Is Blogging Ministry?

I have a BA in English, and most of my undergrad time I heard people say “stop reading about life and experience it”.  Fast forward a few years later, I have found myself as a blogger, and I have heard “go out and do ministry instead of just blogging about it”.  I also write and speak, so I also get the “stop writing and talking about it and go do it’.  This leads me to the question of the day, is blogging ministry?

I think the key is defining ministry. What constitutes ministry? Is blogging, writing, speaking or even preaching or teaching? Is it ministry if you do it volunteer, or if you get paid? Is ministry relative, does what is ministry for me constitute as ministry for you? It’s becomes a muddy bog pretty quick, and we begin to judge if we think others are doing ministry. Is this a good idea?

If you will humor me I want to share with you my thoughts on the ministry od blogging. Understand that as a writer, speaker and blogger, I am slightly bias. I absolutely believe blogging and tweeting and posting can all be ministry. It doesn’t mean it is always ministry but if it fits some qualifications.

Any writing or speaking ministry must have a point or purpose. I have a purpose that i’ll explain later. If you are writing something that has no purpose, don’t write it. The purposes that are ministry are pretty straight forward.

1. It should edify or encourage. I am seeking to edify other bloggers and encourage them to do likewise. It should be constructive, and give practical suggestions if there are issues. It should bring together ths body and support further ministry. I haven’t always done a great job at this, but I’m working on it.

2. It should teach. A blog should teach you something or at least remind you of something. We should be learning from each other, challenging each other and sharing lessons learned. We need to write and comment in a way that sharpens us. Don’t write dull or dulling blogs.

3. Correct and restore gently. I don’t mean to correct individuals but blogs can be used to perform the ministry of doctrinal correction. My theology has matured due in part to those who have opened the scripture in a blog and corrected my faulty thinking. In the areas we disagree and clash, either someone is wrong or everyone is wrong. We can’t all be right. We want to pretend we are all right but someone is wrong. We should be able to Biblically reason together. When we begin to accuse and name call and get nasty we kill ministry.

Bottom line is, you should help someone when you write and blog. I hope I have encouraged my fellow writers and taught a little and maybe pointed out some things to correct. I enjoy the community here at Voices and hope we serve one another in Christ by writing.

Comments

  1. says

    I’ve struggled with this some – whether this is a ministry or a distraction.

    I think blogging is like so many things – good if done well, problematic if done poorly.

    But for me, writing is a calling and a passion, so blogging is part of my ministry.

    • Frank L. says

      “”””or a distraction.””””

      I struggle with this and I don’t even do the heavy lifting on the blog.

  2. William Thornton says

    If you are thinking about quitting, ask for a raise.

    Blogging is a mixed bag. It can be a complete waste of time on some subjects where the same people have the same tedious back-and-forth arguments or it can be so important as to save a brother’s ‘real’ ministry as pastor or to get someone who is thinking of suicide to put his Bible down and go to the doctor.

    The child abuse/clergy scenario that CB posted is a good current example. I would be shocked if some contributors and lurkers did not learn some things that would help them in the future.

    Stetzer should get on this question: How many SBC pastors get most of their denominational infomation through blogs and bloggers?

    Keep up the good work.

    • Frank L. says

      “”” I would be shocked if some contributors and lurkers did not learn some things that would help them in the future.”””

      This is how I justify the time I spend here.

    • says

      For the first 89 or so comments, yep.

      The thing is, many times there are blog posts that fill in the need for “continuing education” experiences where we look at case studies or have to dig back into the study habits to really interact. Those are helpful.

  3. says

    I write because I enjoy writing. If God wants to do something in somebody else’s life, because of something I’ve written, then that’s up to him.

    He’s done that, on occasion, with what I’ve written. Consider this: I’d written a post about the daughter of a friend; the friend had died of cancer and I wrote about a picture of her, as she stood before the window of a cruise ship and looked out. I told the story of what our church and local citizens did for the family, and a minister wrote this in the comments:

    “Combine that with what the post is about and you have a father who will go home today and appreciate and love his family even more. ”

    I’d say that’s ministry. And that one comment is more than enough to keep me writing forever.

    • cb scott says

      I met Bob and Peg Cleveland on a Baptist Blog. That was near seven years ago now. This one thing is for sure, blogging opened for my family the opportunity for the Clevelands to minister to us. That, I know for sure.

  4. Donald R. Holmes says

    We have limited energy and time. I believe it is valid to think about results versus time/energy expended. I have been a church planting missionary. It is very easy to get really busy and call it ministry. One thing we are tempted to do is to start having formal church before the time is appropriate. Renting space, setting up chairs, sermon preparation, and all the other business (or busyness) that we call “ministry” takes up time that could be spent making ministry contacts, witnessing, growing leadership, meeting in informal small groups, individual counseling, etc…

    Is blogging ministry? It certainly can be. But, I think the real question is whether blogging is good stewardship of your time/energy and calling.

  5. says

    I believe the whole of a committed life is to be one of ministry. We are to seize every opportunity we have of doing good, while we can. Blogging for me is an opportunity to share Christ, to minister to others, to struggle with the theological and practical issues of ministry. One of the items I seriously promote more than any other is that of prayer for a Third Great Awakening, an awakening that would come to the whole earth, winning every soul on it, beginning in this generation, and continuing for a 1000 generations.

    As a result of my experiences with the matter, I have come to a new conclusion. I suspect that what did Spurgeon in was not the down grade constroversy so much as his praying for every soul on earth (Aug. 6 and Dec. 24). I know my sufferings have extended exponentially since I really began to pray for God’s Heavenly Presence to come down upon the whole earth with such power as to convert the souls of sinners. Talk about disappointments, struggles, closed doors, anguish and agony. It is like the whole of society rises up to eject one bent on such course of prayer.

  6. says

    Dan,

    I liked everything you said. I definitely think at the same time though that blogging fulfills a role for pastors/theologians beyond just ministry.

    Many great men kept diaries or notebooks of loose thoughts on passages and their time with the Lord. These were truly writing with only their heart and mind as the beneficiaries. Only after many years did the church get a hold of these writings and use them for edification. In a strange and deeply personal way, blogging has taken up that heritage and turned it into an immediate edification to the body.

    All that to say, I’m not sure blogging needs to be actively aware of who they are serving for it to be ministry. The simple putting down of these words, even if we go back to correct them, can have a medicinal affect for the authors and a profound impact for future readers.

  7. says

    Another thought fell into my brainspace, too. God promised to give us the desires our our hearts, if we’d simply delight in Him. I have to believe He gave me whatever desire I have to write stuff on blogs.

    When we’re pressed, we admit that some plant, some water, but God gives the increase. If God chooses something I wrote to minister to someone, that’s His decision. And if there’s comfort, encouraging, edification, or any sort of Spiritual profit for anybody, anywhere, that’s God’s doing. Not mine.

  8. says

    A friend told me today he was thinking about starting a blog and asked me to talk him out of it. I told him blogging is like a Michael Bay movie–it will suck away your time that you can never get back and steal your soul.

    :D

    That said… there is plenty of time wasting and soul stealing blog writing and blog debating, but done well it can be edifying and beneficial. Like a lot of other things in the world…

  9. says

    Ministry? Don’t know.

    Use of the skills He has poured out on me? Yes.

    As long as I strive to use His gifts for His glory, I’ll continue to write. Perhaps it isn’t ministry as much as it is obedience and worship.

Trackbacks

  1. […] about seminary, in seminary, and even to help those considering. Dan Barnes asks if “Blogging is Ministry?” over at SBC Voices. He gives a quick thought about three central practices for any blogger. […]