to continue my series of posts regarding innovation...the next few days will be sporadic at best as we finish our packing and moving...on top of this, i'm not sure when we'll have dsl ready at the new home and i have quite a few meetings in the coming days that will consume much of my time...anyway, moving forward with innovation, i want to answer the following 2 questions:
1.) what is a blog?
2.) what value is it to me in ministry?
1.) what is a blog? simply, a blog is short for "web log" - its a place that can be used to: educate, inform, update, inspire, challenge, opine, or journal (there's probably more uses, but you get the point) - blogging is a personal website that is updated regularly. you can use many various sites for free blogging service (such as this one, it's hosted on blogger.com - a google site). i reserved the domain name for just a few bucks per year, and my name "points" to my site. to recap: the blog host is free, the website name is not - if you want to reserve a "domain name" (like i did with rickwomack.com) then you can expect to pay a few dollars per year. how often you update your site is up to you. there are some sites that i track that are updated once per week, some several times per day - keep in mind, i don't go to these sites, they come to me because i use an aggregator (blog reader).
2.) what value is it to me in ministry? i can see several values for church leaders. it can be used to "finish the sermon" - in other words, perhaps you leave the sermon open ended and point people to your site where you'll finish the "last point" later in the week. then you type it out, publish it on your blog, and you finish preaching your sermon through teaching on your blog. you can also use a blog to help you prepare for a sermon like this pastor did. it can also be used to make regular announcements. such as: special events, snow days, guest speakers, vbs, etc. a blog can also be used to prepare your people for a small group ahead of time - post the chapters or verses to be read, then ask a couple of open ended questions on your blog, then when everyone shows up, they're prepared to discuss. in short, a blog can be a means of digital discipleship. it's taking your influence as a pastor or leader and extending it through the course of the week on a digital level to your members. here are other examples of a use for a blog: if you're a missionary or evangelist, you can use it to post your iteneration schedule or activities on the field; if you're a volunteer leader, you can use it to post schedule (just be sure to keep people's identity vague - don't use last names!); if you're the worship leader, you can post the set list and position assignments for the upcoming month(s). in short, use your imagination, there are a lot of options for blogging in ministry - use the technology to your advantage to leverage your influence
as a final bonus, please check out marks 10 tips for blogging - i agree with them all!