In the Trenches: Start Blogging

In the Trenches: Start Blogging

October 17, 2011 by

Iʼm not a blogger. Iʼm actually a pastor at Shoreline Church in West Palm Beach, Fla. My undergraduate was in pastoral studies. Iʼve worked in numerous churches since then.

But while I was getting my degree at North Central University I started a blog. I canʼt even tell you what inspired me to do it—it was probably the cool thing to do at the time or something. But I wrote about three things on that blog: prayer, community and mission. These were the values I saw as invaluable to the church.

Writing was a lot of fun and it helped me with my schoolwork. It allowed me to process and communicate the things that God was doing in my heart. But it did something even more exciting than that.

I was able to speak the gospel message to an audience that would otherwise never have the opportunity to hear it. Hereʼs what I mean.

The blog became fairly successful. I started getting messages from high school friends who were not Christians, asking me questions about my faith. They were sharing my articles with their friends. I was getting e-mails from people I had never even met.

My extended family was asking questions they had never asked before. My mom told me she had been trying for more than 25 years to start some of these conversations that were now happening after a few months of blogging.

Suddenly it hit me. I was preaching the same message online that any pastor would preach on a Sunday morning to a group of people that would never cross the threshold of the churchʼs door.

The power of sharing the message of the gospel online is that it offers a safe way for people to enter the conversation. It allows people to access the story on their terms and in a safe place. There is something disarming about hearing the story of the gospel while you are sitting on your couch watching American Idol.

And if there is something we could be doing to help people hear the truth of the gospel why on earth wouldnʼt we be doing it?

I think most of us just donʼt know how to get started. Here are a couple of ideas.

Just Start
It can be intimidating to get started but there is no way to move forward until you begin.

You might not know what to write about or how to design a blog, but thatʼs OK. Use a simple WordPress site or even Tumblr and just start writing about what is interesting to you. Write about what God is teaching you and your congregation.

The less profound the better sometimes. Just keep it simple.

Your Church Already Has the Content
The content already exists. It just needs to be put in written format. Think about sermons on Sunday morning or what a particular group is studying in a Bible study. Tell stories of things that are happening to your members or of lives that have been changed by coming to Jesus. Even your churchʼs statements of belief can be powerful content.

Invite a volunteer who likes to write to take what already exists and make it readable for the Internet.

You Will Learn as You Go
Look to other churches and ask yourself what they are doing that works really well. Borrow the ideas that fit your context. Ask yourself what they are doing that doesnʼt seem very helpful, and let those realizations guide you too.

Do the same thing when you look to other bloggers. Let those who have gone before you teach you. Be willing to learn from your own mistakes as well as the mistakes of others.

Whatever you do donʼt look at what others are doing and allow it to discourage you. There is a learning curve for this and you have to start somewhere. You learn as you go. Let me re-state that. You will learn as you go. Practice makes perfect.

The most important thing is to get started.

Post By:

Darrell Vesterfelt


Darrell Vesterfelt is the CEO of Prodigal Press, a storytelling firm based in Minneapolis where he lives with his wife Ally. Darrell is the original #unblogger and you can connect with him on Twitter or call him at (612)802-5227.
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6 Responses to “In the Trenches: Start Blogging”

  • Bert Botta
    October 18, 2011

    Hey Darrell, I fell over your site entirely by accident, if there is such a thing in God’s world. I’m taking a blogging course and the teacher mentioned your site as an “edgy” place to learn from.

    I’m an older dude, born again Christian, just starting out as a blogger. I’ve been a writer for many years and am now turning my fleeting attention to some of the unaddressed, unowned, and unacknowledged issues that drown out the effectiveness of Jesus’ message in the church communities.

    My schtick is men’s emotional intelligence training, specifically Christian men. It’s actually much more than that bland term denotes. It’s adult men’s initiation work, i.e. rites of passage for Christian men who are clueless what their God given emotions are trying to tell them.

    I see way too many guys “hiding behind their faith,” and being “saved from the neck up.” I just finished putting on a Living From The Heart workshop for Christian men up here in Marin County, California, Heathenville if there ever was one.

    Besides the place being infested with Buddhism, there’s every form of New Age voodoo practice known to modern man here. I should know, I used to be a practicing New Age psychotherapist before Jesus nabbed me!

    In a few past lives, I was also a commercial pilot for a major airline and flew the rich and famous for Uncle Warren Buffett, of Berkshire Hathaway infamy.

    Anyway, thanks for providing a place for guys like me to bring my message. I’ll be posting some of my stuff here in the near future.

    Let me know how I might help you guys get the message of integrity, authenticity and a few, good swear words out, for God’s sake of course…

    Blessings Brother

    Bert


    • Deborah-Lynne Brown
      October 18, 2011

      I really enjoyed this article and the encouraging spirit that runs throughout the content…I think i’m inspired….Thank you………:)


      • Bert Botta
        October 19, 2011

        I think I like your reply Deborah…:)

        My mission is to help others to “think” for themselves, with the inspiration and assistance of The Holy Spirit as guidance…

        Blessings

        Bert


    • Darrell
      October 25, 2011

      Glad you found me Bert.


      • Bert Botta
        October 29, 2011

        You’re welcome Darrell. Now I’m going to see if and how I fit here…

        Be well,

        Bert


  • Sandra
    November 21, 2011

    Blogging is the best way to reach people and share your personal ideas. This post will help people who are not aware of blogging and who do not know how to share their ideas. Wonderful post Darrell.



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