Can Blogging Have a Spiritual Purpose?

keyboard_1I am writing to bring to you the purpose of Bethel Life.  Six months ago I was not even thinking about posting an article on a blog or that we would even have a site like this.  Now, here we are, getting in sync with today’s communication.  How did we get here and why are we doing this?  I am being totally honest when I say that I have argued in my mind whether this is the best use of my time or if I am merely part of a fleeting, trendy fad.  As our pastoral staff has discussed blogs and “twittering” I have been unable to escape the reality of how our communications have progressed over time.  When I first began as a youth pastor there was not a single teenager in my youth group that even texted. But by the time I finished, most everyone was a texting pro.  I have come to the conclusion that not attempting to connect with our church through a blog like this is overlooking an amazing means of extending pastoral ministry in a truly impacting way.  Bethel Life is a current tool to help us stay in touch and pastor the people of Bethel Baptist Church more effectively.

Let me give you some reasons why I think Bethel Life will be of help to our church:

1.  Connecting – Discipleship is a key component of a church’s life.  It is the second half of the Great Commission.  Bethel Life gives us a useful way to connect with people throughout the day.  There are folks that I see only twice a week–and for a brief minute each time–if that.  Most of the time we pass one another in the hall and give the obligatory “How’s it goin’?”.  Journaling on a blog gives the opportunity to further connect with people and then allow them to comment if they choose.  The generations coming behind us love this kind of connectivity and I love being part of that.

2.  Reflecting – According to Proverbs 24:32 the wise man “considers well” and retains thoughts about life and how God’s truth impacts life.  There are many times I would like to have a time after preaching to talk about how God is applying the truth preached in different folks’ lives.  This venue will enable us to do that by recapping messages and reflecting on some applications of the message.  I am often challenged by the fact that we preach life-impacting truths and then go out, have lunch, and move on.  Reflecting can help us to retain truth so that we do not leave the “mirror” of the Word and forget what manner of people we are (James 1:23).

3.  Encouraging – Proverbs 25:11 says that there is such a thing as “a word fitly spoken.”  With so many burdens and pressures in people’s lives I would like for them to find at Bethel Life a place to connect with our church and be uplifted and strengthened.  We have been so blessed to have some awesome Sundays at Bethel and I know throughout a week my mind tends to drift back to encouraging songs, testimonies, and preaching.  I would like to carry those Sundays a little bit further into the week through our blog.

4.  Communicating – I love to ask “Why?”  If I don’t know why I am doing something, I find it hard to put my whole heart into it.  Bethel Life gives us a place to further communicate biblical philosophy of local church ministry.  Many of the entries on this blog will attempt to draw out and explain something that is already being said from the pulpit.  Writing makes us think and become more precise.  My desire is that we can address lots of “Why”s.  Hopefully the biblical philosophy of church ministry preached at Bethel will become clearer and more articulate in our blog communication.

5.  Seasoning – We are commanded to have speech that is full of grace and “seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6).  We all know there is so much on the web that is not good.  I preach about it and challenge people to guard themselves against that stuff.  But if I am not personally contributing to Internet communication in a helpful way then could I be guilty of being salt that has lost its savor (Matthew 5:13)?  As pastors we want to make a difference in folks’ lives.  This is a place that we do that.

6.  Shepherding – Being a pastor of people for whom Christ died is a weighty and solemn stewardship,  one for which we as pastors will one day give account (Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 5:4).  There is no replacement for personal one-on-one time with people, face-to-face, with a coffee cup in hand.  However, we pastor through notes, e-mails, calls, and a host of other “touches” on peoples lives.  I believe Bethel Life increases our ability to “enlarge our coast” and to increase our ability to touch lives.

7.  Inspiring– Our church purpose statement is “To glorify God by inspiring people to love God and discover His great plan for their lives.”  The Bible gives so many picturesque analogies of our Christian walk – a race, a battle, sowing and reaping.  We want to inspire you to press on in the race and keep fighting the battle.  My heart’s desire is found in Peter’s words that you would “Grow in Grace.”  Bethel Life will help you in that pursuit!

Finally, just a couple of random–but important–thoughts:

Remember that we will be called into account for our words (Matthew 12:36).  Let’s make sure our words are encouraging and uplifting.  Secondly, we are stewards of our time.  God wants us to redeem the time because we are living in evil days.  Some people live to blog or have an insatiable desire to be constantly connected.  Our greatest desire must be to connect to God and know Him.  If honesty prevailed, some would confess that they spend more time twittering, texting, or facebooking than getting to know God in a given week.  Bethel Life is a tool, so let the tool serve us to encourage folks to “draw nigh to God.”

7 Responses

  1. Thank you, Pastor, for your desire to use modern technology to honor Christ, and for your relentless focus on finding ways to help our congregation.

  2. Jim,
    Thanks and congratulations on being the first member to comment on our new site! We will have to remember this for the history books!

  3. Pastor, Great article and this will be a great way to keep a previous message/challenge brewing in our heart and to help us focused on what God has prepared for us to receive in the future. Todd

  4. Our church blog is a great asset to our spiritual walk. It helps to counteract all the negative media and music bombarding us on all sides. Since the concept of blogging is an approved means of global communication, it is just natural that our church would utilize it to glorify God.

  5. What a great addition to the teaching and preaching we are under!! This will be a great way to “fill in the gap” between Sunday’s and Wednesday’s. Kudos to the Pastoral team! We are incredibly blessed.

  6. Pastor, I just did a google search on “bethel church inspiring shepherding communicating seasoning connecting reflecting encouraging” and unfortunately bethellife.wordpress did not come up… yet!

    I am looking forward to hearing/reading more of what is on our Pastor’s hearts during the quiet times.

    See you tomorrow!

  7. Hi Pastor,
    I just sat down to read several of the articles on the new blog. I’m not a computor whiz (as Al can attest) but this is very accessible and easy. Thanks to the pastoral staff for doing this. It is a great way to stay up with what is on your hearts and it’s a great way to inform, encourage and challenge. I don’t often get the opportunity to talk to any of the staff because of the business on Sundays and Wednesdays but this gives a way to share with you as well.

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