In my last post, I addressed the five monsters a Christian blog can turn you into. If you want to read that article, you can find it here: https://debdebbarak.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/5-people-you-dont-want-christian-blogging-to-turn-you-into/. Now I’d like to share the good news with you: it isn’t all bad. If taken too far, we can all get a bit carried away and egotistical, but Christian blogging also has the potential to do the complete opposite. Here are five good reasons why you should have a Christian blog:
#1: Blogging Opens Your Perspective – I’m sure by now you are all aware of the fact that when there is a theological issue at stake there are thousands of different ways to respond to it. You may always have just thought about the issue in one way. Maybe you are a hardened Calvinist or a naïve Arminian. Maybe you have always flocked to John Wimber or Martin Luther to fill all of your theological needs, yet now you suddenly find those needs being challenged. Now you are forced to confront issues of poverty and racism in new ways. You get the chance to read blogs from people who have really lived through abuse and violence. You get to read testimonies by former gang members. You are challenged to reconcile the various shades of Anabaptism – how on one hand someone says speaking in tongues is a necessary gift and on the other someone says Mennonites have nothing to do with the Charismatic movement (I know, sounds crazy, right?). When you blog, it opens the gateway to read other blogs by other people with other perspectives. I truly believe this helps make you a wiser and more mature disciple of Christ.
#2: Blogging is a Great Way to Network with Others – In that same vein, blogging also opens the doors for friendships to be forged. When I started blogging, I almost immediately joined a collective called the “MennoNerds.” This group of fine women and men have truly taught me so much about life and the Christian message. I have several people from our collective on Facebook and Twitter and it is an excellent way to keep up with each other. Even though I haven’t met most of these people face-to-face, I still rejoice with them in their daily victories and milestones. Being part of a collective also allows you the chance to become up-to-date with other happenings: for example, interesting Podcasts or upcoming conferences. It takes a bit more work to be part of a group like this, but it is a very special and meaningful community so I highly recommend if you have the time to join an online collective like this.
#3: Blogging Lets You Write on Topics You Never Would Have Considered Before – After I joined the MennoNerds we started having a few projects. Sometimes there is a certain issue that is currently in the news and media. We occasionally do Syncroblogs on those topics. In a Syncroblog, we all commit to writing an article or two for general circulation. This has caused me to think about many topics that I previously did not hold a vested interest in. Also, our Vlogging project is another good way to have conversations with the other MennoNerds. Even though I likely will never have a face-to-face discussion with some of them, through our Podcasts and Vlogs, we enter into dialogues, debates, and friendly banter. We address issues to each other and we get to hear how other vloggers feel about those same topics.
#4: Blogging is a Great Way for Your Voice to Be Heard – Ever since I was seven, I have always wanted to be a writer. I had my first article published in the Canadian Mennonite when I was 15, and ever since then I have counted it a victory whenever someone finds my ramblings good enough to replicate. However, in our current society it is quite difficult to get your name out there. Thankfully, if you truly feel like writing is your calling, online blogs can be a great way of making your name known. Now be careful here because you don’t want to become that egotistical maniac I spoke of in my first post; but within reason, you will suddenly find invites to write on other blogs, do book reviews, write for magazines and more. You may even have the opportunity to co-author a book with your fellow collective members such as I did with the “Living Alternative” book.
#5: Blogging Can Encourage Others – I count it a great blessing and encouragement when I hear back from others who have read my blog. Whenever I blog I try to remind myself why I am doing it. I always pray and ask God for the words and to make sure my heart is in the right place. I want all the glory to go to God – not to myself. Sometimes I feel God asking me to write on deeply challenging and somewhat personal issues. When this happens I like to resist Him, but ultimately I am reminded that He is the One who has given me the ability to write and therefore if my blog can impact even one person then it is totally worth it. When someone writes to tell me that my blog helped them overcome a difficulty or challenged their way of thinking, I am humbly touched. It’s what I like to hear – not because it gives me an ego rush, but because it reminds me that God is in control of all areas of my life (including the blogosphere) and that His Will is being done. In the same way as He constantly shapes and refines me, He is also working in the lives of those who read my blogs. Which is completely incredible.
Having a blog can be one of the greatest ways to express yourself. It has its challenges, but if you are committed to writing, you will soon find that the blessings make it completely worthwhile. Thank you for your faithful readership to Z&P over the years and I pray that it continues to be a ministry to you. Thank you also for ministering to me with your kind words, curious questions, and insightful responses.