When I decided to start this blog, my primary motive was to use it as a spot to edit many years of writing. For almost 20 years prior to this blog (and before blogs existed) I had written for newspapers and a number of other sources. When I started the blog, I had no vision of people visiting it or responding to it. When I began to receive a good bit of response, I was surprised and encouraged.
My blog (unlike many) rarely offers updates on my life. Occasionally (and only recently), I post personal information. The most popular blogs tend to work more on this level. My blog has provided resources for biblical study. Although I have offered connections to an increasing number of links to other resources (blogs), my primary goal has remained the same.
After a few years of blogging, I’ve written more than 700 posts and received over a quarter of a million visits. In the last year or so, I learned about offering subscriptions and I feel truly honored that more than a hundred people have chosen to receive updates from me. These people are from many different places around the world.
As a personal philosophy of ministry, I made it a goal many years ago to use every possible means for communicating the truth of the gospel to our community and the world. Gratefully, I’ve been able to fulfill this mission through daily and weekend radio programs, monthly columns for our Sunday News (and other papers outside of our area), extensive conference ministry, production of printed materials, audio resources and our Church web site.
Jesus’ words of identity and mission in Matthew 5:13-16 have been most influential in shaping the mandate for my life:
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
As I now look at the world of blogging, I am grateful to make it part of the Matthew 5 mission, but I find it a little overwhelming. The amount of available information is daunting. I still enjoy writing for public newspapers and receive a lot of feedback from my columns. I sense that the day of the newspaper is drawing to a close. It would be disappointing to me if this happened but perhaps this reflects my age and habit of reading my local paper with my coffee each morning.
Another battle I did not anticipate was the time hole of the blog world. I found myself easily drawn into theological discussions on other blogs (especially posts written by younger leaders who I felt should take some more time to grow in life and theological understanding). I soon realized that some of these engagements are not worth my time. I am now trying to be more selective about the ones I visit. I am troubled by how quickly some young leaders have assumed a voice of authority when they seem unprepared for it.
On another level, as a writer, the blog is a great outlet. I rarely go through a day without writing something. I am grateful to be able to spend the majority of my time reading, writing and speaking. But I have too many books in process (ones I am reading and writing). Staying focused is my big challenge– but this is a challenge for all who do pastoral ministry! Blessed (and not so blessed) distraction!
If you read this blog, even occasionally, I am grateful for your time. The fact that it reaches such a wide audience from so many nations is amazing! I am not sure about the future of blogging. Does it have a shelf life? I know that like most venues of technology, it comes with blessings and challenges. I am still learning how to make the most of the opportunity within the framework of the mission.