Monday, February 26, 2007

Why Should a Christian Blog? (Part II)

Following up on personal reasons for blogging in my last post, here are some key reasons why Chistians should strongly consider blogging.

Blogging is a powerful and culturally relevant communication tool

Do you know who the Person of the Year was for 2006? It was you. Seriously! Time Magazine announced this special award in their Dec. 17, 2006 issue proclaiming the person of the year to be: "You (Web 2.0)", calling this "a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before."
"The new Web is a very different thing. It's a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter. Silicon Valley consultants call it Web 2.0, as if it were a new version of some old software. But it's really a revolution." reports Time.
Commenting on this award the Wall Street Journal had an article pointing out that the number of blog posts is closing in on one million per day, with another 100,000 videos uploaded per day. There are now over 50 million blogs and the number has been doubling about every six months - or a new blog every second. It's not a toy, or a nerd thing. Real people, political candidates, Fortune 500 executives, moms and dads, and your friends are blogging - sharing their story. The Wall Street Journal article also refered to the power of the user-content-generated web as "a new generation of openness, sharing, and community powered by the Web that some think may be recognized in hindsight as breaking down important cultural barriers and institutions in a very similar fashion as what happened in the 1960's."

Blogging can be used to spread the gospel

There have always been forward thinking Christians who have embraced technology for the sake of the gospel. Despite frequently being ignored or ridiculed, their efforts have made huge strides for the kingdom. In 1455 in the early days of the printing press Gutenberg published the Bible as the first book with movable type. HCJB missionaries in Equador pioneered the use of shortwave radio in 1931 to share the gospel in counties it had never been heard before. Since the 1950's the gospel has been brought to television. Every time a new technology is employed for the gospel, new people get to hear the good news for the first time, and in a way or format quite understandable to them.

Blogging can build up the body of Christ

The blogs I've read by Christian leaders have been full of encouragement, ideas, vision, teaching, and passion. They've also been a source of praise to see what God is doing across the country and across the globe with people living to glorify Him. They're an excellent tool for both teaching and exhortation.

Blogging can help foster authentic relationships

This claim is probably the hardest to understand for those not familiar with blogging or 'Web 2.0'. How can people at their keyboards really be building relationships? To be fair, it's the claim I have the hardest time understanding. This new mode of communication is all about being interactive, timely, heart-felt, and genuine. In some ways 'Step Up to the Call' is an experiment for myself to see what impact (if any?!) blogging can have on building relationships within Calvary Baptist, among fellow deacons and Christian leaders, and perhaps among other bloggers. My hope is that sharing ideas, vision, and stories can do this. (Comments and feedback from readers and friends will help alot with this!) Besides, you and I were named as Time's 'Person of the Year' last year - isn't it worthwhile to see if we deserved it?!

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