Jesus on a Cell Phone?

Today I’ll try and offer up some good examples of preachers and pastors who blog effectively. Now “effectively” is a relative term – somewhat subjective. I’ll go back to our basic definition of marketing (based on John JantschDuct Tape Marketing):

MARKETING is getting someone with a problem or need to know, like and trust you.

So in the world of church, most of pastoral leadership is trying their very hardest to communicate their message of love, hope, transformation, mission, purpose, etc….and share that message with as many people as possible. (The discussion of whether individual congregations should consider honing in that strategy for some niche markets is a topic for another post). Anyway, assuming you are trying to reach a local audience as part of your strategy, and you desperately want the non-church-goer to know-like-trust you, what better way than to blog!

In the culture we are in, where churches, pastors and priests are often characterized by the missteps of a minority, it is important to build some bridges to the relationships we desire. While you could spend your blog energy spouting off about theological and doctrinal beliefs (guess that might reach some), a blog can inspire, teach, educate, inform as if you had a DAILY PULPIT! And you could even begin to use this blogosphere as one of your primary venues for touching the heart of people. For many people in the teaching or pastoral role, your time in the pulpit does not permit an intimate level of transparency. Alot of people still want their preacher to preach about things we SHOULD do and not to be open and honest about his personal struggles. I would dare say that in the blog world, while perhaps not used as your own personal confessional, it is a place to remind people that you are human. And for those in church leadership, your Sunday morning “conversations” with members of your church (much less non-members you ultimately are trying to reach) tend to sound like this:

“Great job, pastor. See you next week. ”

“Great job, preacher, but . . . (insert complaint)”

“If you preach like that again, you’ll be out of a job!”

Where’s the relationship building? Following a traditional model, you get about 30 minutes of instruction once-a-week. That’s insufficient and likely the reason why churches, by and large, are not growing in the U.S. (different story around the world . . . by the way, where teaching is much longer and relationships are not so fragmented as in the U.S.). You need a venue to perpetuate the ideas you present on the weekend. As a pastor, you will find a great energy in the interactive environment of a blog (yes, you might get some critics, but you might find a world of support as well).

Blogging allows transparency for any small business, organization or ministry where people are perhaps skeptical of the players involved…isn’t that alot of people’s problem with the church today? So blog your heart out (I would advocate you not trying to usurp your pastoral or shepherding leadership . . . blog in a way that honors them and the mission of your congregation). You are not trying to lift up yourself here . . . you are attempting to further the mission of your church by stretching out into the homes and personal computers of members and potential “prospects.”

When my wife and I were living in Africa, not only did WE find our blog as a way to communicate with a world from which we were simply geographically cut off, but there are so many people who said our blog kept them in touch with us, praying for us and even giving to us. We were not some forgotten missionary; we were on the minds of people.

In the church world I am a part of, this guy has held a loyal following for years (and 30-100 comments is average for his DAILY posts)!

I find this pastor’s blog intriguing and engaging (the photo at the top of this post is just one of the photos he likes to use to arrest your attention!)

A few other blogs that can show you some different formats you can use: Pete Wilson, Andrew-Missionary in Brazil, CC3, Gary Lamb, LifeChurch pastors, and on and on and on . . .

IF YOU WANT TO RECOMMEND A BLOG in this category (broadly defined as “church”) please leave it in the COMMENTS section!

– Randy