The time is ripe for bloggers in the Kingdom of God. Bloggers are modern day scribes. Jesus foretold of this day when He said that He would be sending prophets, wise men, and scribes in the end times (link). Some want to jump into the blogging bandwagon, fascinated by the hype surrounding blogging but knowing little of what the reality entails. Others do not even know what a blog is. Still others insist on ignoring a tool that has the potential to reach millions in today’s wired generation. What should you do? In the light of the potential that blogging has for your ministry, read up, think through, pray, and go for it!
What is a blog?
A blog (from web-log) is an online diary of sorts where the author (called blogger) posts daily articles (called posts) and where readers can often post their comments on these posts and in a very real sense enter the “conversation”. This concept is revolutionary, as most previous forms of “marketing”, including traditional websites (nowadays increasingly referred to as static websites) only offer a one-way flow of communication – from the author to the reader. Blogs are totally different as interaction and input from the reader is crucial and actually helps develop and mature your topic online. Readers and contributors of your blog become champions of your ideas, spreading (read evangelizing) your circle of influence far and wide as the more comments you get the more search engines on the Internet pick up your blog as a key resource on the topic being discussed. It is this pull method of marketing (The user pulling the message out) that becomes viral infecting others that in turn become carriers of your message. The traditional push method of marketing is old ways for old days.
Why should I blog?
Blogs are awesome tools for recording what God is doing through your ministry, church, or organization. The format of a blog helps, as posts appear in reverse chronological order therefore the newest posts are always at the top of the page and the oldest posts at the bottom. This format makes for a timeline in which you can chronicle a journey that highlights your adventures with God, life, and people. You can look back after several months and see how the Lord plans and directs everything.
With this technology, it is the writer’s hour. With a blog youcan literally impact millions whilst sitting at Starbucks with your laptop and a latte. I am convinced that the Apostle Paul would have been a blogger, writing his letters and imparting his revelation around the world during the course of his travels. Blogs allow for conversations with brilliant generals and commanders in God’s army – what an impartation tool! I am frankly at a loss as to why more ministries and churches are not blogging.
Learn in order to write – write in order to learn. By putting down yourthoughts into an article and publishing it, you are forcing yourself to really condense and focus your thinking. It is in actually putting your feelings into words that you refine what is in your heart. I have found that a lot of what I blog about I end up using behind the pulpit including illustrations, points I have made etc. In that sense my blog has become something of a petri-dish – a place where I put stuff out there and cultivate thoughts leading to some stuff growing on it. Hopefully not all has been fungus and some worthwhile points have been gleaned from this process.
At the end of the day, I read a lot of blogs, gaining learning from the insights and experiences of of others, I then distill and churn all of this through my blog and the result is that I have used my learning in order to write, and I have used my writing in order to learn some more.
How much will this cost me?
Blogging has zero start-up costs. You can literally setup a free blog at Blogger or WordPress in order to start blogging and once you get with it you can transfer the blog to a fancy website address (Called a domain) along the lines of yourname.com or yourtopic.com, you get the picture. The investment you have to make is not monetary, but it is costly.
Time investment. With all this talk of reaching billions with your message, I do not want in any way to anaesthetise you to the real costs involved in blogging. A serious blogger, aiming to build a serious readership
around their blog, will be looking at investing a respectable amount of time every day to blogging. Blogging involves writing, reading, research, and other background administrative tasks related to developing maintaining and
enhancing your blog. I normally spend around one hour a day doing some of these blogging tasks, and I post around one post every other day.
You will need to start developing ideas for articles/posts and researching these. Then write, write and write some more. When you have these articles down, do not forget to read, read, and read some more. Read other blogs, comment on them, join the blog conversations around the “blogosphere“. When people leave comments on your blog, reply to them as a comment too – acknowledge their input, build relationships with them, maybe even emailing them some information or follow-up to what they wrote. Take an interest and active participation in grooming and developing the readership of your blog, and your audience will grow.
Blogging is hard but extremely rewarding. There are technical hurdles to jump – any blogger will need to develop a relatively good grasp of tweaking their website design etc. However don’t let technical limitations hold you
back – you could always delegate the techie stuff to a keen youngster or capable family member. The bottom line is that blogging though time intensive has the potential to broadcast your message to the world. Ask yourself not therefore whether you can afford to blog, ask yourself whether you can afford not to.
The Blogging Church – This book is an indispensable resource for those
thinking about blogging.
A Glimpse Behind the Scenes of Successful Blogs – a more advanced blog
post regarding blogging and its related activities
- The Nine Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers – along the same lines.