This article was originally posted at my site. Only some of my articles are posted on SBC Voices. If you would like access to all of my articles, you can follow my feed here. You can also connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
1. You’re not as good as people say you are. I heard Adrian Rogers say one time, “compliments are like perfume, you can smell them, just don’t drink them.”
2. You’re not as bad as people say you are. I imagine that criticism is like perfume as well, smell it, see if there’s any validity, repent if needed, just don’t drink it.
3. You will never please everyone. It seems that on almost every post, I encourage someone while discouraging someone else. The bottom line is that everyone is different; and readers bring everything about them: their vocabulary, personal history, failures, triumphs, theology, emotions, etc. to the article with them. You cannot change someone’s presuppositions or life experiences. If someone has a preconveived view of you or the subject you’re discussing, then you can do little to change his or her view, because the sad reality is that there are few honest readers in the world today; and the Christian world may be even worse. Everyone is concerned with “what does this article mean to me” instead of what the article meant to you, the author. Honest readers care about authorial intent alone; however, good writers try to know their audience enough to write clearly so there will be little question about what is meant (I fail at this often).
4. You’ll develop tougher skin. The more I write, the more I realize that those who I strongly care about aren’t concerned much about my writings. It’s the people that I’ve never met that seem to benefit the most. Occasionally I’ll receive a compliment from someone I know personally; but, most of my compliments come from other corners of the Internet. Unfortunately, I’m an oddball in the immediate ministry circles I associate with, and the circles I’ve associated with my entire life. I’m also an oddball in my family. For the record, I don’t receive negative comments either; these people that I’m close with just don’t read what I write. In this area, my reality may not be your reality.
5. Your thoughts about certain issues are needed. Almost monthly, I get an email from a pastor asking advice about a specific issue or situation I have written about. Why are they coming to me? I suppose because they need someone anonymous to talk with. Pastors are often lonely people because they don’t want to burden their families, they don’t want to disappoint the “super-Christian” perception their church has of them, and they don’t trust the other pastors in their area enough to talk with them. This reality is sad, but is often true. If for this reason alone, biblical voices are needed in the blogosphere.
6. It’s ok to be an “oddball” in the blogosphere. The roots that I have in rural Church of God of Prophecy life and SBC life are starkly different than the Southern Baptist Pastor I am today. I am a weirdo everywhere I go, everywhere I serve. Plus, I’m young; which is a double-whammy in sbc life. I don’t know how many conversations I’ve had with older pastors that didn’t care one iota about my thoughts, but they sure thought I needed to hear what they thought. Of course, I do need to hear their thoughts, but they need to hear mine as well. What I’m saying is this: few pastors that are older than me view me as a peer, even though I’ve been in ministry for almost 11 years now. I hope this isn’t the experience of other young pastors in the sbc; but, it’s unfortunately been my experience. In the blogging world however, there’s no young face saying the things I write; so, I’m more of a peer here than I am in real life.
7. It will make you a better communicator. It is difficult to communicate verbally using the whole body as you preach, but it is really difficult to communicate through writing alone. Blogging will make you a better preacher, because if you can communicate effectively in written form, preaching should be a piece of cake. Plus, you get free criticism from those who disagree; and healthy debate from those willing to engage.
8. You will grow as a believer. Whenever I first started blogging, I was starkly different theologically than I am now. Blogging has helped me cut my theological teeth on the thoughts and responses of others as they brought Scripture to bear on my articles. Thus, as the Scriptures are studied and learned, the Holy Spirit takes this absolute truth, and conforms you to the Image of Christ.
What are your thoughts?