There has been much discussion of late on the value (or otherwise) of blogs. So this is by way of reflection.
I was a reluctant blogger. Far too public a format for someone who is essentially ‘private’. But it’s a tool. A skill. A way of communicating beyond the bounds of church membership or geographic location. And thus a way to help build community and to engage in mission.
Mission? But surely only churchy types read this. That is mostly true, but all of us who blog have had other contacts, conversations that wouldn’t have happened without blogging: someone wanting a way into the church; someone tempted to walk out but looking for a last thread to hold onto.
All that I expected. What I didn’t expect was that I would enjoy it so much. And this is why:
- blogs connect me with people. those I wouldn’t otherwise meet, those who are geographically far away, those who have become friends: noticing when I’m ill, offering support, sharing their lives.
- blogs make me laugh. There is banter and chat, sharing of stories, and a willingness to take risks (and thus to get things wrong as well as right) publicly.
- blogs make me think. I become aware of things I might have missed otherwise, as people share topics that concern them. There’s space for sharing of expertise, time to ‘play’ with complex ideas. (my all time favourite conversation can be found here.)
- blogs give me hope for the church. There are a lot of passionate, intelligent people out there thinking about God. OK, sometimes they are cross. There’s plenty to be cross about in the church. But they are there, trying to make it work. Looking for new ways forward. Building relationship that show we are all in this together.
Thanks to all of you who offer me so much through this peculiar public-private, open-intimate world.