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Faith Imagined: The Shrewd Blogger

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

December 7, 2009

The Shrewd Blogger



"We'll Blog until the whole world hears!"

There is an attitude among Christian bloggers that if we write as the Holy Spirit leads, we won’t have to market our blogs. We have an “If you build it, they will come” attitude and assume that God will miraculously expand our follower base. When other bloggers start gaining momentum by utilizing marketing techniques (e.g. blog awards, giveaways, ezine advertisements, guest posts, etc.), we are quick to label them as cheaters who are angling for an unfair advantage. I worried about this myself as a Christian blogger, until I read a parable that Jesus gives us in Luke 16:1-14.

A rich man is about to fire his manager, so the manager reduces the debts of everyone who owes the rich man money. The manager figures that if he helps the debtors, they will return the favor. The rich man finds out about the manager’s dealings and commends the manager on his shrewd tactics. Jesus closes the parable by saying, “For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings."

We as Christians need to understand that we are not living in a Field of Dreams. We are living in the real world: A world that is shrewd and that does not tolerate freeloaders. Christian bloggers can no longer blame their ineffectiveness on God. We must exhaust all natural means of growing our blogs before we can expect a supernatural hand-out.

In this parable, Jesus commands Christians to do three things: 1) be shrewd 2) use worldly wealth 3) gain friends. First, bloggers can be shrewd by building a good understanding of the blogging world and staying aware of the current blogging trends. Second, bloggers can use worldly wealth to help them market their blogs. This does not necessarily mean money. Wealth can include resources, services, favors, awards, shout-outs, etc. Third, bloggers must gain friends. Relationships are vital in the blogging world, so great efforts should be made to connect with others.

But what really is all this for? Why does Jesus tell us (His disciples) to use “worldly wealth to gain friends for ourselves”? The answer is “eternal dwellings.” Christians have been commissioned by Jesus to spread the salvation message. This should be our desire and our obsession. The blogging world is merely another backdrop in which we paint the image of Christ. The more connections we make, the more chances we have at spreading the Gospel.

Having an impressive blogroll, a large follower base, a dozen online publications, and a plethora of comments mean absolutely nothing when we die. The only things we take with us to heaven are the souls we win for Christ. However, in order to win those souls we need to be “shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Christians must surpass the cleverness of the world while keeping our intentions pure – we blog for God’s glory alone. If we are shrewd about the way we blog, we will walk down the streets of heaven and all of the people we led to Christ will call to us from their “eternal dwellings” and welcome us in for lunch!

* I just wanted to add that the Holy Spirit will guide you in how He wants you to market your blog. Many times we are obedient to God's will, but not obedient to God's way. If you are not experiencing a "holy ease," trust God's guidance. It might not be what He has in mind for you at this time. God will give you peace in your purpose and season. I believe we all have the same level of influence in this world, whether we are writing to millions or writing to one. Our possible treasures in heaven are all equal!

blessings to ya!

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40 Comments:

Blogger OceanDreams said...

I couldn't agree more and I admire your honesty and for telling it how it is! I think we can get too wrapped in blogging and it is easy to take your eyes off of the heavenly Father. Let's make a goal to love others more and realize that it does take work to run a blog and gain followers, but it should all be done for God's glory, not ours.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

What a powerful post! It can be so easy to be swept up in this bloggy world of popularity... but it is so important to remember who we are living for! And what really matters! Thanks for sharing this!

3:30 PM  
Blogger Corrie Howe said...

I think you articulated what I was trying to write to your sister when I chose to base my blog upon my son's Asperger's Syndrome. I've discovered there is a dark and hopeless word in special needs. I've found that once I've earned a hearing with fellow blogers, I have more freedom to ask if I can share the source of my Hope. And believe me, God has given me a number of opportunities.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Gaia said...

oh dear, which means I have been so naive! Now I have a different perspective, thank you for sharing this, and for coming by becos, I figure I needed this post not just for blogging but for my relationships as well. Bless you.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Cassandra Frear said...

There is wisdom in what you write here. As I read it, I recalled many well-meaning friends who have wanted to encourage me and have told me that if I just write, everything else will happen. (And sometimes, it does work out that way for a few individuals.) I can see how a writer would get the idea that God would grant them a special access, if they listen to enough well-meaning encouragers! I am not saying here that God can't do that if He chooses. But we have our part to do as well.

