BLOGGING ABC

Some dear friends if mine are embarking on the ‘blogging’ journey and I offered to write something for their benefit primarily.

Here is a brief introduction to blogging as learned over the last few years, and I am very much blogging with my ‘L plates’ on. All that I have learned is by trial and error or observing and benefiting from reading good bloggers.

Being an online public diary – it is very much linked to the context, personality and talent of the writer. And therefore like any creative exercise, creativity and originality are highly prized.

When it comes to CONTENT, two things spring to mind straight away.  If you are travelling or living away from the main audience of your blog – write about the mundane. Ordinary events of the day will give people an insight into your life.

Then, write about the memorable highlights of the day. It can be an incident, a news item, a quote, an observation – something that will encourage people to pay attention.

STYLE-WISE, write to inform, inspire and impact. Those three qualities will leave a mark on those reading and will enhance your communication with both friends and the blogosphere at large.

Productivity and self-discipline are the hallmark of great bloggers yet very difficult to achieve. You need to strike a balance between not writing for the sake of it or being far too infrequent. Both extremes will nauseate and frustrate your readers.

Last words – baby steps. Treat blogging as a learning experience. You will go through exciting patches and also plenty of dull ones. Don’t panic and keep coming back to it with fresh fervour.

MY FACEBOOK DIMINISHED ACTIVITY

The FB account is still ‘live’ so you can send me a message (PM) since I disabled the wall.

Twitter is far less intrusive and distracting. And not that complicated as some might think.

You can subscribe to the blog, if you want to follow it. Just google on how to do it. Google reader is as good as any – especially if you’re using Google Chrome (which you really should consider).

I found FB lately filled with stuff that is either distracting or destructive so I need to make a move. Please don’t see it as a self righteous act. I just need to do what I need to do.

I have appreciated the feedback and your encouragements and I really that the communication will still be there, just ‘re-mixed’.

PS: It might also ‘sift’ some relationships out – we have become too lazy maybe and we have the illusion that FB makes our friendships/fellowship real. The truth is maybe different.  A lot of the FB social connections are more incidental rather than intentional.

‘Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. [9] What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.’ Philippians 4:8-9 ESV

BUILDING A BRIDGE


The other day a friend of mine has asked about my preferred way of ‘handling’ a situation in which one of the members of my congregation comes to me complaining about another member regarding something they might have said/done and hurt them.

Here are some of my thoughts (so far…always work in progress). Although it seems a little bit like a system – it is meant to be much more ‘fluid’ and primarily relational. It goes without saying that it must be coupled with an attentive ear to God’s voice.

PRELIMINARIES:

  • Is it necessary to hear all this? In fullness? Is this person a ‘complainer/stirrer’ – do they permanently fall out with others? Do they have a negative attitude? Although that doesn’t mean their complaint must be dismissed – that must bring some filters perhaps.
  • Is it accurate – are they telling the truth? Are they ‘filtering’ the information because of their background, former traumas or relational difficulties?
  • Is it the right time/place/means for me as a pastor to hear this issue? Is it urgent? Is to be done face-to-face?
  • Is it essential for me to be involved? Should/can they ‘sort’ it out themselves? Beware of you becoming a middle-person because of their unwillingness to humbly and graciously confront one another – Matthew 18
  • Is the Bible addressing the issue? Read about what it says and have a Biblical viewpoint prepared – if possible. See Colossians 3:12-15; Romans 12:18
  • Is my heart right – Matthew 7:1-5? Am I objective? Have I sought God’s wisdom? Have I prayed about the people, the issues, myself?

PROCESS

  • Courage – nobody likes confrontation but often it is necessary in solving a problem: Acts 6 – by dealing with issues we demonstrate leadership, courage, wisdom and…love (yes, love). See also Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 5:1-3
  • Compassion – the goal should always be healing, restoration and redemption. We must be clothed in humility, patience, grace and love as we engage with those in conflict.
  • Communication – this must be done as clearly, honestly and politely as possible. Though feelings cannot be detached from the facts – objectivity is essential.
  • Community – we must show the parts that this affects not just them personally but even families and the entire Body of Christ. There is more to us than just ‘me’.
  • Christ-centredness – always seek to bring Jesus, His teaching, example and sacrifice in the issues involved? How do they relate? What did Jesus say? What please Him?

I am not suggesting this to be a model. It’s just the way I would go about it…. Please feel free to add your own perspectives and questions…