To Christian bloggers

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Often in Baptist circles we talk about churches that are focused inward when the community around them needs to hear the gospel. Until this morning, I hadn’t thought of Christian blogs — Baptist blogs in particular — in the same light.

Then I read this post from Church Crunch, which is a great church communications blog I check out nearly every day. Apparently Darren Rowse who leads Problogger, one of the most popular blogs in the world, is a Christian, according to a recent interview. During the interview, Rowse says some things that challenged me. I wonder if they’ll challenge you.

My first blog was a ‘Christian Blog’ in many senses (not that it had a conversion experience…). I started it to talk about issues of faith, spirituality and church. It became reasonably well known in Christian blogging circles and I had a lot to do with other Christian bloggers. One of the things that I became a bit frustrated with over the two or so years that that blog was active was that I saw the majority of Christian bloggers gathering together to talk about subjects that related to them – but very little outward focus or interaction with the wider blogosphere.

While I think that there is definitely a place for Christian bloggers to do more inward focussed blogging (fellowship and doing faith together is a big part of what I see us called to do as followers of Christ) I wondered whether we were ignoring another part of what we’re called to be on about – mission.

My critique of Christian blogging is actually similar to my critique of much of what I see happening with the Church today – an overemphasis upon gathering together as believers – at the expense of ‘going into the world to make disciples’.

I came to a point where I saw incredible opportunity in blogging to ‘go’. People are gathering around the web through blogs to learn, build relationships, have dialogue, share their lives, talk about every aspect of their existence – but the majority of Christian bloggers that I knew at the time (including myself) were gathering together in our ‘Holy Huddles’ to do ‘Christian Things’.

I made a decision to spend more time focussing upon going and participating in what I saw happening outside of the ‘Christian Blogosphere’.

What I found is that there are some amazing opportunities in the wider blogosphere to connect with people – to share your life with them and to make a difference. I also found that there are a lot of bloggers with similar faith perspectives doing similar things and not getting into ‘Christian Blogging’.

Later in the interview, Rowse gives his hopes for Christian bloggers in a nutshell:

I’d love to see more Christians to catch a vision for being more outward and missional in their outlook in every area of their lives – including their blogging.

I think there is an incredible opportunity to be a part of the seeing in of God’s Kingdom if we do so.

I’d encourage you to read the entire interview. It was thought-provoking to me. As I read it, I realized all the Christian blogs I read do seem to be focused on other Christians. In fact, it seems to me at the moment that most of the so-called prominent Baptist bloggers — at least in Texas, but I imagine beyond that — have a target audience of Christians. And there’s a definitely a place for that. The target audience of this blog is Texas Baptists. At this moment, I can’t see that changing any time soon.

But this morning I can’t help but wonder if Rowse is right. Have we taken the holy huddle online? Are our online actions reinforcing the stereotypes of Christians excluding others?

What do you think?

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5 Responses to “To Christian bloggers”

  1. problogger Says:

    Thanks for continuing the conversation John.

    Not sure there’s a wrong or right approach in this – I guess it comes down to the individual blogger discerning what’s right for them – however I would love to see more of us with blogs that not only build up the Christian community but connecting with other blogs around also.

    Thanks for the post.

  2. TheDeeZone Says:

    Rowse makes some very good points. I do write about Christian topics but that is not the total focus of my blog. I think my tag line best describes my blog – “Musings of an ADHD Mind.” I write about things that interest me. In the past I have participate in several photo memes.

    I do not apologize for my openly Christian stance. However I’m aware that several of my regular readers are not Christians. With that in mind I try to focus on things that will raise questions and hopefully share the gospel.

    As for blogs I read and comment on some are Christians and others are not.

  3. Ken Coffee Says:

    The first thing any blogger has to decide is what does have have to say and top whom will he say it. My own personal ministry is to churches and I mostly write things churches need to be discussing. I do not have readership from the non-church world, so blog opreaching to them would be fruitless. But, if I can help the church enhance her evangelistic efforts, that si what I try to do.

  4. Andrea Says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this, John. I have been following Mr. Rowse for a quite a while and I really like his “love your neighbour as yourself” approach which is evident in his “let me help you” style.

    You can be a key figure yourself and I particularily enjoy reading your “strategic action, not just busy activity” thinking in the next post. I find myself at this crossroad right now with my work, although it has nothing to do with the ministry, you are challenging me to rethink the next steps I take.

    Going through my mind are virtues like: meekness, integrety, just. I look forward to reading more from you and am glad to have found your blog. I hope, you can spur more on to realizing how they can break out of the “holy huddle” and find ways to connect with others in a way that emulates Christ.

    A great challenge. Thanks for your thoughts.

  5. Eli Says:

    Thanks for this. I’ve thought a lot about a second step towards doing God’s work (the first step being to read the bible, a LOT). A Christian outreach blog could be a step in the right direction.

    “Go to all the world and preach the gospel to every nation” Jesus said. He asked his disciples to make disciples in order to spread the message. It seems to me that Christianity has become more of a hobby than a lifestyle. We put it under religion on our Facebook page, we go to church and we really do believe in what God does, but our fruits don’t show it and that can be disheartening.

    I like the blog and I wish you the best,
    -Eli

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