What Are People Saying About Christian Blogging?

Over the past few weeks I’ve been putting out the call for new bloggers to get started and for given-up bloggers to give it a new try (as in here and here). I’ve been calling for bloggers who have turned all their attention to writing for ministry blogs to also consider writing for their own blogs. This has generated a fair bit of discussion and today I want to look to some of the noteworthy contributions I’ve collected (admitting, of course, that I’m sure I’ve missed a few). So if you’re into blogging, or are considering getting into blogging, maybe read through a few of these.

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Chris ThomasWhy I started blogging. Why I stopped. And why I started again. “Something had occurred over all those years and across all those platforms, something had silently been growing though not even I had been aware. I grew a voice. Somewhere in the midst of it all, I suddenly became aware of the tone I best carried, the audience I wept for, and the hope I had been crafted to shout about over the white noise of the world. It was the gospel. It had always been the gospel. But the gospel is no puddle that dries up following a summer storm, the gospel is grander and deeper than the Pacific that throws itself against the shoreline not far from my home. So I found my beach where I just keep dipping into the cool waters of grace that endlessly swish around my ankles, and I throw it with abandon on whoever walks close enough.”

Samuel James: The Present and Future of Christian Blogging. “As I see it, Tim is right in articulating the problems that come when evangelical online writing is heavily filtered toward these large sites. But I think we could add that there are problems to deal with when it is not filtered, and that these problems are, for most Christian readers (not writers), trickier to deal with than the other kind. I’ll mention 3 of them…”

Trillia Newbell: First Draft: A Blogging Series. “Over the next few months, I’m going to write first drafts and post them. No editing. No scheduling when it’s done. I’m going to write when I can during the week, giving myself about 30 minutes and then post it. I will look for a photo but I’m not going to spend more than 5 minutes hunting. I will write about whatever my heart desires: my time with the Lord, the weather, what I’m reading, confession, whatever. This series will be appropriately called First Draft.” (See also Camden McAfee on Toward Simpler Blogging.)

Abigail Dodds: The Humility of Blogging for Yourself and How It Serves Your Readers. “One of the best ways I can serve readers is by not being a jerk. It’s by practicing, not just pontificating. And writing a personal blog is one of the ways God pushes the floorboards of his Word and his ways into the corners of my life. I’m not sharing my diary, I’m sharing the things that have gone through the Refiner’s fire, things that absolutely ought to edify, admonish, encourage, and strengthen you, the reader. But what use are they if they haven’t been applied here first, to my personal life?”

Brad Larson: What is the Role of a Christian Writer? “There is much freedom for the Christian writer. If our work is borne out of a delight in the glory of God, we writers can play in the meadow of the written word like children. Our work can be academic, literary, humorous, or deep. There is freedom. But as our guests sit down with us, we must fetch the treasure from where it can be found: the Word of God.”

James Williams: Blogging as a Local Ministry. “Every time I’m tempted to quit, I’m reminded that I’m blogging for my local context; I’m writing for the people in my local area that God has given me to love and to shepherd. It’s easy to lose sight of that because any blog post has the potential to be shared with a larger audience. The potential for a larger audience or for a post to “go viral” can sometimes tempt my prideful heart to lose focus on why I’m writing.”

Jennifer BrogdonDon’t Call Me a Blogger. “When I thought of a blog, I often thought of blogs by runners or homemakers I somehow began following. It seemed mindless, brainless, and surface-level as they often recalled their day, posted pictures, and well, that was it. Boring—although I enjoyed following them for some reason. I wanted to write about deep things—theological things. I wanted to publish articles—not write in a diary. I stereotyped the blogger as unintelligent and needy for attention. I stereotyped them, and I didn’t want to be known as one of them. Please, please, don’t call me a blogger—I thought like a snob. But here I am, on my blog, blogging.”

Trevin WaxTim Challies and the Evolution of the Blogosphere. “The biggest change, however, that affected the personal blog was the migration of one’s eclecticism and personality from blogs to social media. The blog roll became obsolete once people began finding blogs through social media sites and platforms. Twitter and Facebook and Instagram became the places where online writers could show their interests and personality, and these accounts were much easier to start and maintain. Eventually, many of the conversations once reserved for blog posts and comment streams moved to Twitter threads and Facebook posts.”

Bob KellemenFinding Your Voice as a Christian Blogger. “I love history and have written three books on the history of soul care (here, here, and here). But, I’m not a historian of the modern art of blogging. However, here’s my personal recollection of the modern advent of blogging…”

Pierce HibbsThe Role and Payoff of Personal Christian Blogging. “As someone who feels called to a lifetime of writing, personal blogging shouldn’t go away, and neither should group/ministry blogs. There needs to be a balance of individuals and communities, of diversity and unity. So, if personal Christian blogs really are tappering off, as Challies suggests, that’s truly something to lament and respond to. But as a writer, I’m not personally discouraged by that trend, because I know why I’m writing my blog, what I hope to learn along the way, and whom I long to serve.”

Kristin WetherellWhy I Publish on Ministry Blogs. “I keep a blog-blog, and I served almost five years as an editor to a ministry blog (shameless plug: Unlocking the Bible), so I feel I can comment from a unique, dual perspective. When it comes to publishing online, I try to abide by the “one home, one away” guideline (the keyword being try). Here are four brief thoughts on why it’s important to keep publishing “away” on ministry blogs…”