I have been pondering two things – the magic formula for a great blog post and what it “is” that motivates people to write them. I have read other blog posts : I have fumed and laughed and sat open mouthed, I have had my head in my hands and massaged my temples, I have been amazed and puzzled, I have glazed over, enjoyed, ignored, chuckled, nodded knowingly (even though it is just me sitting here) . . . and I have made my notes – so, here are 6 reasons to write a ministry blog.
1. Have something to say. I know this sounds obvious, but in reading through blogs I have noticed that some bloggers are experts at reporting what others are saying – so, literally a blog post that curates what others have said about something . . . now, on the one hand that is helpful, but – I also read a blog because I want a bit of bite, a bit of opinion – even if I don’t agree with it. An angle please, something to make me think, a nugget of wisdom, a perspective that is missing . . . It’s like the discipleship equivalent of the conversation Jesus has with his disciples “Who do you say I am?” . . . well, Jesus, “some say this and some say that” . . . yes, but what do YOU say?
2. Have something to say that is different from what everyone else is saying. OK, this kind of builds on that first one – but, I did get fed up a few weeks ago with blog after blog after blog talking about the same subject . . . there are topics that are popular, there are ministry blogs that drop in “names” of people more often than they mention the name above all names . . . you know, Jesus. Please, don’t join in – because there are prolific bloggers out there, by the time most of us are aware of the tending blog topic it has been done to death.
3. You do have something to say. Everyone in ministry has something to say that can build up, encourage and inspire everyone else. There is NO, I repeat NO, hierarchy in blogging or preaching or teaching or ministry of any description. There isn’t. You may have NEVER blogged before, you may be just an avid reader of what others are churning out . . . but, please, write something! This is ministry we are talking about – there isn’t a super Holy Spirit who indwells special people and the rest of us just splash about in the shallows watching the big kids ride the waves . . . there used to be a hierarchy of sorts, but Jesus did away with that in a number of ways – first, who he called to follow Him and ultimately kick off the church – be serious, would they get noticed today? Be given a shot? Have a chance? A bunch of nobodies from a backwater like Galilee? No chance. Secondly, the curtain in the temple was torn in two – I don’t see this preached on often enough – cause it kind of says something about priesthood and man oh man, do we still love (feel the massive need) to have our senior pastors, priests, vicars, church leaders . . . and, we still put them in a special separate place of “ministry” from the rest of us . . . there are roles, there are functions, there are callings, but no hierarchy. BRING what God is giving you for the wider church and please share it with us . . . you don’t need a readership in the thousands before you put finger to keypad – just an urge, and inkling, that (sometimes uncomfortable) sense that “this needs to be said” . . . you know that passage in Joel, “in those days I will pour out my Spirit (Joel 2) repeated by Peter in Acts 2 . . . “all people” – that includes you, so write please – bring you prophesy, dream your dreams, share your visions (young and old this is, there is no age limit with God). So, please – you have something to say . . . BRING it.
4. You can concentrate for a bit and finish something. OK, this one is important . . . I have sometimes seen blog posts that – well, they start well and I can see how passionate the author is, but then they either fade away towards the end or – literally – finish with something like, “and then SAY THIS, blah, blah, blah . . . ” Now, what I think might have happened here (giving them the benefit of the doubt) is that they have accidentally posted a draft post. They haven’t noticed, they were dragged away for some urgent ministry business or something and just didn’t the post finished . . . and somehow they posted it anyway. Or, they are on a crazy treadmill of trying to keep up with others who are blogging and being a bit stressed about it, they have scanned what they have written and hit “publish”. I have done this, I am sure I have posts out there that literally just . . . .
5. You can say what you have to say without being rude. When our argument is not strong, or our reasons for writing something in the first place are being fuelled by nothing more than outrage we can descend into being rude. Can we build up with what we contribute? It is quite possible you could trawl through stuff I have written in the past and find me slipping into this . . . but, really, in ministry there are some things that we wouldn’t say if preaching or teaching, wouldn’t articulate if we were writing a book that was going to be published . . . but somehow we can miss the fact that we are going to finish something we are writing in a blog and then do exactly the same thing – hit “publish”. It doesn’t matter whether you actually get paid for people to visit your blog (you have ads all over it because you daily have thousands of visitors) or your blog is read by your mother and pretty much that is it. What would you be happy for your mother to read?
6. You can think of 6 things to say about the thing you want to say. Right, this is slightly facetious – but, it is helpful to have a hook or something that draws people in. It is your “letting people know” thing. We can sometimes be embarrassed or falsely humble about stuff are doing or writing . . . but, presentation is pretty important. It is part of valuing what you are bringing, what you have to say, don’t apologise for it – think of a reason why it should be read, be noticed, be on the radar of others – what is your particular audience? Who will benefit from reading it? People like lists . . . can you think of 6 things (pretty popular at the moment), can you find a great image that compliments your words?
If these are helpful thoughts – then that is great, if you are reading this and thinking – 6 things . . . ? I can think of a dozen MORE. Please, write it – I look forward to your comment that directs me to your blog 😉