Today is my one year anniversary of blogging. Since last November 27th, I have posted about every other week. I’ve had some 6000 hits on my blog—which is small compared to the big bloggers, but respectable for my first year.
Blogging is an outlet for those who love to write. It is a vehicle to clarify my own thinking. And it can be a ministry to others.
Blogging is typically the province of the young. Not surprisingly, I started blogging through the encouragement of one of the students I was mentoring at Denver Seminary. I could not have started without the technical help of David Strunk and the encouragement of Zac Hicks. I was mystified by the blogosphere. But these guys have been great in showing me what it is about, and how to understand and use different emerging technologies for kingdom purposes.
What I discovered after one year of blogging?
First I have discovered that blogging is far more effective than writing the traditional printed column in a church newsletter. It is much more accessible to a wider audience. It is a tool that lets me speak to things beyond what I do in the pulpit as a pastor. Plus, it offers a mechanism for instant feedback and interaction.
Second, I’ve discovered that blogging reaches a much more diverse audience than my own congregation. I am thankful for the easy links to the website of Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church. But a blog goes far beyond the church audience. Through Facebook and Twitter, I find that I have extended family members who read it (some who are committed Christians, some who are not). I have friends from every season of my life who look at it. I have friends on other continents who read it (i.e. Africa, Europe). And I have people who are just doing a Google Search on a particular subject who stumbled upon it and who now read it. This is truly amazing. This diversity of my readership makes blog creation much more challenging and fun.
Third, I think it is important to keep posting blogs on a consistent basis with quality posts. This takes work. It means I am constantly reading and thinking about things. Just as I have a long list of sermon and sermon series ideas. I have a long list of blog ideas.
I try to write every week now. Believe it or not, of all the blogs out there, there are only 100,000 that have been updated every 14 days. About 66% of all blogs have not been updated in two months. And, there are many one day wonders—blogs that start with great flourish and then are quickly abandoned.
While my blog address is www.donsweeting.com, the title of my blog is THE CHIEF END OF MAN. This little potent phrase comes from the first question and answer in The Westminster Shorter Catechism. The Shorter Catechism is part of a confessional statement of Presbyterian Christians that was written in the 17th century. It began by asking perhaps the most important question that could ever be asked. What is the chief end (i.e. purpose) of man (i.e. human life)? It replies—“the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”
That reminder tells us that we are made not randomly, but for a purpose. We were made for him. There is a God shaped space in our hearts that can only be filled and satisfied when we return to God and put him first in our lives. True and lasting joy is found in him alone.
As Augustine once said, Lord, “you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.” Consequently, the chief end of my blog is to glorify God through reflection on theology, worship, culture, history and the church. The subjects I have written on cover the gamut from Michael Jackson to John Calvin, from the NBA to the persecuted church.
Still learning: Help!
This one year anniversary is also a great place to admit that I am still learning how to blog effectively. There are some things about blogging that I have not yet figured out—like how to get a blog subscription tab (RSS feed) at the top of your page that actually works. Also, I do not understand how to make a blog more high profile on Google, so that when people search on a topic, your post comes up early. If you have figured any of these things out, let me know.
Meanwhile……to misquote philosopher Rene Descartes……”I think, therefore I blog!”