I recently read an article (included below) giving several reasons why Pastors and church leaders should blog. I think, at the very least, it’s worth you skimming the points, but before you read the ‘real’ list, I’d like to give you a few of my own reasons:
1. Blogging has helped me become more organized.
Before blogging, I had hundreds of messages, lost in dozens of folders in “My Documents” on my computer. Now, my messages are tagged, indexed, and search-able. I can find them, and not just me but thousands of others (enter 2nd point…)
2. Blogging has allowed me to expand my influence exponentially.
Before blogging, I was writing messages for a specific moment (Sunday Morning Worship) and a specific group (our 75-100 in attendance)… but now the message goes out to hundreds more and will continue to preach until Jesus comes. For example, more people read and/or listened to the Mother’s Day message during the week than were even at church on Mother’s Day.
3. Blogging has blessed our church.
Before blogging, I spent hours preparing messages that I would preach to our church folk… some of whom were sleeping, some were listening, and some were letting it in one ear while it oozed out the other. But now, those same people can go online to read or listen to the message online – at their convenience and for their edification. Plus, our nursery / children’s ministry volunteers can stay more up-to-date with what’s going on!
4. Blogging works!
Before blogging, our church website was happy to get 120 hits / month (4 per day for little-known, country church in a small community isn’t bad, right?). Now, we’re averaging hundreds of visitors, generating 10,000 hits / month (300 per day isn’t bad!). Why are they coming? What are they hitting? Messages. Sermons. Reading. Listening… downloading over 1.5 gigabytes / month!
And Now, THE -REAL- LIST (by Dr. John Piper)
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. Then when you share new ideas and new insights, readers can come along with you wherever your good writing and good thinking bring you. 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. Enter Blog. Here is where a pastor has an outlet for whatever he didn’t get to say on Sunday. Your blog is where you can pass on that perfect analogy you only just thought of; that hilarious yet meaningful story you couldn’t connect to your text no matter how hard you tried; that last point you skipped over even though you needed it to complete your 8-point acrostic sermon that almost spelled HUMILITY. And more than just a catch-all for sermon spill-over, 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 or preach a whole sermon, but via your blog, your people can still learn from them just like you did.
3. …to recommend.
With every counseling session or after-service conversation, a pastor is recommending something. Sometimes it’s a book or a charity. Maybe it’s a bed-and-breakfast for that couple he can tell 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. Blog it.
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. Who knows what sermon series might arise after a pastor hears some surprising feedback about one of his 30-second-nuggets-of-truth?
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. If you live life looking for what is worthwhile in every little thing, you will see more of what God has to teach you. And the more he teaches you, the more you can teach others. As you begin to be inspired and to collect ideas, you will find that the new things you’ve seen and learned enrich far more of your life than just your blog.
6. …to be known.
This is where I see the greatest advantage for blogging pastors. Your people hear you teach a lot; it’s probably the main way that most of them know you. You preach on Sundays, teach on Wednesdays, give messages at weddings, funerals, youth events, retreats, etc. This is good—it’s your job. But it’s not all you are. Not that you need to be told this, but you are far more than your ideas. Ideas are a crucial part of your identity, but still just a part. These are the things that make you the man that leads your church. They’re the windows into your personality that perhaps stay shuttered when you’re teaching the Bible. Sometimes your people need to look in—not all the way in, and not into every room—but your people need some access to you as a person. A blog is one way to help them.