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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Blogging – A Ministry Tool According to The Alabama Baptist

“Blogging. It is one of the newest words in the American vernacular, and it has become a surprisingly effective way to reach to others with the gospel message.”

Those were the first lines of a recent news article in the current edition of The Alabama Baptist (August 31, 2006) written by Cheryl Sloan Wray. As I read this article, I must admit the first thing that came to my mind was, one, the comments of outgoing president of the SBC Bobby Welch when he said, “Maybe if we spent less time blogging we would spend more time baptizing.” The second thing I that came to my mind was the comment of an editor of another state paper who said that the bloggers were nothing but the “SBC graffiti.” So to see another state paper counter with some positive news on blogging is a little surprising and certainly encouraging.

Wray interviewed Alan Cross, pastor of Gateway Baptist Church (Montgomery, AL) and daily blogger, who compared the blogosphere to the water coolers of yesteryear in that it has provided “an excellent way for laypeople, as well as ministers, to get into meaningful discussions with others all around the world. . . . It can be a good tool to touch people’s hearts and engage their lives.”

Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, also has a blog which he started about a year ago after Hurricane Katrina. Lance said he uses his blog “to communicate with his statewide audience about important happenings, as well as share personal insights.” Wray comments that Lance agreed that blogs “provide a wonderful witnessing opportunity for Baptists and all Christians.” Lance explains,

“I hope that blogging can be used for the purpose of witnessing to those who do not know Christ and encouraging believers who do Him. In this sense, blogging can be a tool of communication in the kingdom of God.”

Over the past year, I have been encouraged to see influential pastors and theologians like John MacArthur, Mark Dever, Tom Ascol, Mark Driscoll, Josh Harris, and Lig Duncan enter the blogosphere. While blogging is simply a tool and may end up being a fad, it has received predominately a negative report from those within the SBC. Are there elements of the blogosphere that I hate and think should not exist? You bet I do, but that goes for newspapers, television, radio, and other medium of communication Christians are using to impact our world.

I know that Bobby Welch may see an article like this as detrimental to his aspirations of reaching a million baptisms (a campaign which is inherently flawed), but I highly doubt that the rise of blogging pastors will diminish the work of the Great Commission any more than other vested interests or forms of recreation of Christians. And while some may think of all this blogging a bunch of graffiti, I must say, some of it looks quite good, and the walls of the SBC could sure use some more. Update: Now for something we could definitely do without, check this out. Anyone who buys one of these needs to be left behind (HT: Alex Forrest). . . . For all you Lahaye fan's, I'm only kidding. :)

3 Comments:

Blogger Nick Kennicott said...

As always, Timmy, you're spot on. My favorite comment was "I know that Bobby Welch may see an article like this as detrimental to his aspirations of reaching a million baptisms (a campaign which is inherently flawed), but I highly doubt that the rise of blogging pastors will diminish the work of the Great Commission anymore than an other vested interest or form of recreation of Christians."
I know that being a part of the blogging brotherhood has helped me grow as a Christian, has kept me abreast of pertinent information, trends, and happenings in our convention, and most importantly, has helped me find more widespread unity in the Body of Christ as we all strive to glorify Him.

9/10/2006 09:02:00 PM

 
Blogger Alan Cross said...

Hey Timmy,

Good to meet you, somewhat, anyway. I just saw that article the other day. It seemed pretty positive, so I don't think Dr. Welch's opinion is shared by everyone. Blogging has been a great way for me to get my thoughts down and it has made me a better preacher, writer, and communicator. It's also made me more aware of where I see God at work in the world around me (except for some minor diversions like college football, that's the theme of my blog).

Grace and Peace to you!

9/10/2006 10:43:00 PM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

Alan,

Nice to somewhat meet you as well. :)

Actually, I happen to cross your comments quite frequently on Marty's and Wade's blog. I will be checking in on yours more often. Good work.

@ Nick,

I thought about sharing some of the benefits I have received from blogging, and this week might be a good time to do that. People need to understand that for many of us, this is not just a web-log or some small man attempt at propagandizing. It also might help those who read my blog understand why I do/write what I do/write. Anyway, thanks for your thoughts!

9/11/2006 10:17:00 AM

 

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