Of all the topics I’m going to address in this series, this seems to be the no-brainer to me. I started blogging about 4 years ago at the encouragement of one of my students at the time, Jared Kleier. He set up a blog for me on our college website and away we went, though it wasn’t quite that easy. I remember writing and deleting one post after another because I had never experienced writing something for immediate consumption by the public.
All it took was some encouragement from others, and a few links from other bloggers, and then the blogging bug just seemed to take over.
Lots of people have various reasons for why those in ministry should blog. Mark Roberts has 18 Thesis’ for why pastors should blog. You can view his Powerpoint Presentation, Pastors as Blogger, at GodblogCon 2007.
There are a lot of reasons why I think those involved in college ministry should blog, so let me give you just 11 (yeah 11) that come to mind and that I have found helpful reasons for blogging:
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: A blog is simply in many ways about communication. When you blog, you communicate to others on a variety of topics.
- Reiterate the Mission: When you blog, you can continually communicate, and therefore, one of the important pieces of communication is to continually reiterate and blog about the mission of the ministry. It’s a good way to remind students and keep everyone accountable, focused, and on task.
- Encouragement: A blog is a great way to encourage those in your ministry, whether it be other staff, leaders or the congregants. Devotionals, posts of encouragement, thank yous, and recognizing others are just some forms.
- Sermon Interaction: Sermons are typically one way communicative patterns (pastor to congregation), and rarely ever interactive. Posting blogs related to your sermon (i.e. notes, reflections, resources, etc.), allows for more interaction among those in your ministry. This interaction can come in the form of Q & A, debate, dialogue, correction, arguments, encouragement, etc. In the end it provides great accountability and interaction between the speaker and listeners.
- Engagement with the Culture: When you blog you are automatically thrust into an online world that you possibly never knew existed. You will be exposed to many different ideas, theologies, ministries, pastors, etc., often leaving you wanting to engage with others and their ideas. This engagement helps sharpen your own thinking, and keeps you from being isolated in your own little bubble each week as you prepare your sermon, mentor students and perform administrative tasks.
- Improve Writing Skills: I can’t think of a better exercise in writing than blogging. A pastor is usually responsible for a sermon 3-4 times a month, and this is often a long, drawn out process. Blogging will improve your writing efficiency, which will help the process of writing a sermon. Some pastors have the luxury of 30-40 hours a week to write a sermon, while others may have only 5-10 hours. Blogging will help both, especially those who have less time and are responsible for other ministerial tasks besides preaching.
- Network with Others: Blogging will help you engage with multiple networks that exist on the internet. A pastor can network with those in the surrounding community; those in the same denomination across the country; those with the same theological/ministry leanings, etc. These networks help a pastor expand your vision and will help you create friendships in ministry.
- Interactivity with Students: Blogging is a great way for pastors and students to interact with each other. A pastor may have limited time in person, but that time is greatly expanded when it can be carried online. A blogging presence allows easy access between the pastor and students, and creates an open and vulnerable platform in the ministry for that interaction to take place.
- Reach Outside Your Ministry’s Walls: When you blog you are instantly reaching beyond the borders of your ministry and engaging those outside. This keeps a ministry healthy, vibrant, and protects it from being isolated and self-absorbed.
- Have Fun: A blog should ultimately be fun. If you don’t enjoy blogging, then it will never last. You may be able to blog for a few weeks, maybe even several months, but it won’t last in the long haul. So keep your blogging fun. Engage students on fun and interesting topics such as movies, music, dating, theology, travel, etc.
- Provides Opportunities: A blog may ultimately open up other doors for you and provide new and exciting opportunities. You may be asked to speak at a workshop, write an article, or present a topic to your staff. It’s a great endeavor for creating new opportunities in a ministry, and keep you from getting stale or bored.
What do you think? Did I miss some reasons? What would you add or take away?
Over the next few weeks I will post on the following:
Formulating an Online Strategy for College Ministry
- Part 1–Simplicity, Flexibility, Cost and Speed.
- Part 2–The Purpose of Your Website
- Part 3–Why You Should Be Blogging
- Part 4–Using Facebook Effectively
- Part 5–How Twitter Can Catalyze Your Ministry
- Part 6–Using Social Network Platforms as Your Central Hub
- Part 7–Flickr, YouTube and Other Forms of Sharing and Streaming
- Part 8–Ministry Collaboration Using Wikis
- Part 9–Opening Up Your Ministry’s API