A common question asked by pastors is, “Should I blog?” My answer is emphatically, “Yes!”
Interestingly enough that is not the answer pastors want to hear. Those from big churches share a rebuttal about not having enough time due to all the programs they have to manage, while pastors of smaller churches talk about how their people manage to absorb their every waking hour with crisis after crisis.
However, some realize that blogging gives them an opportunity to help individuals hold onto their Sunday message a little longer with follow up comments. One pastor uses his blog to clarify misunderstood points that the grapevine buzzes about. Another pastor uses blogs to follow up his preaching with real life applications and additional examples of how the Bible plays out in everyday life.
Yet most pastors worry about their poor writing skills. After all, most were people persons who didn’t have much time for developing writing skills. But, as we all know, excellent writing isn’t as important as good content. People are looking for transparency and truth. They want to hear from authentic people, flaws and all.
Our society is tired of false imagery suggesting that anyone is perfect. We are tired of the 65-year-old starlet who has a plastic face. We want real people with real problems that some how make it through life. It’s no wonder that reality TV is ranked high in the ratings – Although some question the reality of reality TV.
This need for transparency shows up in business and government as well. We all know that budgets can be balanced, as we do with our own checking accounts, so it is understandable that corporate presidents and governors will eventually have to do the same. Can you imagine what life would like if all our leaders were transparent? Some would no longer be leaders and others would be escalated to the top.
The funny thing is that there are numerous Christians, or modern day Pharisees, who are so concerned about appearing spiritual that they refuse to cry or be cynical in front of others. They work hard at maintaining their spiritual mask so everyone holds respect for them. Well, that is until a crack shows up in their armor.
Don’t Christians know that there is more grace for those who stumble than for those who don’t?
Frankly, I’d prefer to be known as a person who has received much grace, than be perceived as a guy who is close to perfect that others avoid for fear of conviction by association. I want to be approachable, which is only possible through transparency, not facades.
Now, that’s not to say I feel everyone should start talking about their last lustful thought on the Internet, but I do believe being real is vitally important to our communities. Not the mention the great feeling we get inside when we live up to the historical phrase, “To thine own self be true.”
For a pastor to be true to himself, he must find a way to stay relevant in the life of those he encourages. And, since most of the members of his congregation are on the web, it only makes sense that he too would be present with words of encouragement.
Unfortunately, most pastors never learned the finer steps of blogging in divinity school and start out making numerous mistakes that require grace from his peeps. The real question that needs to be asked is, “Will his congregation extend him grace as he explores blogging, or will they descend like vultures expecting nothing less than perfection?” – Bombarding him with ruthless emails.
The follow up question is similar, with a focus on Facebook. Now here’s a social network that creates more transparency than what people realize. There have been many a person fired after a Facebook entry and it makes me wonder how many churches have let pastors go after a misjudged remark on someone’s wall.
We live in a scary age of technology and we’ll find it harder to hold onto false images of who we are in the days to come. Soon there will be little kept private, as all things are revealed in the end times. There will be no pretense left. You will be in front of the world, as the person you really are.
Will you be characterized as a perfect Christian or a sinner saved by grace? For me, it will be the latter.