With the umtillion blogs in existence, many by pastors or Christian leaders, I thought it would be helpful to express why I decided to start a blog.
1. Self publication for a micro community, like a local church, is a helpful forum for communication and teaching. Writing can be self serving or self glorifying even if aimed at a national or international audience. But, publications like newsletters, personal notes, sermons, and blogs are ways for a pastor to communicate and teach the local congregation. I would hope that with the talent in this church, we use our resources to write, whether broadly published or not, for the good of our local community. Blogs are one way to do that.
2. What cannot be put in a sermon can be talked about later in a blog post. Most of what I find in a sermon prep cannot make its way into the pulpit. Some of you might be wishing I cut even more (wink). But, often that material left out is still important, sometimes riveting. From time to time I will blog about that insight or detail or theological drama in a post.
3. Blogs can express a wider spectrum of insights and teaching. Sermons have range, but not as much as blogs. I am still getting used to using visuals. My jury is still out on what I think about it. My goal right now is to adjust myself to the current patterns but time and more relationship and prayer will uncover how I will use visuals in the longterm during sermons. I have no moral problem with visuals, but developing oral listening skills is only helpful. But, I digress. Back to the point. However, I feel very comfortable with using blogs to show videos, visual art, audio, and other media that convey gospel truth. Blogs can also just be humorous and fun.
4. Blogs connect a congregation to other sources of teaching or insight. I will use some posts to link you to other blogs or sites that I find edifying and/or important. Perhaps another pastor or author has considered an issue, reviewed a book or movement, taught on a Biblical truth, or interviewed a Christian leader in a way I simply want to point to. This will also allow you to see some of my conversation partners.
5. It will allow you a more personal view into my life. Sermons should definitely have a measure of autobiography. A congregation that hears how the gospel is shaping their pastor can be very powerful. However, there is the constant danger that sermons can be expositions of the pastors life, rather than the text. I will definitely use personal stories to illustrate, but I am going to be careful at the same time. Blogs, by their nature, are a bit more handy when it comes to using one’s personal life, interiority, and story to give testimony to God’s grace or to make a spiritual point. Hopefully Jesus is still the one who gets the glory, and yet you get a window into my life as well.