I’ve decided to go through some of the older articles that I have written and pull them out of the vault. Many of these articles are more akin to vaulting Snow Dogs than Dumbo. Nonetheless, it is fun to look back and see some of the things the Lord was working in my heart.
Occasionally, I have skipped across a blog post that was a turning point in my life, ministry, or writing. The following article was written back in 2008 when Tony Kumner included me in the SBC Voices Blog Madness. This caused me to seriously reflect on the place of blog promotion in the kingdom of Christ. I am glad that I decided at this point to take writing more seriously.
#16 seeds never win in the NCAA tournament. It's always cute to watch them try against the powerhouse schools. There are two major things that separate the big schools from the little schools that get a #16 seed: Recruitment and Talent.
I am a #16 seed in the SBC Blog Madness. (Be sure to vote) I have little chance to get past the first round. I am just being honest. I am in the same division as Ed Stetzer and Tom Ascol. They will easily make it to the next round. And in order to get one of the two remaining spots I would have to beat out Peter Lumpkins, Joe Thorn/Steve McCoy's subtext blog, Alan Cross, B21, amongst a host of others. No chance.
You know what separates me from the "big blogs"? Yep, you guessed it-- Recruitment and Talent. I have never been good at recruitment. It feels contrary to the gospel. It seems self-indulgent and prideful. Or does it? From the time I began blogging I have struggled with whether or not I should engage in a blog-promotion. Of course my intent would not be to promote myself (or secretly is it?). I have kind of had the Field of Dreams approach to blogging. If you blog it they will come. I have had about 15,000 hits in the last couple of years. I only have 8 google reader subscribers. And I think a few from other feed readers. Some people do read this blog. But I have yet to see Shoeless Joe Jackson as a visitor or in the comments.
Here is my question for all 8 of you: Is blog promotion wrong?
- More readers means better discussion. But better discussion means more time spent sifting through comments.
- In order to promote the blog it means being more involved in online discussions. This can be helpful but it can also be distracting from hands on ministry. But, is blogging a "ministry"?
- In promoting the blog am I promoting Jesus or trying to make a name for myself? (I realize you cannot answer this one).
- Am I even decent enough at blogging? I know that the more the blog is known the more my faults will be known--like when to use a comma, semi-colon, etc. I've seen these online discussions--they get ugly. People are nasty. People take your ideas and make them something they are not. Do I really want that to be a part of my life? Is it realistic to not expect that to be? Am I wasting my talents out of fear?
I think as I have been thinking through this it comes down to one key question--am I blogging for Jesus or am I blogging for myself? If I am blogging for myself then blog-promotion is stupid and prideful. If I am blogging for Jesus then blog-promotion is merely proclaiming the gospel. Paul did come in fear and trembling and he did preach Christ and Him crucified. But in order to do that he had to stand up in busy synagogues and start preaching. He had to believe that he had something to say.