I was recently asked a really interesting question: why do you blog?
That’s a really good question considering that the blogosphere is often known as the place where the ignorant to go spread their ignorance, resulting in word pollution rather than offering any sort of helpful solutions or conclusions.
Well I started this blog back in 2014 when I served as a Ministry Intern at South West Chinese Christian Church (now known as South West Evangelical Church), and it was a means for me to keep my financial and prayer supporters updated on everything that was going on in my life and ministries. Many support-raising ministry staff use emails or other services like Mailchimp to send their newsletters, but I wanted to try something a little different. In hindsight, I think there were things that I could have done better, but it was worth a shot.
After my internship concluded, I was at a crossroads where I had the choice to either shut the blog down completely or continue on without much of a direction. The fact that you’re reading this shows that I chose the latter. So why did I continue, or in other words, what are the benefits of blogging?
I think the internet is more revolutionary than the printing press and this can be harnessed to advanced the Gospel in revolutionary ways. The ability to print gave people (and I had the Reformers particularly in my mind) the ability to disseminate information quickly and cheaply, and numerous studies (such as this) have been produced on how the printing press was crucial for the spread of the Reformation. So I thought that if the Reformers saw printing as a crucial way to spread the message of the Reformation, then surely we can think of creative ways to use the internet to further the cause of the Gospel.
For example, blogging is quicker than printing. I use WordPress.com which means I can post on my computer or on my phone (through an App) in a matter of seconds. Last week, I had a few brief moments at the airport, so I decided to whip out my computer to reflect and share about my uncle’s passing. This was therapeutic for me in that the process of thinking about the Gospel and spelling out its implications helped me find joy even in the face of a jarring and painful situation. At the same time, I also wanted to invite others who may be going through similar situations (or who will be in the future) to be reminded of the hope and joy they have through Christ’s resurrection. Because of blogging, I was able to do all this in a short amount of time without having to go through an editor and wait for months before seeing it published. To be sure, this sort of speed means that unfiltered (and sometimes unnecessary) thoughts can be quickly published, and this can sometimes be damaging and destructive. But if used wisely, I think it can bring about a lot of good. Coming back to my post from the airport, I received messages (soon after I landed in Malaysia) from people who sent their regards and condolences, and I was really encouraged to hear that some who had experienced similar loss were uplifted from a short and simple reminder from the Gospel. This was all possible because of blogging.
Blogging is also cheap. If you don’t want a registered domain name, all you need is a device that can connect to the internet – and you probably have this in your hand already. If you want a paid and registered domain name, they cost about $10-15 a year. This is a small price to pay for a great platform to share about the Gospel. The Internet is filled with information and is constantly being refreshed with even more information. Some of it is harmful (such as pornography), some of it reinforces our heart idols, but some of it can be redemptive. My hope through blogging is to emphasise the redemptive message of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, in hopes that those around me (and perhaps some whom I’ll never get to meet) will be reminded in simple ways that Christ is Lord of all. And I think all this for $10-15 a year is a pretty good investment.
The internet and blogging also gives us incredible reach. The printing press gave the Reformers the ability to spread the message of the Reformation without having to be physically present in various locations. Blogging gives us that kind of access and arguably even more because anyone can access blog posts from any part of the world at the click of a button. Again, this means that the quality of blogs will vary and some of it will be more enriching than others. But blogging makes it possible to bring the message of the Gospel to the ends of the earth from your desk or your palm! What a great tool.
So, to be sure, there are pitfalls in blogging and some will suggest that this reinforces the demise of reading and extended thinking/processing. But it doesn’t have to be this way. I think blogging can be an excellent complement to the various ways we advance the Gospel, whether it is through proper publishing of well thought out books, carefully crafted sermons, or rich interpersonal relationships.