Blogging effectively for the Kingdom of God requires a bit more than sound theology wrapped in a cool theme. Although I eagerly recommend both excellent theology and every cool widget one can possibly download for free, it seems blogging requires a bit of something more. A hidden element. A hard to pinpoint essence. Often times, it may require a sense of purpose.
Whether your blog is a personal journal, a family archive, an instructional tool for a designated group or an invitation for open dialog with anyone, it represents you. Our online presence is simply an extension of who we are. And recently, I find myself drawn to the idea that what really empowers our weblogs may be the element of discovering our own personal, spiritual gift-mix and employing it in our blogging.
Since a key starting point for understanding our roles in the Body of Christ is knowing our ministry make-up, it only makes sense that our blogs have the potential to reflect our spiritual assignments with the very best essence of who we are and how we were made to function. Thus, when we blog in accordance with our own particular â€œministry mixâ€, a unique spiritual synergy occurs. Our blog takes on the extra dimensions (beyond natural abilities/talents) of our essence, motivations and calling.
For example, Ephesians 4:11 - 13 outlines the ministry giftings that Jesus gives the Church to distinguish us from one another. This list includes apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. These roles are not exclusive titles; they are more like functions, ways many of us tend to operate naturally to build up the Body. They are distinct from other scripturally outlined giftings (the Fatherâ€™s motivational gifts in Romans 12:6-8 or the Holy Spiritâ€™s gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11). And importantly, we canâ€™t strive to be or become something we (by Godâ€™s design) really arenâ€™t. What we can do is enhance our blogs by mindfully embracing our own unique mix and make-up, allowing it to distinguish us.
As the blogosphere grows, it diversifys. As blogging evolves, I anticipate a growing effectiveness in the blogs where there is a correlation between a personâ€™s spiritual gift mix and their site. Itâ€™s not as simple as blogging a passion/interest; thatâ€™s a given. When blogs begin to fill roles/functions in God-designed spaces, bloggers begin to display unique tendencies and empowerments that they alone were gifted with. Additionally, they may have begun to speak to the specific audience they were designed to address (i.e. â€“ Paul to the Jews, Peter to the Gentiles although both functioned as apostles).
Contrariwise, if youâ€™ve never discovered your gift-mix, your blog may offer clues. The same way no two ministries are identical, no two blogs will be the same in either essence or function. God takes elements of these scripturally outlined gifts and creates a gift-mix unique to each believer. Thus, each blog is at its best when (content & bling notwithstanding) it is the unique reflection of the individual who hosts it.
If you pay attention, youâ€™ll notice particular giftings emerging(!) amongst bloggers. For example, although I am a pastor by vocation, my blogging style almost always has a teaching slant (see?) which I give myself to instead of resisting. Itâ€™s a primary disposition that, like all gift combinations, comes with both strengths and weaknesses. The prophets pretty much tell it like it is often in a â€˜challenge the status quoâ€™ way, the apostles are always starting something new and coming back around to nourish what theyâ€™ve already planted and the evangelists are looking for new ways to express Jesusâ€™ offer again and again, etc.
Apart from gifts of leadership, there are numerous other gifts and ministries within the Body of Christ, from hospitality to mercy distributors, we are all endowed with our differences and there are far too many combinations to list exhaustively in a blog post. (Yes, I know posts are supposed to be short blurbs with links, but the teacher in me prevails!) It's easy to google a list online here.
Iâ€™m curious (teachers are often students), do you see your personal gift-mix represented in your blog? Iâ€™d be interested to know if and where you see any of the spiritual giftings reflected or should I say emerging in the blogs of others as well.