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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Why Every Pastor Should Blog

Blogger David Posthuma has some great thoughts at his "Clay Feet Expressions" blog on why every pastor should be a blogger.  David writes:

As I speak around the country and conduct ministry workshops, the #1 question I encounter is “What Is a Blog”?  Blogs have totally transformed the internet.  In fact, if you poll the young adults within your ministry and ask them which would option they would prefer to view…a website or a blog…you would likely find that nearly 100% would respond that they prefer blogs.  You would also likely find that many of your young adults already have their own blog.  So what makes a blog so special that I would suggest that every pastor ought to have one?

You Are Reading a Blog

To better understand what a blog is and how it functions, take a moment and look at this newsletter…for if you are reading this article, you are visiting a blog.  Unlike a website, a blog is an excellent platform for writing articles, devotions, and Bible studies.  Blogs can also be highly personal, reflecting the thoughts and heart of the blog author.  For pastors and staff who seek to inform, educate and inspire their people, a blog is the perfect communication platform…especially if you desire to attract and communicate with young adults who are the very future of Christ’s Church within this world.

The Perfect Communication Platform

So what are the traits of a blog that make it so perfect for pastors?

  • Blogs are easy to update.  In fact, you should try to post a new article at least once a week…it only takes a few minutes.

  • Blogs are interactive.  People can post comments to your articles by selecting the “Comments” link that displays at the end of your article posting.  While websites are a monologue, blogs permit a basic dialogue to exist.  Postmodern ministry is all about interactive relationships, and a blog is one way to have a more interactive communication process.

  • Blogs can be broadcast. It is crucial to understand that unlike a typical website, a blog has the capacity to be broadcast to people’s personal computers.  On a typical blog you will find a small icon that will state RSS or XML.  These icons communicate that the blog has the capacity to be syndicated and broadcast…an analogy you might relate to would be the Associated Press (AP)…it is syndicated and broadcast to all other news agencies.  In the same way, through the use of a “News Reader” loaded on one’s computer (many News Readers are free), people can have a customized newspaper on their desktop.  They simply point their News Reader to the blogs they prefer, and whenever a new post is made to their preferred blogs, the posting immediately displays on their desktop.  To download a free News Reader, click here.  In a similar fashion, more advanced blogs and News Readers can broadcast MP3 audio files…you may have heard this form of broadcast called “Podcasting”…named so because of the ability of the IPOD MP3 player to be able to instantly download audio files from a multimedia blog. 

  • Blogs can be linked.  Through the use of standard links, permalinks and referrals, other blog and websites can link to your blog generally, or to specific articles within your blog.  Blogs archive all article entries, so links to specific articles are never lost.

By encouraging your people to download a free News Reader, and pointing that reader to your pastoral blog, you will find that you can have direct interactive communication with your ministry base.  In particular, you will have a communication platform that the young adults your ministry so desperately needs to reach, will value and respect.  Alternatively, you may also create an email newsletter jump-page that will direct the people within your database to specific articles within your ministry blog.

So... pastor (or church staff member)... have you considered starting your own blog?  It's really pretty easy and has so many benefits to your church, church body, and even your community.  Let's start a discussion here today.  Are you currently blogging? (If so, give us your URL).  Are you considering starting a blog?  What questions do you have?  (Or... maybe you know that you'll NEVER start a blog... tell us why!)

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July 5, 2005 in Blogging How-Tos | Permalink

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Comments

I agree with you about the benefits of blogging. For those of us who need to know the very real basics of how to get going on setting up a Blog site, can anybody provide some (simple) directions? Many thanks in advance!

Posted by: Peter M | Jul 5, 2005 3:39:42 PM

I agree, every Pastor should start a blog. I started a week and a half ago, and I've already had 1,000 pages view. I've received numerous emails, and have even found my blog list on other people's blogs, whom I don't even know. My friends seriously consider, taking this step of faith.

Thanks for the insite,

-mark

Posted by: Mark Rodriguez | Jul 5, 2005 6:00:44 PM

GREAT IDEA - I plan to learn a little more and start a blog - may the first church based in my ministry area. Thanks for the help!!!

Posted by: Cliff | Jul 7, 2005 1:20:57 AM

Blogging is a great way to stay connected and build relationships with and between people of the same faith community. I highly recommend it. Plus it's so FUN!

Posted by: Jan Bros | Jul 7, 2005 2:15:37 PM

Every pastor should blog... about what?

To blog thoughtfully and well takes hours. To blog derivatively (repeating what's already out there on dozens of other blogs) is easy and certainly not evil, but also not a good use of a pastor's time. The last thing we need is to burden pastors with more obligations.

But this isn't intended as a smart-aleck question. I'd be interested in others' answers.

I'd start with this: how about an online discussion forum (blogging with comments) on the current sermon topic? (The same could be done with a bulletin board/forum, but blogging technology seems to be easier. No password required like Yahoo! groups; no offensive ads, etc.)

That would use the pastor's time and study for a dual purpose. And church members' learning would be tremendously increased if they interacted with the material instead of just listening to a sermon.

Posted by: Tom Gilson | Jul 8, 2005 4:59:08 PM

It sounds like good idea, but a simple survey of the average pastor may reveal that the average pastor is less than computer proficient. Computer education may need to be heightened before one launches into blogging.

Posted by: Tom | Jul 18, 2005 3:08:59 PM

I have been using my youth blog since we moved into our new building here at Anchor. My parents tell me that it is a great way to stay connected with what is happening with their youth when all they can get out of them when asked about youth group is "Yeah, it was o.k." This is a great way to also connect our very busy youth to what is happening in our class when they have to miss for whatever reason. There are many different applications but I am definitely on the Blog wagon! Kick it up pastors and take a look at the future of connecting better with your congregation!

Posted by: Devin Didier | Jul 19, 2005 1:58:58 PM

Hey, I am an assistant pastor. I have been blogging for over a year now. It's great. I have picked up a lot of readers, and it has also sparked a lot of new friendships around the country.

I am forever grateful for this technology!

Posted by: Jeff Richard | Sep 22, 2006 12:00:16 PM

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