By the grace of God I have been writing this blog for one full year. Every Friday morning I published an article about creating, running, or maintaining a church website. With this anniversary I would like to reflect on what the past year has brought me, and what I hope to pursue in the future.
In the course of a year of writing, I feel that I learned a few things about blogging and websites in general. I would like to share what regular blogging has taught me in hopes that it inspires you to do something similar and help spread the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Probably the biggest change occurred in March of this year when I moved my site from my personal site (www.StephenBMorrissey.com) to the current domain. Prayer and humble consideration made me realize that the site needed its own identity. The original site served its purpose well when I was freelancing and trying to promote myself as a web professional. However as a personal ministry, it just did not fit. With a new name, branding, and domain name; it could live as a separate entity and maybe someday enjoy guest writing or be taken over by another person. So although a project may start off personal and focused on you; it may come to the point where you need to focus more on Jesus and the Church.
Although my technical and grammatical skills may not have improved, the ability to get my thoughts into writing certainly has. This exercise has had great benefits throughout my life as I continue to “say what I mean” when I am typing. Additionally, I have enjoyed the exercise of using fewer words. I understand that even at this very moment, I am fighting for your attention. The fewer words I use, the more likely I am to hold your attention and even get you to read another article. So whether you are typing or talking; carefully consider your words so that your message is clearly transmitted.
I did not realize how often God was speaking into my life. My initial plan was to take ideas from web-related podcasts and see how they could be applied specifically to church websites. I was not expecting to be inspired by other channels. Sermons and personal conversations started weighing on my heart and I was compelled to put those ideas down on paper. Many of the articles that were the easiest to write were drawn from these sources. So do not limit yourself on what can give inspiration, since God can use anything for good.
Writing an article every week may not seem very difficult. Unfortunately technical difficulties, vacations, writers block, and of course simply running out of time have all been an obstacle to meeting deadlines. I was very worried about started a weekly blog since not only was I concerned about what I would write about (see previous paragraph), but having the discipline to stay with it every week. To help I wrote several articles ahead of time, and kept about twenty ideas for articles in reserve. Once I had this safety net in place, I felt more comfortable starting this endeavor. So whatever it is that will ease your worries; put it in place and jump in.
This article is not just about my experiences; you still have something to do. Find or even create an important milestone in your life and ministry. Take some time to journal what you have learned. Then at your next milestone, see if you learned anything new, grew personally, or possibly made old mistakes. Pray over that information and see where you are led.
Note: Thank you to all of my readers. I have greatly enjoyed this experience and I look forward to writing a similar article next year.
Photo courtesy of Robert Proksa