There are benefits to writing a post or two on the Internet for church leadership that they won’t get from preaching.
There are a lot of pastors out there that don’t blog.
Not that it is a bad thing that they don’t, but there are good things about blogging that they should consider.
Most however never consider it at all.
Some of their excuses or “reasons” for not blogging sound like this.
“I have a sermon to prepare for Sunday.”
“I don’t have the time to do that and all my other church commitments.”
“I don’t know what I would say.”
“Who would read it?”
There is nothing wrong with these reasons. I know for myself when I was pastoring two churches at once I didn’t really have time to do anything but church related stuff.
Sermon, worship sets, board meetings, young adult nights were scattered across my calender to the point where it was an all-day-every-day kind of thing.
Even now my schedule is pretty full. Prayer meetings, youth, church and a full time job can be extremely demanding.
But all that doesn’t change or undermine the good things that blogging can offer to a pastor.
Whether they are a full time, part time or occasional pastor there are reasons to blog.
If they are a “layman” and are preaching when the pastor is on vacation or out sick, there are four benefits to taking time to write on the Internet.
1. You can experiment with your style.
When I was taught how to preach in Bible school, I was taught a formula. You need to have 3 points, an opening and a closing; that is a sermon.
It was good for me and other students that didn’t really have a working knowledge of how to preach or how to structure a sermon.
The one downside was that we never discovered what worked for us personally. We didn’t get to explore our personalities as preachers and speakers. We weren’t afforded an oppurtunity to try something different.
Blogging gives you that chance where preaching from the pulpit doesn’t.
If you want to step away from the 3 point structure, blogging is totally a place where one point is more than enough.
If you want to try putting your personality, your emotion into what you are saying, the web of bloggers welcomes you to try anything.
Experiment, attempt, give it a shot. Whether it is a totally new style or a new format you want to try, blogging gives you the chance to do it.
What makes it better is that if your new format doesn’t work out, it is okay.
That leads us to the second reason pastors should blog.
2. If you screw up here, it can be fixed.
When you are speaking in front of a group of people, there is always a lingering fear inside that you may totally mess up.
You might fumble over your words and say something stupid, or inappropriate.
The point of your sermon may fly over the heads of your entire congregation.
It’s something every pastor worries about from time to time, but not the blogger.
If you blog something that it doesn’t makes sense, you can always go back and edit it.
The written word can be reshaped and reworked, while the spoken word cannot be.
In a blog, a pastor can take all the time to rearticulate him or herself if readers comment about something being confusing. Pastors don’t have that luxury with spoken words.
Here in a blog, mistakes are not awkward silent moments where people stare at you. Here in a blog, a mistake is a visible and easily changed thing. A mistake is something to learn and improve from.
Tell me what pastor doesn’t want a safe place to make a mistake and improve?
3. Writing a blog gives you a chance for honest feedback.
I’m sure most peole have had it happen to them, pastors or not.
You spoke, you performed a piano solo or displayed some wonderful talent to the best of your abilities.
People came to see you after and the things that they said were…interesting.
They gave you feedback, but you could tell that is wasn’t completely honest. Something was filtering what they were saying. Maybe they didn’t want to hurt your feelings because it was truly terrible or they don’t want to inflate your ego by singing your praises.
There are times in life, especially after a speech, a performance, after you have given your all that you need unfiltered honesty. Good or bad.
In a blog, where the audience may not know you from Adam, unfiltered honesty is exactly what you get.
If someone thinks what you have to say is great and deserves to be shared, they will like it, they will share it with their friends. They may even comment on how much it meant to them that you shared this.
If someone thought that is wasn’t very good, they will show it. No likes, fewer shares, less page views.
That may seem harsh, but it tells you exactly what the audience thinks.
From there you can change or improve, or continue down that path should you chose.
It is a rare opportunity to be told the truth and nothing but the truth.
Question: Are these benefits true for you pastors that blog? And what other benefits are there to blogging?