So I have spent the past few days
reviewing all the sites on the list, and the result is that I’ve been
thinking a bit about the future of Christian blogging.
That’s not to say I have any great
prescience on the matter. Is blogging a fad? Is it a serious new movement
that could revolutionise the media? Are Christian bloggers having an impact
on the culture? On the church? Or are the main readers of Christian blogs
Actually, I’ve no idea. I have a lot more
questions than answers. So, rather than fill this space with a lot of
speculative hot air, I shall instead try to guide readers to a small
selection of sites that I think might offer pointers to the future. They are
not necessarily my all-time favourite Christian blogs, nor are they
presented in any particular order. Most are smaller sites that are not
probably well known.
Opinionated - A
community blog by the
people at Toongabbie Anglican Church in Sydney. It seems to me there has to
be all kinds of scope for church blogs, especially if your congregation
includes articulate, computer-literate members. It’s a chance to explore
faith, exchange ideas, encourage others and sound off about the world. See
The Vine community blog, from the Vine and Branches Christian Community
Esler Fried – I’ve always been a fan of Ted Esler’s coal-face
commentaries on mission work. There’s surely scope for more blogging in the
mission community. Many churches wonder how to maintain contact with their
missionaries. How about a community church blog, allowing interaction
between missionaries (of course, only those with a reasonable internet
connection) and church members? And it would be good to see some blogs from
missionaries in the field. I only know of
Stranger in a Strange Land, from an American missionary in Bosnia.
Care and Feeding – Steve Schultz writes about running his church choir.
We need more blogs like this, from all the various workers of the church,
with preference given to those holding strong opinions and the desire to
express them. Steve unfortunately is not a prolific blogger, but he’s always
worth reading. What wonderful encouragement, for tin-voice worshippers like
me, from the following post:
Any tips for those tone deaf
parishioners like me who would love to be able to carry a tune at least
half-respectably so we can join the song?
First, let me say that I think everyone should sing in Church. The idea
regarding congregational singing is that our intent is what's important, not
how well we actually sing. It strikes me that if more people around you were
singing with gusto you wouldn't feel like you’re sticking out. Granted, it's
tough to know you're not singing well and have everyone around you hear it.
From an actual singing standpoint, there's two kinds of "tone deafness" -
one where a person is just not used to matching pitch - sometimes they do,
sometimes they don't. The other is real tone-deafness - never being about to
match pitch. It could be that you just need a little practice. I would
recommend getting some CDs you can try to sing along with and see how that
works. Try it with whatever music you like and see how it goes. It could be
you get better over time.
* Heart, Mind &
Strength - I think group blogs like this one are part of the wave of the
future. Consistent, quality blogging is hard work. Share the load - work
with a group, preferably with a group of strong writers. National Review
Corner was a pioneer, and
blogs4God is also
now successfully doing it.
Department of Theology at the University of Blogistan is another.
Cranky Professor – Michael Tinkler writes a quirky, sometimes grumpy,
wonderfully opinionated blog about life as a professor of art history at a
“pricey liberal arts college”. Less pugnacious, but still another favourite,
theConnexion.net from Richard Hall, a Methodist minister in Wales, who
writes his random ramblings – unfailingly with love - about life and all the
other stuff around him. We need more like them.
e-church com.munity weblog – e-church minister Tim Bednar has a site
full of ideas for developing a “user-created Christian com.munity”. I think
he could be part of the future of the Christian blogosphere. He writes:
I am disappointed with the
disproportionate number of sites that discuss “post-modern ministry”,
compared to those actually that minister online. In my opinion, only a
handful of websites or churches do spiritual work online (MethodX and
Beliefnet). Instead most Christian web sites either communicate to other
Ooze), provide spiritual information (Crosswalk),
or service bricks and mortar ministries (For
Willow Creek). Most of the content is provided by well-known writers
that are part of the Christian publishing industry. There are few
alternative voices. I want to provide a publishing platform that serves
everyday Christians who like to write and desire to participate in reasoned
dialogue about meaningful issues.
Actually, there are plenty more sites
with hints for future directions. I’ll look at others in future
August 2nd, 2002