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We Know More Than Our Pastors

We Know More Than Our Pastors


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Published by churchmcr
A paper by Tim Bednar on how Bloggers are the vanguard of participatory church.
A paper by Tim Bednar on how Bloggers are the vanguard of participatory church.

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Published by: churchmcr on May 08, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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I post to my blog several times a day and make daily pilgrimages to my favorite list of
bloggers. This process has revolutionized my spiritual life. It has become an important
spiritual practice that uniquely combines writing, learning, conversation, community and
prayer with an abiding incarnational13


A blog is a frequently updated web page where entries are listed in reverse
chronological order (most recent first). Blog entries typically consist of links
accompanied by commentary. They may read like dairies, op-ed pieces, letters, rants,
essays, documentaries, satire or conversations.

Bloggers usually publish a “blog roll” or their list of favorite bloggers. This usually
defines (in a fuzzy way) the affinity group to which they belong (i.e. technologists,
diarists, marketers, pundits). Blogs encourage conversation through informality,
enthusiasm for errata, comments (usually posted alongside the original entry) and
reciprocal hyperlinks. Steve Collins writes:

my blog doesn't have a theme. it's whatever i happen to feel like--noting links,
spouting about random issues and feelings--sure there's church-related stuff,
because that occupies a lot of my energies, but my blog isn't about that as such.
like i said, i assume the audience is my friends. it's the kind of things i'd say to
them over a drink or meal.14

The funny thing about defining a blog is that there are many exceptions. In the end, the
most important trait of a blog seems to be that it is updated frequently, honestly and
consistently. Darren Rowse explains his blogging regimen:

The process for me is quite rhythmic. I make time most mornings and evenings
to blog for 15 or so minutes. In a sense, it’s become a discipline. On other days,
when I have more time I will do it more.15

Enabled by wireless networking, Jordon Cooper's blogging style is more spontaneous:

I have wifi in my house and high-speed internet so a lot of things get posted
because I can and not because I really thought about it. I really admire those
blogs like Alan Creech's that can communicate deep spiritual truths far better
than I do.16

Rudy Carrasco explains how he blogs:

Someone asked how I blog so much. Well, you gotta be there mentally. If you are
in line at Starbucks and read something in the newspaper headline and think, "I'd
like to link to that," then you are most of the way home. I have a laptop, DSL at
both home and work, and wireless connectivity at both home and work. This
means that I can take my son into the bathroom for his bath and sit in the next
room, within earshot, and also blogging a thought (or answering email, or
finishing a newsletter, etc.) You get the picture. With the appropriate technology

| We Know More Than Our Pastors


Tim Bednar | e-Church.com

it's not as tough (or obsessive) as it seems.17

A sub genre of blogosphere is the Christian blog. For this paper, I interviewed over four
dozen bloggers and to a person they resisted being labeled a religious, spiritual or
Christian blogger. Steve Collins explains that his blog is “not spiritual, except that
everything human is.”18

Andrew Careaga reinforces this idea; “I try to consider most of
the conscious activities as spiritual activities, even if not exactly religious.”19

This passion to live incarnationally unites these bloggers. Jordon Cooper writes about
his blog and describes what I mean:

Many of the sites 20,000 monthly visitors can't seem to get their head around
how a site that has so much about postmodern thought and the church can also
have links to the Calgary Flames and the Saskatchewan Roughriders [...] I
started to get e-mail back saying, "wait a minute, it is knowing about you that
gives the site some character and credibility.” [...] People went on to say that
without the personal stuff, the site just became a collection of links posted by
someone they don't know. My stories about my life gave it some context and
something to judge it by for good or bad.20

This holistic engagement between author and audience is what makes blogging unique
and compelling. In this respect, these “Christian bloggers” are no different than all the
other opinionated bloggers except that they intentionally bring their faith in Christ to bare
on everything that interests them: hockey, Microsoft, George W. Bush, Jennifer Lopez
or Strongbad.

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