Blog On!

    I’ve been blogging for 4 months now!  That
seems like a short time but it’s really not in blog-years (like
dog-years but different).   So far I’ve written about family,
politics, things I find funny, and some of the random thoughts that
have come to my mind as I stumble toward faith.  I’ve had
conversations with people in Australia, Canada, England, and even a few
right here in Texas.  And while it’s true that I started this as a
ministry experiment for the local church, it’s really become one of the
new disciplines in my life (some would call it an addiction) and has
helped me understand a little bit more about myself, God, and the
community of faith.  As of yet I have not blogged much about
blogging.  But as one that is trained as a family therapist I tend
to want to stop at times and talk about the process as opposed to just
spending time rehashing content… so here it goes! 
    Blogging seems to have amazing potential as a
spiritual process both on the individual and the community
levels.  Tim Bednar was interviewed by Leadership Journal
in their Fall 2004 publication on the potential for blogging to bring
renewal and reformation to the church.  Bednar says, “Millions
of us do not want pastors to be gatekeepers; but we need pastors who
foster spiritual formation by co-creating the church with us. 
Bloggers represent the tip of this transformation.  Internet users
are experiencing the networked church and it is changing them. 
Soon, we will bring these themes into our local church.  I believe
this will be the beginning of a grassroots revival not unlike the
Charismatic/Pentecostal renewal of the early twentieth century.”
   
I
have thought about that quite a bit since reading it, and I’ve fallen
in love with the idea that somehow through a new medium we (the
community of faith) will re-enter into a process of “co-creating”
church in this new world that we live in.  I think that if I were
to say that to the average person in the pew on any given Sunday they
would react strangely.  “Co-create?  The church is already
here.  Why do we have to create it?”  And while it’s true
that God’s church is not a new idea, it seems to have been reduced to a
building or another thing on the to-do list of many congregants. 
This idea of co-creating a community where we encourage, provoke,
renew, scold, and lift up one another as we together follow Jesus and
pursue his Word and Work in this place is exciting.  It’s
participative.  You don’t have to be a SuperChristian…just add
to the conversation and grow together.  It’s all very Acts 2ish
except our community isn’t all gathered together in ones small spot —
it’s spread out over the globe.
    Sure there are drawbacks.  Ed over at OurHangout
muses about how we can just as easily be fakers in the blogosphere as
we are in our church hallways and classrooms.  I think that’s true
and we (bloggers) have a certain responsibility to monitor our own
motives as well as hold each other accountable (without being
gatekeepers) to the calling to follow Jesus in whatever we do.  We
blog for ourselves as spiritual discipline.  We blog for the
community — to co-create the church (not to impress or gain
popularity).  But I’ve got to remember that as a follower of Jesus
I do everything, including blogging, for Him. 
    I think that the most exciting part of this medium
is the call to participation.  The last century, with the
invention of television, taught us to sit back and watch what happens
on screen (or in the pulpit as the case may be), and many of us became
spiritual couch-potatoes.  Attend almost any church in this
country on any given Sunday and you’ll easily be able to find the
results of this process.  Many people come to watch the show but
go home without ever having to participate.  Others who desire to
participate are so worn-out by keeping up the show that they leave
frustrated and church becomes more of a hassle than a community. 
In the blogosphere, in order to truly experience community, one is
invited to participate, to give and receive, to encourage and be
encouraged, and it’s possible to do it all without pretense or posing
like we do behind plastic smiles and nice shoes on Sunday mornings (you
can tell a lot from a person’s shoes).
    To say the least, I’m enjoying this process!  I
like the thought of co-creation.  I like the idea of reformation
and renewal.  And I’m enjoying the conversation that I’m having
with the global community of faith.  Somehow, like Bednar said,
I’d like to start to see these themes move back into the local
church.  Until then…blog on!

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~ by Chris Green on October 25, 2004.

2 Responses to “Blog On!”

  1. Blog on indeed! Very good stuff! Love the idea of the fact that blogging is participative…we’ve even tried to use it during several sermon series, but so far very few people are biting…however, our church is still pretty traditional and they’re asking those questions you mentioned…”why do we need to co-create?”Anyway, appreciated your post!

  2. Click my name for a response. I like the idea of more interation and the opportunity for blogging to introduce more of the ‘mind’ in worshipping, especially a shared mind of belivers exploring the counsel of the Holy Spirit.Guttenberg changed the church with MoveableType, will Blogging too?

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