A Blogger’s Journey, Part 3: Building Relationships

Susie_Thomas for e4eGetting Out of My Bubble

Post by Susie Thomas of Here Only.

My ministry assignment is to be a mother while we serve at AIA’s headquarters in Midwestern America. When you hear about the proverbial “bubble” of Christian community, I live right in the middle of it. Sure, I see non-believers in my daily life, but as a mom with small kids, any conversation we have is usually interrupted every three seconds by “Mom, I need you NOW.”

My blog has become my way out of the bubble – it has provided me with real, ongoing relationships with women who don’t know Jesus. Through blogging, we have become friends, and for me that is important.

Because my blogging purpose is to get out of the bubble and build relationships with non-believers, I have been intentionally careful in how I talk about my faith on my blog. I talk about it, yes, but I try to avoid anything that can be identified with cultural Christianity. I have learned that every post can be a path out of the bubble, or can slam the bubble door shut – with me on the inside.

To clarify, I don’t think there is anything wrong with blogs that provide Christian encouragement and community. I have learned, however, to stay true to MY purpose as a blogger – which is to relate to those who don’t automatically believe the same things I do.

So, if my blogging ministry is not explicitly in my posts, where is it? To be honest, I still have a long way to go. In all ministry settings, I still struggle with fear in turning casual friendships into conversations of spiritual significance. But, I have learned that for blogging to be a relationship with meaning, it has to be reciprocal. Otherwise, my blog is just a narcissistic soapbox.

If you do want to start a blog, here are a few more tips:

  • Use your voice to give a voice to others. Ask questions in your posts to encourage comments and welcome others’ thoughts.
  • Talk about controversial things, but don’t assume your readers share your views.
  • Bare your soul, not the details of your day. Like in any relationship, it’s good to be vulnerable. Of course, this is the internet, so you want to go easy on the over-sharing, but be real. Your blog is not interesting if it is full of “this is what I did today” posts. Now, “this is how I feel today” is another story!
  • Get off your blog and join the party! Remember, blogging should be reciprocal. If someone leaves you a comment, go read their blog and comment on their post. Read others’ blogs, and look for new people to bloggy befriend.

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