Thursday, April 24, 2014

Clergy Conference Blogging Workshop

My ability to post is limited this week because of Clergy Conference. As both a plus and a minus, cell phone reception is minimal at Camp McDowell, and Internet access is even less consistent. But I did just finish taking part in a workshop about blogging, and I wanted to be sure to share some of what I learned. 

Jack Alvey spoke about the reasons to blog. With a truly evangelical (think Great Commission) focus, he said that blogging is about meeting people where they are and giving them the gospel in a medium that reaches them. He's right, of course. He drew a contrast between the preacher who stands at the door of the church on Sunday morning and wonders where everyone is and the preacher who is posting through social media and doesn't worry about where people are. Blogging is about sharing the gospel. 

Kelley Hudlow spoke about video blogging, and I am fascinated with this. She gave wonderful, helpful, insightful instructions about all aspects of vlogging--from production to editing to distributing. Really well done. She indicated that it takes her an hour to do a 2-3 minute post, which makes sense but seems labor intensive. Still, who bothers to read words anymore? (Ha, ha?)

I spoke about the mechanics of blogging, which I myself need help with, but I also spoke about something dear to my heart: blogging and mutual sustainability. How many bloggers have begun their blogs only to peter out? And how many readers have lost interest in a new blog after only a few posts? I think the key to blogging is to do something that equally nourishes writer and reader. 

I blog about the lectionary--RCL, feast days, and the daily office. I do that as a part of my own spiritual discipline. I read the lessons and reflect on them in order to be more fully formed by Jesus. I write not for the sake of a blog. The blog is merely the vehicle for my own spiritual formation. And I believe that as I engage in my own formation other people will be drawn to do the same. If not, the whole practice wouldn't be sustainable. 

What about you? What are the practices that sustain you? How might your own spiritual disciplines reach out to others and invite them to be drawn closer to Jesus? As Jack and Kelley both said, this is about evangelism--getting the word out to people where they are. How might each of us do that in a way that sustains both minister and ministrant?

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