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Thursday, May 04, 2006

More Reasons Pastors Should Blog

[from Spare Change]  Online journals, or weblogs (“blogs”), are a dynamically growing phenomenon on the Internet. Individuals, businesses, and even churches are daily starting blogs to communicate with family, friends, partners, or a targeted audience.

Many pastors have recognized that a blog is not just a digital journal, but a useful tool for the ministry of leading the local church. Here are some reasons a pastor should consider starting his own weblog:

  • To Communicate Sermons. A few days after a sermon is preached, a pastor can post the text on his blog for homebound church members, or for folks who weren’t able to be a part of worship. This also provides a text archive for messages that can be a useful resource for both the pastor and the congregation later.
  • To Share Vision. As the Lord reveals his plan for the church, the pastor can communicate that vision through a blog. Details on plans for growth, new classes or new opportunities can be detailed in a series of entries.
  • To Develop Community. Many blogging formats allow for comments, where readers can provide feedback to the content posted. This feature creates a system of discussion where biblical conversations can occur and relationships are built.
  • To Teach Doctrine or Theology. One good way to impart Baptist and biblical distinctives is by offering a series of posts on relevant doctrines. Some blogging software offers “plug-ins” (free software additions to automate otherwise-difficult Internet code) that inserts links to biblical verses that support doctrinal positions. This makes a Bible study interactive and engaging.
  • To Offer Social Commentary. Every day, events near and far allow for opportunities for the pastor to provide commentary and filtered understanding which promotes a biblical worldview. A basic understanding of how to link up with online news sources can allow a pastor to connect his congregation with the world’s events and God’s timeless truth. This helps people understand that God’s Word is relevant for every life circumstance.
  • To Inform the Congregation about Events. Using a blog to comment about upcoming scheduled events, including information about what is needed for the event, will help increase the awareness about the opportunities and activities on the church calendar, and will communicate a pastor’s personal interest in the activity.
  • To Break Down “The Fourth Wall.” For many people, they view the pastor the same way they’d watch a television program. The pastor is a “larger than life” personality with whom they only interact with a handshake on the way out of a sanctuary. A pastor who blogs about his family, or about the real challenges and humor of every day life demonstrates himself to be approachable, likable, and even pleasant.

I think blogging has revealed itself to be an emergent form of intepersonal communication where a sense of community can be further developed. While for a small number the blog has become the message, for the majority it has proven to be a merely another media for it. Rather than pining for a blog to be something more or other than what it is, a smart pastor is one who recognizes that a blog has the capacity to be an effective tool that communicates apologetics, polemics, doctrine, vision, theology, conversation, and perhaps most important, approachability.

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May 4, 2006 in Blogging How-Tos | Permalink

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» More Reasons Pastors Should Blog from dcypl: blog
I've been enjoying a number of "new" blogs recently, while trying to gain a grasp on the most efficient way for me to read all the feeds I can. One of them has been Todd Rhoades' Monday Morning Insight. Here's a post that typifies the content he's prov... [Read More]

Tracked on May 5, 2006 6:30:14 AM

Comments

* So they can be the first one to comment on an MMI issue that is being ignored in the face of a raging debate over polyester vs cashmere or camel hair... IT'S THURSDAY, BUT FRIDAY'S A-COMIN'!

Posted by: Jeff | May 4, 2006 2:54:54 PM

The only reason, outside of my technical ignorance, that I would be hesitiant to create a blog is the time it would take. Now I spend about 45 mintues a day lookintg around at blogs - no it's more like an hour. Oh boy if I had a blog imagine the time. Todd how much time does it take you on average?

Posted by: Kent | May 4, 2006 3:44:08 PM

Right now about 10 hours a day (I'm revamping and getting ready to relaunch MMI with a whole new design). Other than that, a normal blog with one entry a day might take you 15 minutes or so if you're a good typist.

I know alot of people use blogger; but I also recommend typepad, which I've used since the beginning. Don't let the technology scare you, it's not rocket surgery.

:)

Todd

Posted by: Todd Rhoades | May 4, 2006 3:47:06 PM

I hesitated to start blogging because, for one, I thought it would replace my personal journaling. Instead it has enhanced it. I think all the points are absolutely correct.

With one exception!

The people in your congregation have to understand that some of your thinking may still be in progress. And, you have to be able to be transparent.

Posted by: eric | May 4, 2006 5:24:08 PM

Todd,

What would you recommend to start a blog?

Do you have to get written permission to post articles or do you just need to provide a link?

What does it cost to use an existing domain on typepad or blogger?

What's your ten step to blogging...

Posted by: BeHim | May 5, 2006 2:34:03 AM

I would recommend either Blogger.com (google's blogging platform -- it's free); or typepad.com (it starts at about $4.95 a month). Typepad has more features, but also costs.

You need to provide a link to anything you use, and be gracious to source anything you post.

With blogger and typepad, you don't need to have a domain to start. You can get one from a place like namebargain.com for about 9 bucks a year.

So, all in all, it's not that expensive to start out; and it's not real technically difficult either. You have to be at least a somewhat good writer, and have something worthy to say, and, of course, someone out there that wants to read what you write.

Check the blogging category here for some additional points and resources on how to start your blog. Or you can always google for more information. There's a lot of information out there.

Todd

Posted by: Todd Rhoades | May 5, 2006 7:58:06 AM

Todd, you did it! Gave me a new catch phrase... "It's not rocket surgery!" Wonderful, I'll let you know how others react to that one. J

Posted by: Jay Gainer | May 5, 2006 10:38:12 AM

...

Posted by: Jay Gainer | May 5, 2006 12:00:23 PM

Todd
Thanks for sharing that information...I now have a way to get it done...look for news to come...especially regarding church healt, revitalization, small church mission and ministry...WOW!

Posted by: Wayne Cook | May 8, 2006 2:16:46 PM

I just started blogging in the last week. I have never been one to be talkative or even very open about personal life. But there is something about this medium that makes it fun and easy to share my heart and mind --- my life. The immediate motivation was a need for a outlet to give catharsis in a difficult week.

Posted by: Phill | May 17, 2006 12:04:07 PM

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