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Blogging pastors…

Not everyone on the interweb (that’s what olds call it) would have spotted Mr John Piper’s succinct bunch of reasons for blogging.  So here they are (paraphased a bit by me) for your delectation :

1. …to write

If you’re a pastor, you probably already know the value writing has for thinking.  Through writing, you delve into new ideas and new insights. If you strive to write well, you will at the same time be striving to think well.

There is no better way to simply and quickly share your writing than by maintaining a blog.  And if you’re serious about your blog, it will help you not only in your thinking, but in your discipline as well, as people begin to regularly expect quality insight from you.

2. …to teach

Most pastors I’ve run into love to talk.  Many of them laugh at themselves about how long-winded they’re sometimes tempted to be.

Your blog is where you can pass on that perfect analogy you only just thought of;  a blog is a perfect place for those 30-second nuggets of truth that come in your devotions or while you’re reading the newspaper.  You may never write a full-fledged article about these brief insights, but via your blog, people can still learn from them just like you did.

3. …to recommend

With every counselling session or conversation, a pastor is recommending something.  Sometimes it’s a book or another web link. Maybe it’s a bed-and-breakfast for couple that really needs to get away. And sometimes it’s simply Jesus.

With a blog, you can recommend something to hundreds of people instead of just a few. Some recommendations may be specific to certain people, but that seems like it would be rare. It’s more likely to be the case that if one man asks you whether you know of any good help for a pornography addiction, then dozens of other men out there also need to know, but aren’t asking.

People want to know that you are an ordinary, imperfect human being.  They want to know that you’re recommending things that have helped you in your own weakness.  If you use your blog to encourage people through suggesting and commending everything from local restaurants to Jesus, it will complement the biblical authority that you rightly assume as a pastor.

4. …to interact

There are a lot of ways for a pastor to keep his finger on the pulse of his people. A blog is by no means necessary in this regard. However, it does add a helpful new way to stay abreast of people’s opinions and questions.

5. …to develop an eye for what is meaningful

For good or ill, most committed bloggers live with the constant question in their mind: Is this bloggable?  This could become a neurosis, but I’ll put a positive spin on it: It nurtures a habit of looking for insight and wisdom and value in every situation, no matter how mundane.

6. …to be known

This is where I see the greatest advantage for blogging pastors.  The blog is a window into your personality. Sometimes people need to look in—not allthe way in, and not into every room—but people need some access to you as a person.  A blog is one way to help them.  You can’t be everybody’s friend, and keeping a blog is not a way of pretending that you can. It’s simply a way for people to know you as a human being, even if you can’t know them back.  This is valuable, not because you’re so extraordinary, but because leadership is more than the words you say.

Conclusion

For most of you, anything you post online will only be a small piece in the grand scheme of your pastoral leadership. But if you can maintain a blog that is both compelling and personal, it can be an important small piece.  Letting people catch an honest glimpse of your life will add authenticity to your pastoral role.

Thanks John.  You can check out his own blog here, and/or follow him on Twitter here.