Reflections on Blogging (4 months later)

I meant to type this up a month ago and here I am.  This is a good time to pause, however, and reflect as my first blog post on this blog was exactly four months ago (April 3rd).  Here are some reflections on blogging – the blessings and the dangers (as I perceive them in particular relationship to my context & calling).  My intent is to write about my own self, rather than make blanket statements about blogging as a whole.

Blessings

  • Writing & Communication:  As a pastor, one of my main jobs is communication of God’s Truth in a variety of ways and contexts.  So, one of my main desires with this blog is to work on improving my writing and communication skills.  I want to be a good and strong communicator, whether I am writing a blog post, preaching a sermon, or sharing the Gospel with someone for the first time.   Obviously, blogging is not the be all and end all of the task of communication and is limited by its very nature, however, I do believe it can help.
  • Overflow & Bits:  This blog is also a place where I can share small thoughts or bits of things that are crossing my mind.  In some cases, this may be a place where I can work those things out in my mind, even if they never actually make it into an actual post (there have been several thoughts).
  • Repository of Thoughts: I have never been particularly good at journaling, but I find this blog can serve as a journal of sorts. Already, I have been able to use a blog post to help me with a task and I believe that it will also help me when I am struggling to remember my thoughts or impressions of a book I read or a movie I saw.
  • Interaction:  Through the comments, I can get feedback and interact with old friends, new friends, and even strangers.  Comments help the conversation from being solely one-sided, although there is a danger which I will share below.  Anyway, it’s fun to hear the thoughts of my readers, especially the regular variety – all three of you 8).
  • Recommendations:  This is a great place to make recommendations about the good things that you can utilize on these internets and otherwise.  That said, I do like to make clear that I don’t always recommend the media (especially movies) I consume for everyone – discernment must be exercised individually.
  • Fun: Some things are just for fun – God created all good things.  I love to laugh, have fun, and share with others the things that delight me.  This is often where my children come in.

Dangers

  • Writing & Communication:  If my main goal is to improve my communication skills, then there is a danger in how & what I communicate.  I am especially concerned about this as a pastor and am very clearly representing Christ here in “blogdom.”  Though most readers know me and can forgive a flub or read in such a way that my “voice” is heard, there are others who have no such context.  So, in short, I am very concerned that I honor Christ through my blogging/writing and that I represent Him well to all, regardless of religious conviction.  Recently, a good friend brought to my attention something that concerned him about something I had written and he was right and I appreciated that he did bring it to my attention.
  • Ego-trips & Pity-parties:  Another danger is making too much of the blog and the attention it does or doesn’t get.  On one hand, I could view myself as special if I get a lot of readers.  On the other hand, I could be down on myself if I don’t.  Both is pride and could undercut the stated blessings/goals above.  My goal has to be that this blog is another expression of my calling to shepherd God’s people and proclaim the good news, rather than building some blog empire for myself (not that I think would happen).  I think you get the point.
  • Comments:  Similarly, I can’t view the success of this venture on the number of comments, though they are desired and appreciated.  And there is a danger that someone, particularly unbeknownst to me, would try to promote an agenda through the comments.  I can only think of one occassion where this seems to be the case (I can delete comments, but I decided to gently responded in this particular instance).
  • Priorities: Because I try to post regularly, there is a danger that I would put blogging in a higher place of priority in my life than it really deserves.  This means that I need to think about when I blog, how long it takes, and how it fits into my other responsibilities.

Just for fun – here are a few stats for these four months of blogging:

  • 136 posts (this includes a few grandfathered in from my first ill-fated blog)
  • 183 comments (includes a few pingbacks and my own comments responding to others)
  • 4 pages
  • 2,380 hits (as of writing)
  • 19 categories
  • 108 tags
  • Worldwide Audience (or at least some good friends in Germany!)
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5 responses to this post.

  1. Good work, Adam, I like your reflections. I’ve struggled and thought about many of the same thoughts. Were you going to post a separate “dangers” post? I only saw the blessings and stats…

    Reply

  2. Posted by adamtisdale on August 4, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Thanks Joel. I took out the page break – it might have been causing the post act funky. Not sure exactly. So, keep reading!

    Reply

  3. Adam,I really appreciate what you have said here. You have done a great job both stating many of the things I have been thinking about and addressing the pros and cons of blogging for pastors. I would say that my problem with prioritizing is that I don’t write enough. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Reply

  4. Posted by adamtisdale on August 7, 2008 at 9:50 am

    Thanks for the feedback Omar. The thing that has helped me the most with writing has been “blogging the book”. Every quarter, at church, I highlight a book that I think people should be reading. When I started this blog I decided to post my reflections on what these books. This has had two great benefits: material for the blog and deeper reflection on what I am reading.

    Reply

  5. […] Misc. | Tags: blogging, reflections, review |   At  the 4 month mark of blogging, I posted my reflections on blogging (I started blogging in April)  At that time, I gave some stats on the blog and thought I would do […]

    Reply

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