40 Ways to Keep Readers From Giving Up Your Site for Lent

Do Do Doot Do-Lent, I’m Lovin’ ItWant to hook your readers throughout Lent so they keep coming back long after Easter? Then tempt them with enticing Lenten content on your church website or blog. Here are 40 ideas to get you started.

  1. Polls/surveys. “What Are You Giving Up For Lent?” is always one of our most popular surveys (see 2006 survey results and Lent 2007). Another option – “Do Sundays ‘count’ during Lent?”
  2. Lenten reflections, such as “Finding Your Priorities This Lent” or “Thirst For Justice, Hunger for Peace” or Catholic Carnival 108 or even some of your own.
  3. Non-meat recipes for Fridays. Perhaps seafood or other meatless dishes.
  4. Daily reflections on the Scriptures, such as from this list.
  5. Top 10 lists to lighten the mood. “10 Funniest Things to Give Up for Lent” or come up with your own, such as “Things That Sound Hard to Give Up for Lent, But Aren’t” (what would you put on this list?) or “Top Comebacks for ‘Hey, You Have a Amudge on Your Forehead.'”
  6. Saints of the day. Try the Saints & Angels list or Saint a Day.
  7. Almsgiving suggestions, such as charities or events you have in place; local or parish almsgivng; or solicit ways to donate to specific projects.
  8. Sackcloth fashion tips.
  9. Schedules for your church. Ashes schedule for Ash Wednesday (especially effective if added before the start of Lent!); Holy Week; Stations of the Cross; Penance/reconciliation services.
  10. Black History Month resources. Here’s how St. Charles does it.
  11. Blog through the daily readings or pick a book of Scripture, such as Vibrance in Ministry (and friends) did with Proverbs for an entire month.
  12. Suggestions for things to give up for Lent and let readers add to your list; or, on the flip side, suggetions for what to take on for Lent.
  13. RCIA convert stories. Or give an overview of the process and collect stories for next year.
  14. Instructions on how to go to confession to accompany the penance schedule of reconciliation service; add a personal reflection for bonus points.
  15. Bible mapping service that shows where your favorite passages take place on the map.
  16. Background on Lent.
  17. Palm (Pilot) Sunday. Promote the PDA version of your site. Here’s how to make a mobile-friendly website if you don’t already have one.
  18. Dramatic Washing of the Feet photos–if you can find some (or take some), they are sure to attract attention.
  19. Reflections on suffering, sacrifice or similar Lent-related themes.
  20. Online stations of the cross. Examples: Creighton University, a version for kids and Catholic Culture.
  21. Online prayer partners. Create a posting page for those who want a prayer partner for Lent
  22. Your local politicians’ contact info. Prompt your visitors to pick a justice-related topic to write in about during Lent.
  23. Take a break from Lent with a March Madness parody.
  24. Shrove Tuesday – explain how this is the day before Ash Wednesday; include a favorite pancake recipe.
  25. Advertise your volunteers list or newsletters. Help those looking to do more during Lent.
  26. AmericanCatholic content – this site has ideas for each liturgical season
  27. Make your own PHP e-cards for the season.
  28. Start optimizing your site for Easter — so the crowds can find you.
  29. Assemble your pastor’s best Lent homilies.
  30. Instructions for adding your church to your will, for those thinking of almsgiving beyond Lent. Here’s how the Diocese of Arlington describes the process.
  31. Reflections by schoolchildren of what Lent means to them.
  32. Online book club — read a Lent book and publish feedback.
  33. St. Patrick’s Day often is during Lent — provide links to St. Patrick and other Irish saints.
  34. Easter Resurrection Cookies recipe. Tape shut your oven door and see what happens.
  35. Online prayer tree — appropriate time to remind visitors if your church has one, or start one if you don’t.
  36. Interesting Bible sites, such as a Bible search engine or side-by-side comparisons.
  37. Promote Social Justice involvement at your church or in your community
  38. Operation Rice Bowl.
  39. Local resources for 12-step, self-help programs for those hoping to give up their addictions for more than the 40 days of Lent. AA meeting-finder.
  40. Basket blessings. You were good all Lent so you deserve more than a plain ol’ basket.

Since you’re thinking about how to help your readers on their Lenten journeys, what are you adding to your site for Lent?

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