Andrew Jones' seminar at Greenbelt on "The Spirituality of blogging" has started quite a discussion on the textistential question of Why blog? Sarah and Phil have written some stuff around this and I've certainly been thinking about this in the last few days!
Andrew Jones in the seminar articulated some stuff that I "felt" about blogging but hadn't been able to express, I found it enormously encouraging! Within 24 hours however I'd also heard the question, "Aren't all bloggers essentially arrogant?" and been challenged on my blog becoming/sounding too self promotional.
I had a real crisis of confidence as I encountered a great picture of what Christian blogging should be BUT at the same time became more aware of the capacity for misunderstandings, ego and setting yourself up (or being seen to) as something more than you are. Ouch!
This has had me really wrestling with:
Why should I dare to blog?
Do I have the ability to communicate in text?
I'm still working through these. I had another look at what I'd said I was aiming at:
"promote debate about youth ministry, to encourage people involved in volunteer leadership, to meet other practicioners, to be a bridge between youth ministry and emerging Church, and to celebrate the humour of Life, youthwork and faith"
I also have been thinking about why I blog, it's a think-athon in progress but I reckon:
1. I need to write or talk in order to work out what I think. The blog serves this well and then opens those thoughts to accountability and discussion.
2. It's fun. I enjoy creating something.
3. It throws me into a community of people who care about young people.
4. I like having a place to share things that excite me or make me laugh.
5. It means that I record things I was never bothering to record before. I can now retrieve them when a link, story or contact is useful to someone else.
I am truly alarmed that I had either come across as or strayed into self promotion *embarrassed* I have become acutely aware that what is in my head as I write may come across differently to a reader.
Anyway, that's where I'm at right now! I am debating taking a month off blogging just to work through this stuff more fully and reflect on Tall Skinny's list of what spiritual blogging should be (below).
I have also thrown away my Youthblog T Shirts and have turned off the comments for this entry as this is not about me needing an ego boost.
"Blogging is a spiritual discipline because to blog is to find oneself in a place of:
1. Praise (public acknowledgement) - "publish glad tidings daily"
2. Accountability. (Eph. 5: 21 "Submit yourselves to one another", quote from Athanasias)
3. Vulnerability (Daniel's window)
4, Given-ness (Freely you have received, gift economy, Prov 11:24)
5. Creative Naming (Adam, Neighbors in Ruth)
6. Repentance (editing/deleting/changing our mind in new media)
7. Fellowship (hypertext linking, Koinonia)
8. Evangelism (storytelling, blogging from our lives)
9. Integrity (writing matches our speaking, design reflects reality)
10. Posterity. (store/guard what has been entrusted, writing history)
11. Watchfulness (watch and pray)"