Friday, 10 June 2011

Beware the Effects of Blogging

There is very little that we do that doesn't have an effect elsewhere. Blogging is, in many ways, the modern manifestation of the theory that would tell you that if a butterfly farts on one side of the planet, a hurricane unfolds on the other.

And so I give you blogging - a present day Lepidoptera emission. 

I have been reflecting on this thing I do, and in particular those things that social media has got me involved with or exposed to. None were predicted; all are good (I think). 

Last week I expressed a thought or two on the possibilities of the technological in God's mission. That little offering has made its way into some very exciting circles, and in the reciprocal ripples that returned to my door, encouraged me to think more deeply in a field that was otherwise closed to my thoughts only weeks ago. 

Through blogging, (in the style that I do it, at any rate), I have attracted attention from some interesting people. If I am honest, half of them are not Christians, largely because I do not write on overtly theological matters to the exclusion of all else. I have developed a particularly welcome and healthy association with people of others faiths and none, and also some people at whose table I am honoured to 'sit' at, whatever their faith position. 

Blogging for me is about having a thought and then flipping it into the pond of the blogosphere without a particular thought as to what or where the ripples will go. That any ripples are seen at all is still a joy and a privilege, and a matter of much thankfulness to me. Even today, my previous blog post has been received positively by organisations that represents the needs and rights of dads. Had I intended that? Not a bit. Other posts have put my into the wider Jewish-Christian debate, a forum I value. I have even discovered that the normal emotions and moods of an ordained male priest are still the same as those of the rest of the world. Yes, I enjoy the peaks in numbers - who would't. But I never fail to be surprised by the warmth that these un-crafted and unplanned words generate, without exception. For that I am truly and humbly grateful.

I wondered about the potential injury to my employment prospects that this blog may have inflicted. In our words, bloggers are open and exposed (if we intend to be or not), and therefore the real 'us' is visible, as distinct from the shiny prepared interview 'us'. I need not have worried, and indeed am astounded by the interest (positive interest thus far) that has been shown to this endeavour in the 'new place'. It tickles me no end, believe me. 

When we start to write, we never presume that anyone will read. At least I didn't. I still see how very old posts are still gathering attention a year or more later, from the most unexpected corners of the world. Blogging is never without effect; not on the world and not on the blogger. The world that this little hobby has opened up for me is a good one, if full of risks, and to you who read this, I thank you for walking with me. 

I will not stop. 


  1. I think that it is good that you resist being afraid of the possible effects that others displeasure at your blogging might bring. I applaud you and hold you in some reverence for it is a rare thing in people generally and rarer still in clergy of the church of England today; as I see it

    There are a number of Archdeacons who remain very tight-lipped and indeed scared almost to death of saying in public what they believe in private. Of course it is not a ‘cowardice’ reserved for Archdeacons! However, the higher up the greasy candle stick they climb then the more numerous are the consequences of their decisions. Not being ‘brave’ has relational consequences for many, as the Anglican Covenant might put it.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Glad to hear you plan to continue, David. Honesty and openness are to be valued and I for one appreciate them in your posts very much.

  3. WooHoo! I totally agree with you. It seems like blogs let people chat with their souls rather than idly face to face with all kinds of distractions. Tickles me to no end too! :-)

  4. I can't get a job as a cleaner in the Church of England because of my blog. But, on the other hand, I am read by over 1500 people everyday and my podcasted daily services are streamed or downloaded by anything between 200 and 1400 people a day. I have to conclude that if you go native in your mission on the Net then you will achieve great things but will be disowned by the church. Whilst if you remain firmly real world churchy on the Net, you will have no great effect on anything but your job prospects increase greatly.



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