Positives and negatives of pastors blogging

In case you missed this back in my very long interview post:

Here are 10 positive reasons of why I think pastors should blog:

1. Churches across America generate tons of content every week, use it once and then let it sit on their hard drives collecting digital dust. With a blog, pastors can easily share this material with each other and improve their content and ideas with input from the blogging community. It’s also a huge help to missionaries.

2. It gives pastors a platform to earn respect from non-attenders in the community.

3. It expands the scope of the ministry from the church to reaching the world.

4. It establishes a platform for publicly responding to current issues and criticisms.

5. It creates a window into the personal life of someone most people only know as the “person up front.”

6. It’s a great way to push your upcoming sermon series and let people know what’s happening at the church.

7. It’s an opportunity to continue teaching throughout the week.

8. It allows the pastor to encourage the congregation throughout the week.

9. It creates responses and interaction with material in ways that a traditional Sunday sermon can never do.

10. It gives your church members a personal resource to recommend to unsaved friends in their evangelistic efforts.

And here are my 3 reasons of potential negatives of pastors blogging:

1. If you let it, blogging has the potential to suck up a lot of time.

2. There’s a greater backlash with greater consequences if you post something that is inappropriate for public consumption.

3. If you’re not genuine, authentic and vulnerable on your blog, it will backfire and actually establish a negative reputation. The nature of blogs is to serve as a window into who a person is, not just to create information.

Each of these negatives contains an “if,” which means they are not certain negatives that WILL happen. They’re all avoidable.

What criticism or questions have developed or will develop about how the style and medium of blogging affects the content of the message?

The medium of blogging levels the playing field and gives everyone the potential of an international audience. This means that pastors can reach infinitely more people than before, but it also means that those with false theology can do the same. It used to be that theology was taught only by an elite group in academic or church settings, but now anyone can spew their ideas no matter how absurd. I don’t really see this as completely negative because I think it creates important and necessary dialog and makes it all the more necessary for legitimate pastors to enter the blogosphere, but it does affect the message and how it’s communicated.

Also, blogging moves the message from the left side of the brain to the right side. Books, monologues and planned sermons are linear in nature. Successive paragraphs and arguments build off the one before and work toward a conclusion. Blogging, however, is very non-linear. It interconnects thoughts, arguments and ideas with links. There is no beginning, middle or end. Coming from a western linear perspective, many view this as “watering down” the message, but I’ve noticed that most of those people are engineer bullet-point lovers, linear thought at it’s best. Personally, I believe it is beyond paramount that we handle God’s Word with integrity and accuracy, but it doesn’t bother me one bit if we let scripture drift to our God-given creative right-brain sides. In fact, I think it’s detrimental if we don’t.

Posted on May 17, 2007

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