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?