'd chime in and provide three brief reasons WHY (in my opinion) content strategy should be on the radar screen of churches who think intentionally about Christian education.
With the many resources (books, studies, sermon ideas, etc) out there, we can't afford NOT be strategic with content
Let's be honest: There are a gazillion study options (or something close to that) for various types of Christian groups out there. And they're not all created equal. Some have OK content but are poorly presented. Others just flat-out have bad content. And there are a lot that are AWESOME. If churches have no intentional approach to creating, identifying, and/or recommending content, individuals or groups won't have a compass by which to move in the right direction (ultimately: growing as disciples who love Jesus and serve others).
On the flip side, churches that ARE intentional with creating, identifying and/or recommending content - by considering the accuracy and faithfulness of what is communicated, by considering what outcomes they want, by considering who they need to keep in mind, etc, etc) - serve their congregations (or particular groups within the congregation) in a helpful and valuable way.
Content strategy can help connect ministries across the life of a church
Being intentional with content doesn't only happen WITHIN various ministries of the church; it can also happen ACROSS various ministries of the church.
Imagine the health that can go along with knowing the children's ministry and youth (e.g. middle school and high school) ministries are working together - at least at some high level - to make sure there's an appropriate coherence and consistency to the content they offer, so that if someone attends the church from kindergarten through high school they grow along this intentional path of discipleship. Or imagine what could happen if - for particular series or unique seasons - there's a synergy of content across the life of a church, with an entire congregation learning similar truth from God's Word at age-appropriate levels.
Content strategy encourages us to think not just about the "what," but also the "how"
Certainly, content strategy cares a lot about the "what" of what's being said. (Hence the word "content.") As I've said before, there's a certain sense in which content is king (though not a dictator!). However, good content strategy doesn't stop there. (Hence the word "strategy.") Good content strategy thinks well about how best to USE good content. For example: What's the best way to present the content (a written piece? live teaching? video?)? How do we multiply good content across a number of platforms? How do we make good content accessible, so it can continue to be leveraged?
The bottom line is that a good content strategy can both reinforce and extend the mission of the local church in a unique and valuable way! I'm grateful for the way Brookside Church works to be intentional in this way - let's keep growing in this!
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