You Want to Start a (Christian) Blog?: Some Thoughts from My Experience
I recently thought of beginning mentoring upcoming bloggers. The Lord, in His grace, has blessed me with the skill of blogging. While I believe that I must use this skill to edify the church, I also believe that I must use it to equip His people.
Here are some thoughts from my experience in blogging:
1. Blogging is hard
What a statement for upcoming bloggers! But I don’t mean to scare you; I’m just saying the reality. I have three reasons why I find blogging difficult.
First, readership doesn’t come overnight. I’ve been blogging since 2008, but I never had a stable readership, much more a good amount of it. When I began using Facebook this year to link my blogs, it did help…a little. Still, readership remained hard. There was even a point I want to quit blogging, since I didn’t know who were reading my blogs. It is only recently that people were approaching me and telling me that they were following my blogs and were blessed by them. Then I decided to promote my blogsite, believing that the Lord can use it to bless more people. Finally, I somehow have a decent readership nowadays.
Secondly, I experience days when I’m clueless what to write. Call it writer’s block, or blogger’s block. I encounter these moments when I’m spiritually down as well (so there’s a connection between my devotional life and my blogging ministry). But I overcome these by not forgetting my private time with the Lord, reading His Word and praying to Him. And when I don’t know what exactly to write, I pray.
Lastly, criticisms do come. And it’s not because how I write, but what I write. So it’s the content these critics are after for. Some of them are constructive (not necessarily totally agreeing with what I wrote), making me think better. Some are simply in disagreement of what I wrote, even giving me chance to do apologetics.
Again, blogging is difficult.
2. Skills can be learned and improved
I know I can write. Back in high school, I wrote a fair amount of essays. Yet, I never saw myself as a high-level writer. It’s not even my major in college. But mustering some amount of courage, I eventually began blogging and got a momentum. And through constant practice, my writing has improved over time.
3. Reading helps
It was only back in 2009 that I became fond of reading. Now, I love reading books and blogs. I read books by John Piper, John MacArthur, and C.S. Lewis, among many others. I follow the blogs of Tim Challies, the Desiring God team (including Piper), Albert Mohler, Ed Stetzer, and many more. Through reading books and blogs, I was able to get some blogging ideas and even improved the way I write as well.
4. Seize every opportunity to preach the Word of God
The Word is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” making the man of God “competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16). It is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Along with other verses in the Bible, these verses give us enough reason to blog God’s Word. Indeed, His Word is “more precious than gold, than much pure gold” and “sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb” (Psalm 19:10).
5. Your blogging ministry should never replace your people-to-people ministries
I’m glad to hear people learning and getting blessed by my blogs. I have to admit that it’s tempting to simply focus my energies on blogging. But my blogging ministry are in many ways impersonal. I want to engage with people. I want face-to-face conversations where I see people’s emotions. That’s why I still do a lot of speaking and teaching engagements where I communicate with people in a physical setting. That’s why I still do small group discipleship. That’s why I join fellowship groups where I experience interacting people-to-people. Blogging is never a replacement for people-to-people ministries.
6. Blogging is not for everyone
Let’s face it. Blogging is a form of teaching, whether or not you intend to teach. And not everyone ought to teach. In my case, I hold myself accountable to some people with regards to my blogging. I am given the spiritual gift of teaching and the skill of writing or blogging, and I don’t want to misuse them, much more lead people to stray away from the truths of God.
7. Blog for the glory of God
I have mentioned in the beginning that blogging is hard. But the very thing that kept me on, and kept me from giving up, is the Person for whom I am blogging—God! And it’s important that I constantly remind myself of this. It also protects me from becoming proud.
First Corinthians 10:31 says:
31So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
So when I blog, I do it for the glory of God!
One more thing. If you are long-time, new, or an upcoming blogger and would like to ask for help and guidance, I’d be glad to serve you, much more mentor you. Please don’t hesitate to comment below. I’ll do my best to respond immediately.