Learning to be a Blogger
Mark 16:15-16 – And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
So I just got my stats for blogging for 2013. They look very interesting and I am able to make some very (un)scientific conclusions from the results. I’d like to go through some of the stats and explain how I think my writing will change over the next 12 months.
First, the number of people to my site doubled in 2013 and the busiest days for my blog were basically the month of July. This is very similar to 2012 when the majority of my visits came in at the end of July. So what happened in July of both years?
I went on a mission trip to Peru.
CONCLUSION #1: People love Peruvians. Ok, maybe THAT isn’t the conclusion to draw here. I think that people love to read about mission journeys. The reason for that, I believe, is that everyone really has a desire to travel the world to help someone in need. Years ago when I was preaching in Nigeria, there was a kid who had very little telling me, “Sir, thank you for coming to my country to preach to us. The reason you do so is that we can come to your country on missions trips and save them.”
That comment has never left my brain. It affected me so much that from that moment forward, I knew that my life is small compared to what God’s plan is for this world.
Romans 1:16 – For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Next, of my top 5 posts, four of them in 2013 were direct apologetics or theological statements. The fifth was on farting (spiritual farting, but farting nonetheless). And of those top 5 posts of 2013, three of them I posted in 2012!!!
CONCLUSION: People love apologetics and farting. Ok, maybe that is a little off base as well. But 2013 I spent a lot more time trying to use my direct experiences to lead people to Christ. But the most read posts were ones that simply led people to study the Word more. Maybe that is what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell me in my posts, that I should spend more time digging into the Word on my blog rather than applying it personally. My top read posts for both 2012 and 2013 were on predestination and election. Those posts for two years straight have been used as sources in seminary papers even!
Well, I can tell you that I am feverishly working on where my own views of theology lie. I’ve been reading Millard Erikson’s Christian Theology and peppering in many other sources as I read through his 1300 page book. Slowly, I am finding that I agree with much of the systematic theological method and that I have some concerns as well. Throughout much of 2014, I plan on posting pieces of this theology as it grows inside me.
Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Third, where people found me is not very surprising. In 2012, Twitter and LinkedIn were my top two referring sites. This year, Twitter was number one with Facebook number two. What is interesting about that is that I don’t even have a Facebook account. This means that my blog is being posted on other people’s accounts and other people I don’t even know are clicking onto my blog.
CONCLUSION: If you are in ministry, you should be blogging, on Twitter, on Facebook, and on LinkedIn. While this is unscientific, I have posted multiple times about the use of social media and how it can be used to gain significant traffic to your sites and eventually your brick and mortar churches. Pastors…BE ONLINE.
This next piece kind of goes along with the above information. In 2012, I had people from 26 countries visit my blog. That is 13% of the world’s countries. In 2013, I had 64 countries find my blog, including places like China, North Korea, and Iceland (I know Iceland isn’t filled with danger for Christians, but it is a really cool thing that someone from Iceland read my blog!). 64 countries equals 33% of the known world! My goal is to have my blog touch at least one person in all 195 of the countries in the world today.
CONCLUSION: We are called to make disciples in all nations. I understand that reading an electronic blog is not discipleship in the traditional sense. But in many countries, especially in countries where the church is persecuted, the only opportunity Christians have to get the Word is either orally or digitally. Don’t you think it would be wonderful for members of the persecuted church to get actual digital representations of the Bible on their computer? They wouldn’t need to save it to their computers where militants could find it and persecute them more. They could just go to your website and find a verse here or there with a parable, story, or explanation. How cool is that!
2 Corinthians 2:14 – But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.
So what am I taking away from all of this blog analysis?
First, I will write more studies on the Word and more apologetics. I’ll still use parable, story, and experience but it is evident that my readers want more meat and potatoes.
Next, I will strive to get the word out about this blog so that it can touch lives in all 195 countries of the world. Please keep that in prayer. That is one vision God has given me and I would love to see that come to be.
Finally, I will remain a voice to the church about turning social media into God’s channel. I learned today that groups like Al Quaeda and the mafia have been using social media to get the word out about the dark dealings.
Why can’t we use it to shine the light of Christ?
We should strive to own the world wide web! We want to take Christ and the gospel into all the world, right? What better way to take Bibles into places where there are none? What better way to spread the gospel to places that have little or no missionaries.
What better way to become a missionary? A digital missionary!
So church, let’s work together to take the Word of God to the world. Not only physically, but digitally. Let’s show the world that we as Christians will not be silent. That we will go into the places that no one else will and share the love of Jesus.
Matthew 28:19 – Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit