Community. Conversation. Connection.

Why I Invest in Blogging

I wrote about investing yesterday, and I hope this will show another side of this principle.

When I started out blogging, I did it because I had a desire to write and encourage people. I honestly thought it would be a great way to talk about things God was showing me with the people in our church community and keep up with progress on the relaunching of our local church.

As it turns out, not many in the congregation (then or now) have followed all that closely, but I kept at it because I knew it was something I was supposed to do. About six months in, I received my first comment from someone I didn’t know.

That was the turning point for me.

I’m not going to say I haven’t fallen victim to the numbers game at times, chasing my tail to become popular, or any number of crazy ideas to get more traffic. I have, and I recognize I tried to find worth in that approval rather than my position as a son in my Father’s Kingdom. I have repented—believe me!

All that said, when I got that first comment and then more people showed up and then a small group of people began sharing hearts and lives… It changed everything for me. It wasn’t about simply writing anymore and it wasn’t about pleasing them or me. It was the beauty of this relationship God was offering to me through amazing people.

I understand that this may sound self-serving and it may sound sickeningly sweet, but the reason I continue blogging is all of you reading and sharing your hearts back. It’s true. I’m humbled and in awe of the quality of your thoughts that engage, encourage, challenge, and inspire me.

I hear others who say they hate all the “peripheral” activity of blogging. They don’t like visiting other people’s blogs and leaving comments. They don’t want to share other people’s writing on social media. They just want to write and have everybody come see what they do. No problem with that, but although they may offer something incredibly insightful, beautiful, or a life-changing revelation, I would still rather have relationship.

For me, those are not the peripheral activities, but part of the purpose. I could probably attract more people if I wrote witty or insightful comments on the popular blogs that everyone follows, but I’d rather go to my friends and encourage them and hear their hearts. I could try to use social media to leverage my influence, but I’d rather share the insights written by wonderful people who have linked hearts with me.

Why? Because there is a mutual commitment. I don’t simply want an audience and I don’t want to simply be in someone else’s audience. I truly want the connection of heart, mind, and spirit. I would rather have you leave me a comment telling me your thoughts on a verse or even telling me I’m wrong than for you to tweet my post a thousand times or get all your friends to come look at the site.

I value the conversation and connection. I value the community that has formed.

I have prayed for many of your family members, friends, and loved ones. I have rejoiced in the miracles and mourned the losses. I have been humbled by how my words have affected you and had the opportunity to share how yours have affected me.

I guess that’s the point. I’m not a blogger. I’m a Christian. I’m not investing in blogging. I’m investing in people and relationships, in building the Body with my gifts and abilities. But at the same time, there has to be some give-and-take.

Real relationship requires a mutual investment. Whether that’s in our church family, our friends, online, or anywhere else. I have that with so many here. I’m not saying I’m 100% in any of these areas, but I do put my heart into it.

Whether I think about something huge like your helping with our adoption or getting to share a story of my life and linking it to what I hear the Father say, I am humbled that you are part of my life and helping me to know Christ better. Thank you.

What are your thoughts? Do you see blogging as a relational activity? How has it impacted your life?

22 Comments

  1. Blogging is definitely a relational activity for me.

    I started blogging to “journal” my quiet times… but since then I have developed a group of friends that I have come to cherish and rely upon.

    I really appreciate counting you as friend and brother. I can vouch that you sincerely care about the relationship.
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..A Cry for HelpMy Profile

    • That’s what I thought when I started because I never could keep a journal, but this seemed to work for me. Now, it’s so much more. I too appreciate you and your heart to love and give, Dusty. You are truly awesome. :)

  2. Though I don’t comment every day, I come read every day because there is always some sort of kernel that I can gain from your writing. God has called each of us to encourage one another, and I want to be faithful in that as well. Thanks for taking the time to share your heart in each post.
    Philip recently posted..A Bunch of IdiomsMy Profile

    • I hope nobody thinks I meant that you had to comment every day for it to be worthwhile. I only meant I love the conversation whether it’s once a week, once a month, or every day. When others add their perspectives, experiences, stories, and revelations, it becomes a whole new ballgame. I appreciate all your thoughtful and insightful comments, Philip. I’m also proud to be your brother.

  3. Yes I see it as a way for people to relate to you. In my industry the blog is more important than the main website. In my blog I get to share stories that I can’t tell on my site, I write things that not only help them for there session but I’ll write things that encourage and build there confidence. And I love reading your blog btw
    andrew singh recently posted..Christmas-Winterland Photo ExtravaganzaMy Profile

    • Yeah, on the business side, blogging is an important thing to build relationship as well (which some companies never understand). It’s a different role and function, of course, but anything worth doing in life comes back to relationship in some way. Thanks for being a part of my life, Andrew! I appreciate your thoughts and encouragement.

  4. I’m with you 100%. When I first started I was on a mission like most of the missions in my life, lets just say it was more about me than it should have been. I’ve shared with you before that your site and true heart is what helped me find the proper perspective in sharing our writings with others. God used you to open my eyes. Thank you for your heart, God’s using it.

