Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Blog and the Pendulum

My thoughts about the merits of Christian blogging are in a constant state of flux. I know one should never say never but I think it's safe to predict that my voice will never be added to those of some who paint what I believe is an overly optimistic, quasi-utopian portrait of the medium and its potential. I think there needs to be far more question asking of the sort Pastor Mark is doing in the aftermath of GodBlogCon. I can usually be found traveling in the opposite direction of the latest evangelical bandwagon so I agree with him when he says "It's always good to be skeptical of group-think." (I just hope not too many others start thinking that way because then I'll have to rethink my position.)

On the other hand, the fact that I'm writing this post is evidence that I don't consider blogging a total waste either. Sure, there are days when I ask myself, "Why did you ever start doing this?" (at which point I reread my first post) but my frustration and skepticism have not won out. I do think there are valid reasons to continue my efforts. Two things happened this week that shored up that confidence.

Sunday morning as I walked down our church building's main corridor I saw a young man who moved out of state eight months ago with his family. For numerous reasons I was saddened to say good-bye to Mark and his wife, Raquel. They're a delightful couple who are just fun to be around. Both of them were actively involved in ministry and they are a teacher's dream! They are edge of the seat learners who consistently displayed a yearning to understand and apply God's word to their lives as well as gratitude and appreciation for those who taught them. I fondly remember receiving calls from them prefaced by "I hope I'm not bothering you..." in which they asked for clarification about something in the Bible or help with how to effectively minister to family and friends. Believe me, "interruptions" like that are most welcomed by this pastor.

When I first saw Mark I thought nothing of it because it seemed so "right" for him to be at church. In a matter of seconds I did a double take when it dawned on me that his family was no longer in the area. In the brief moments we had to catch up with each other Mark told me that unbeknownst to me I had been keeping in touch with him. It turns out that he and Raquel stumbled across the blog and have become regular readers. How gratifying it is to know that even from a distance I can continue to play a small part in their growth! I also had the pleasure of having them sit in on the class I'm teaching using Nancy Pearcey's Total Truth. Just like old times.

The other situation that moved me to the positive side of blogging happened yesterday when I received an encouraging email from someone I don't know who has become a regular reader. She's a Christian who has been blogging for a few months but only recently discovered Christian blogging. Prior to that she says the Blamires quote in the banner captures how she was feeling in the blogosphere. It means a lot to me that she took the time to express appreciation and gratitude and it's an example I want to follow.

So, at least for this week, when I ask myself "To blog or not to blog?" I'll choose the former.


pastor mark said...

that's about where I am too, Keith. thanks for interacting with my musings!

Leigh Ann said...

This is the first time I have been the subject of someone else's blog :-)

I really do appreciate you and the other Christian bloggers I've discovered. I am also glad to hear I am not the only one who has the moments - "Why do I have a blog? Does this have any meaning in God's plan?"

At a conference we recently had at our church one of the [pre-conference] talks was on focus - cutting out those things in our lives which are distracting us from pressing in to our callings. (Although he did mention the importance of occassional re-creation and relaxing with a healthy hobby...) anyways, i immediately thought of blogging and the precious time i seem to widdle away in front of my computer these days.

I agree with you, there are positives about this medium but we need to keep it in perspective and be alert to the possible down-sides.

ps. thanks for the good blogging!

Kerry Doyal said...

Keith - keep at it! You have gifts that many need exposure to. Kerry Doyal