I was reading Dee Andrew's blog today. A fellow Christian asked the question if blogging can be considered a ministry. I, too, am extremely interested in this question. If you'd take 30 seconds to give your opinion, it would be greatly appreciated. Brad will pick up the answers here, or you can email him (brad at the bloggers dot com) if you'd prefer not to post publically. He will be giving a talk about this very thing. Here is what I wrote him today:
Saw what you were going to talk about on Dee’s blog so thought I’d shoot you a line.
When I was first introduced to the internet back in 1997, my hands actually shook when I clicked on the www. And I was terrified of what I’d find. Didn’t take long to find a Christian chat room, then when that got too hectic, I switched to a message board/forum and that is when my soul started stretching. It was astounding how many people wanted to challenge what I believed. I had to start digging in the Bible to defend my beliefs. Then God allowed some sifting of me… bringing that dross to the surface and letting the uglies rise so that I would know and face what He could already see in me. After about six years, I got tired of the same ole, same ole discussions. Christians generally believe the same things about the essentials—that’s why we are Christians, but those side trips people like to take are overworked repeatedly until I realized that we are drones within our beliefs.
God took me down a path to do some work for Him and that is how Refreshment in Refuge was born—the Women’s Retreat, not the blog. Last year, God challenged me again to start up a blog. My hands weren’t shaking this time. I was really smiling. I had the world at my fingertips! Ooooo, there it was. That ugly that never got taken care of with God. Pride. I had too much of it and was sneaking some of God’s glory for myself. I’ll spare you the details, let it suffice to say that God wanted that particularly hateful dross to be skimmed. I can’t say that it has completely been taken care of, yet. BUT… we are working on it.
I ran across a blog of a young man who said that blogging was no place for ministry. [insert really shocked look here] I was astounded. Of course I posted a comment that blogs are an excellent medium for ministry. Reaching out to touch those who need words of encouragement. Blogs do not have hands to warm others hands, or arms to hugs someone hurting. Blogs can’t hand you a bowl of soup if you are hungry and can’t throw a blanket over you if you are cold. But, then what homeless person has the wherewithal to sit down a read blogs? Blogs are a ministry to those in a different world, to those who rely on words, count on words, are encouraged by words, who believe in words and who can be crushed by words. Some people believe something more if it is in black and white, published on the net, or written in the Bible.
I love words. My livelihood depends on words being put together in the right way to persuade others. Fifty-four million blogs being tracked by Technorati, but there are many more lurkers than that. Not all are searching for God or some word of encouragement. Not all, but if just one is encouraged by a word from God on my blog, that is enough for me. If just lost person stumbles onto my blog and starts thinking there is something to this God-thing… that is enough. God doesn’t require us to make the seed grow! God just requires us to scatter the seed and then to water it from time to time… the growth in is God’s hands.