    I’m to the point now that I have a handful of people I actually care for, have a relationship with, and pray for. I couldn’t possibly be that involved in everyone’s lives, so I try to care for the ones God’s put in my life.

    I have a google analytics, it’s been so long since I’ve been there I’ve forgotten the password… The numbers don’t add up to anything if they don’t point to and glorify God.

    Thanks for sharing your heart and wisdom. I’m honored to call you my friend and brother.

    • You honor me, Floyd, and I genuinely don’t take it lightly. It blows me away! I understand what you mean too. I have those that I’m very consistent with and others beyond that and others beyond that. I used to try to comment on a hundred different blogs a day, but it wasn’t sustainable. Some people have come and gone and that’s okay. I can invest in the ones God has for me while I have that opportunity. Thanks for all your wisdom and thoughts! I appreciate your heart and friendship, Floyd.

  5. Life (blogging life) would be so much easier if all we dealt with was our own stuff. No visiting. No commenting. No give and take. Just me. Sort of sounds like it is all about me. Come read me. Come hear what I have to say. Sorry. That sort of bugs me. Can you tell? :) I prefer the “relationship” albeit an electronic one.
    bill (cycleguy) recently posted..QuestionsMy Profile

    • Thanks, Bill. I fell short of saying it bugged me, but it really does. I want to say, “So why are you blogging?” I guess if they have it straight in their minds, that’s fine. I know what keeps me coming back--you and others like you that will invest time and energy in me. I appreciate you. Thanks so much.

  6. There are several blogs I follow pretty regularly, there are a few that I feel a strong sincerity from; your’s is one of them. For me, I have had a strong desire to be a writer for many years; and I have had a strong desire to serve God. That’s how my blog was conceived. I never thought much about developing relationships with others on-line, but it’s been happening, and I find it moving and a great blessing. My blog is somewhat of a selfish thing though. It is something that helps keep my mind on God much more, and keeps me focused on moving forward in my relationship with Him. I have appreciated your responses and comments.
    Mike recently posted..Hungry for ChristMy Profile

    • Mike, I don’t think keeping our hearts and minds centered on Christ is a selfish thing. And I have enjoyed reading your thoughts and getting to chime in. You’ve been so warm and responsive. Thanks for being a part of this online life--it’s a joy! Thanks again.

  7. Blogging is definitely a relational activity! I know I have waned in my participation in other blogs over the last while but I am working on getting back to commenting more again. It is indeed a investment but it is a worthwhile investment. :)
    Kevin Martineau recently posted..9 simple ways to NOT save moneyMy Profile

    • And I know we can’t comment on everyone and everything. I appreciate your heart so much, Kevin. You bless and encourage in so many ways, through your writing, your sharing, and your thoughts. I agree--it’s an investment that may not look like much on the surface but it’s Kingdom business! Thanks so much, friend.

  8. Ohhh, it is definitely relational! It has been such a tremendous blessing in my life. I can echo all the thoughts in this post. It started out as just having the desire to share the things God was laying on my heart combined with a love for writing, but God surprised me with introducing me to so many wonderful people who love the Lord and I count them now as friends. It is like an extended family and I am so grateful for every one of them.
    Lori recently posted..Every Moment CountsMy Profile

    • God-surprises really are the best ones. I know exactly what you mean. The comfort, encouragement, and hope I have felt from people I’ve never met “in real life” have meant the world to me when I needed it most. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and heart, Lori.

  9. I love the interactions on Christian blogs such as yours. They allow for deeper thoughts and their is room for discussion without the need for egos or hurt feelings, something that isn’t true on your typical facebook or internet forums.
    Ed recently posted..ARE YOU LEFT-SIGHTED?…and a Prayer RequestMy Profile

    • I always appreciate your thoughts in the discussion, Ed. And I hadn’t thought about it, but you’re right, there is not the same freedom to discuss freely on some of the other online venues. Great point! Thank you so much.

  10. My problem lately is that I haven’t had time to stay up with reading other blogs and commenting. I’m working more hours, traveling an hour one way to work and still doing graphic design on the side and leading Ignite, I’ve definitely seen a decrease in the amount of interaction on my own blog. I’m planning to keep plowing through for about two months and then evaluate if I can keep up with it. Need to find that routine once the school year has started.
    Jason Vana recently posted..Called Out RulersMy Profile

    • Don’t worry, Jason. We all do what we can and find that rhythm that works. I have had to cut WAY back from what I used to do, but I’m happy that the quality of the conversation hasn’t diminished even if the quantity has. I definitely love the stuff you put out there and appreciate your heart to serve. I get over there as much as possible and I’m blessed and/or challenged every time. Thanks Jason.

  11. Came over from Glynn’s.

    That’s why I continue blogging, too--for the relationships.
    Megan Willome recently posted..The Artist Dates: Beckendorf GalleryMy Profile

    • I’m so blessed and amazed how God has brought me together with such incredible people. What an experience this has been! Thanks Megan.