Three things I’d like to see in the Christian blogosphere in 2014

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For the last couple of years, I’ve shared a few things I’d like to see change in the Christian blogosphere each year (here’s a look at the 2012 and 2013 editions). Looking back over these past dreams has been fascinating for me. What we’ve seen in the last year, and in particular the last several months, has been a greater confirmation that we don’t handle controversy well, and our public personalities struggle to understand what it means to take personal responsibility. So one thing we can be sure of is I am no prophet.

This—the controversy and shameful public behavior, not the not being a prophet—has been an ongoing frustration for me. Why? Because the whole thing casts a dark shadow on our witness. And that’s got to stop. We need to be less about whatever bonehead move Celebrity Pastor X made this week and more about the gospel. Here are three ways I’d suggest we do that:

1. Bloggers practicing Titus 3:10. “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him,” wrote Paul to Titus. A while back I wrote on this in a more in-depth fashion (specifically on what makes a person divisive), but we should remember the seriousness of Paul’s words: If a person is being divisive—whether it’s a church member stirring the pot through gossip and slander, or Christian celebrities who crash conferences and seem to lack any sort of real accountability1—then you should have nothing to do with them.

Don’t read their books. Unsubscribe from their blogs. Stop following them on Twitter. Stop paying attention and those problems will, in time, go away on their own.

2. Bloggers actively serving in their local churches. Something peculiar I’ve noticed is that a number of people seem to treat their blogs as their ministries. But they don’t appear to be involved in any meaningful way at their local church beyond showing up on Sunday and singing off-key for a few songs. Blogging is an effective aspect of ministry, but it should always be an add-on to their ministry in the real-world. So serve people, whether it’s by leading a small group, joining an evangelism team (if your church does street witnessing), volunteer in the nursery or toddler room… do something that stretches you and benefits others.

3. Bloggers who don’t think too highly of themselves. No blogger—especially not a Christian one—should walk around thinking they’re a big deal. Whether you’ve got 10 followers or 10,000,000, it really doesn’t matter that much. It doesn’t matter if you don’t weigh in on every significant issue. (Or any of them, for that matter.) Focus on creating content that’s edifying—for yourself and others. What is the Lord teaching you through your regular study of his Word? How is he working in your life? Think on these things—and share the ones that should be shared.

That’s what I’m hoping to see in 2014. More importantly, I’ll be doing what I can to adhere to them. How about you?

Show 1 footnote

  1. Here’s what I mean by real accountability: your elders should have the power to fire you if you go crazy.

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  • Michelle Dacus Lesley

    Spot on, Aaron. I particularly agree with #1- that we should stop following/financially supporting Christian celebrities who aren’t lined up with God’s word, if it is a pattern of unrepentant behavior. (Of course, if it is an uncharacteristic {i.e. they have a solid track record of walking uprightly}, temporary fall into sin and they repent from it, that might be a different matter.)

    I had not noticed #2 (probably because I don’t follow but 3 bloggers, all of whom ARE active in their local church). That’s interesting and surprises me.

  • http://writingandliving.net Staci Eastin

    I’ll admit it, your footnote made me laugh out loud. But, it is sad, because while for me it’s just an abstract idea, there are real people being hurt by this.

    • http://www.bloggingtheologically.com Aaron Armstrong

      Agreed, it’s awful that many are in situations where this is the type of person “leading” their church.

  • http://blogforthelordjesus.wordpress.com Mike Gantt

    Blogging the sight of the Lord provides far more accountability that blogging in the sight of human overseers.

    If the Lord Jesus is alive and watching over us and judging us…why don’t we act more like it?

    • http://www.bloggingtheologically.com Aaron Armstrong

      I don’t know that the two are mutually exclusive; in our day-to-day, after all, the Lord gives us oversight through human overseers in addition to the Holy Spirit.

      Here’s how it looks for me: My accountability to the Lord weighs heavily as I write in general; I don’t want to write something flippant and unhelpful. Nevertheless, I am not imperfect, nor am I always fully aware of the implications of something I’m writing/have written. That’s why, as an additional measure, I’ve asked the elders of my church to have oversight on this blog. If they see something questionable, or a pattern of inappropriate behavior, they have the right to ask me to write a clarification (which has happened once), take down a post altogether or shut down the entire blog.

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  • samanthakrieger

    Thanks Aaron. I couldn’t agree more.

  • Kendo

    #2 is a real surprise but I can totally see that happening too. It’s easy for others to criticize the church and not be involved in any significant way.

  • kevinsorensen

    Thanks for this, Aaron. I especially like the last two. If more of us had a true servant’s heart (which is the heart of Jesus) there wouldn’t be the rush to commit the problem’s associated with #1. Also, if we put on true humility, think more of others than of ourselves, problem #1 will be far less of an issue. I don’t know if this is what you had in mind, but they dove-tail very well together. Blessings upon you.

  • http://www.sonyamacdesigns.com/ Sonya McCllough

    Yes & Amen … I’m all in!

  • capstewart

    Excellent “wish list”! These are stellar principles for us bloggers to follow. Thank you for the gracious challenge.

  • http://sukofamily.org/ Caleb

    I loved this one Aaron, “Blogging is an effective aspect of ministry, but it should always be an add-on to their ministry in the real-world.”
    I always feel that blogging out to come out of a life that is engaged in real ministry and not the other way around. There is a lot of theoretical conversation that goes on in the blogosphere which I think could easily be remedied by real life hands on ministry to those who are in need!

    Thanks for the great shot in the arm. May God bless your ministry and your blogging in 2014!

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  • remissional

    Its not just bloggers not serving, but I agree. People need to have some skin in the game!

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