I’ve been asked to speak at our church’s men’s breakfast soon on this topic: ‘My life as a Christian blogger’. It’s very exciting, and it’s got me trying to get to the bottom of this question: Why do I blog? Here are my top 5 reasons so far.
1. Integrity – not becoming mindless
The main reason I started the blog is the main reason I keep at it. I never want to be someone who just believes things because I do. I have many questions and thoughts about life and faith, and I don’t want to forget to ask them.
This blog is a space for those questions to get explored. Almost every post has a question at its heart. Maybe it’s a question I pose, or maybe it’s a question I had that’s evolved into an idea. This blog helps keep my mind sharp, so I don’t sink into a malaise. I keep thinking, keep questioning, keep posting.
2. Clarity – having to stop typing
Do you ever have those conversations (often with yourself) where you just know you’re right but can’t explain fully why. They go on and on, but you can never really nail what you think or why. It’s frustrating, but also appealing because you never have to be clear about anything, or follow anything through. You can just follow another tangent.
That’s not who I want to be, and blogging forces clarity and structure to my thoughts. At some point I have to stop typing and hit ‘Publish’. I can’t leave an argument half-formed. It forces me to articulate thoughts properly, not lazily. And just occasionally I’ve realised that thing I know is right might not be after all.
3. Accountability – it’s all out there
So I’m trying to find answers to questions. I think that’s exciting, but it’s also dangerous. I could get far too big for my boots, start to think I have all the answers, become mean or arrogant. It is better to go about things publicly, so others can keep us in check.
With a blog, it’s all out there. Once I publish a post, anyone can see it. That includes my wife, my parents, my pastor, my church, my colleagues. That keeps me in check as I write, but also means people can send me a message saying “Dave, that was way off and I think you need to re-evaluate.” People have, and I’m very grateful. I need that. We all need it.
4. Community – what do you think?
I don’t need others involved just to reign me in. I need others to explore these questions with me. I’d be arrogant to think I can crack it by myself. I need people who are different from me, from different places, with different backgrounds, experiences and ideas to help me as I do it. I need people who are wiser than me.
One of the most rewarding things about the year I’ve been blogging has been the comments. If you’ve ever commented on the site or on Facebook or Twitter, thank you! I have been encouraged, challenged and inspired by what others have added to the conversations I’ve started. Without the comment box, the content of this blog would be immeasurably weaker.
5. Relevance – being where the people are
All the reasons so far were in my mind to a greater or lesser extent when I started. This one wasn’t.
I now believe it is very important for there to be Christians who blog. Why? Because the world is living more and more on the internet. There is a whole blogging community, and wherever there is a community of people in the world God calls His people to enter into it and shine His light and love.
This blog has given me the tremendous privilege and joy of engaging with people all over the world, hearing their stories and perspectives, and sharing something of mine with them. I am a passionate believer in the local church. I work for one, and I preach regularly in traditional ways. I don’t want to abandon that for a second, but we the church also need to be engaged online. That’s where people are, and that’s where we should go.
None of these reasons is only possible through blogging, but in whatever way we should seek them all. Who knows though, maybe blogging could be for you! If you’re interested but don’t know how, drop a comment and I’ll give you a few pointers.
If you blog, I’d be really interested to hear why? When I speak at the breakfast, I’d love to include others’ perspectives too.