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The Importance of the RSS feed for the Ministry Leader

Have you ever seen this icon while surfing the web? Do you scratch your head and wonder, What does that mean?

It is the icon for an RSS feed. RSS feeds are a wonderful thing. In simple terms you subscribe to a website's RSS feed and in return you receive delivered fresh and instantly new and updated content and information. Instead of going, visiting and checking your favorite websites and blogs for new information and content - THE CONTENT comes DIRECTLY to YOU.

Here is a post from Web Worker Daily and Aliza Sherman on the author's first impressions about the impact reading feeds is having on her life and work. Here are some of her main points:

1. They make me look smarter.

2. They give me interesting fodder for conversation with my husband.

3. I read more blog posts in one week by Seth Godin than I had in the last several years. I don’t mean to neglect Seth. He’s smart. I like him. I learn from him. But I stray from reading blogs in general because I can’t seem to find the time. Reading feeds over eggs and coffee carves out time to learn from the masters.

4. I learned about new paths to productivity.

5. What I read in feeds last week had either a direct connection or impact on what I do every day for work. It remains to be seen if I can keep up with my feed reading over time. In the meanwhile, I’ll absorb as much knowledge as I can to expand my understanding of this ever-changing industry and to improve what I do and how I do it.

Need a gentle introduction to RSS see her other post- Needing a Gentle Intro to RSS Feeds.

Let me springboard off of some of Aliza's thoughts.

Here are the benefits that I have received receiving and reading RSS feeds as a Pastor.

1. I stay more informed - I get through the RSS feeds some of the best and most helpful information for ministry, the church, and even devotionally. What I read provokes my creativity and enhances my ministry.

2. It saves me time - Some people say to me, How do you have the time to READ all those websites!? I say, I don't. But having the information come directly to me and then being able to skim the Headlines, multiplies my time and saves me from wasting it. I get the information that I want, and ignore the information the I don't want.

3. It gets me out of my ghetto - I get to learn from so many talented and gifted pastors, ministry leaders and people throughout the world. I learn from people outside of my denominational traditions and with different theological persuasions. Reading my RSS feeds expands my thinking and imagination.

4. I am building a "forever" library of resources - Because I use Google Reader to receive and read my RSS feeds, I can search for information easily if I need it at a later time. Searching my feeds for relevant information is much easier and effective than doing a general Web search. I am more likely with a RSS search to get the information relevant to my interests and needs.

How to get Started:

Sign up for Feed Reader - I would recommend Google Reader

Start signing up and subscribing to feeds - start with this site - Ministry Best Practices and my other site Provocative Church, then go to HELPFUL BLOGS on my side menu and visit those sites add their feeds (that is a good place to start)

And then sit back and enjoy having relevant, helpful and interesting information delivered right to you.

(ht: WebWorker)


Hi Bill,

I came across a great little video that explains RSS. Thought you might find it useful too:

What is RSS?

In His Service,
Paul Steinbrueck

Thanks for the heads up on the RSS resource...I wish more people were up to speed with RSS, it is one of the more under-utilized technologies out there.

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