For me, it's important to be about Kingdom business in whatever I am doing. That way, it's not really about promoting myself. It's about something more lasting than that.

5:46 PM  
Blogger Midday Escapades said...

What a powerful and true message, Alisa. I have actually seen a good number of Christian bloggers and it's very refreshing.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Raising Arrows said...

Incredibly fresh and interesting perspective. Thank you for writing this and giving me something chew on!
Blessings,
Amy

7:53 PM  
Blogger 3 Blessings said...

WOW! Another fabulous post. I love it and completely agree.
Blessings,
Amy

8:35 PM  
Blogger 3 Blessings said...

I changed your button to your new one on my roll :)

8:38 PM  
Blogger gina said...

Good thoughts. appreciate your thoughts. I have battled the same things. God bless!

9:49 PM  
Blogger Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

Hi Alisa!
Thanks for stopping by Eternity Cafe. I'm now following you, too.

Thanks for this post. I always struggle with the self-serving aspect of promotion and the call that God has placed on my life to share His truth with as many who would hear. This post was a beautiful presentation on the subject.

Susan

11:10 PM  
Blogger strokeofliving said...

This is a great perspective for Christian bloggers to grasp.

We all blog for different reasons. But ultimately if God gives us the unction to blog in the first place, his glory should and will be exemplified - maybe not in every post - but his word will come forth however it comes forth and people will be blessed.

1:09 AM  
Blogger Missy said...

What a great, refreshing post. I have often gotten comments about how I present my blog.
My goal is to have my light shine through my blog without being in your face with it. But in order to do that, I have to bring the readers to me.

1:22 AM  
Blogger ~*Michelle*~ said...

Amen.

This was right on, my friend. awesome!

9:55 AM  
Blogger Dionna said...

Great article. Sometimes I struggle with "promotion" and "marketing". I go back and forth between working my writing like a business or a ministry. I think it's a balance and certainly God needs to be in charge - we shouldn't storm ahead without Him. But I love your thoughts.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Victoria said...

Just yesterday I twittered that I felt like Costner but the voice following me around was saying "if you plan it they won't show". Seriously. Wow. I needed this.

This was especially stunning...
"The blogging world is merely another backdrop in which we paint the image of Christ."

11:48 AM  
Blogger Duane and Kristina said...

We have recently joined the blogging community. We felt driven by God to share our story of restoration so that the whole world can hear there is hope for the seemingly impossible marriages. I battle daily with the thin line of marketing our blog & just praying the right people stumble upon it.. just when they need to hear it. Inspiring post.... gives me more to think on! ~Kristina

12:13 PM  
Blogger Free in Christ said...

So true! Thanks for visiting my blog. I recently started writing on this blog and looking to spread the message of God's goodness. I receive revelation from the Lord and then write as He inspires me.

Thanks for sharing and encouraging through your blog.

Free in Christ

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

My husband had preached a sermon on this a while back and I have never looked at this verse the same way again! However, I never really saw my blog through the lens of this passage before!

Thank you for making my vision a little less myopic!

Love in Christ,

Michelle

1:53 PM  
Blogger Deborah Ann said...

I think we all needed to hear this. Blogging takes work, something I didn't know going into it, and maybe never would have done had I known? But no, I am meeting the most beautiful people here, true sisters in Christ. It is worth the commitment to blog-hop. Not only that, many times God speaks to me through someone's blog (especially this one!)

Blessings!

3:14 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Great post, Alisa! Liked your perspective on this....

4:40 PM  
Blogger Crissy said...

I am all for marketing Jesus!

8:16 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Alisa, this is a brilliant insight -- to be obedient to God's will but not to God's way! I will remember this.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Wendy Blight said...

What a powerful and insightful post. God has given you such wisdom to discern this Truth from this passage. The internet, especially blogging, is a powerful tool and when used wisely, shrewdly, and prayerfully will carry a life -changing message to this broken and hurting world!!! Very thankful for women like you...so willing to speak Truth...to reach out and make a difference for the Kingdom.

Blessing on your day,

Wendy

6:36 AM  
Blogger Bernadine said...

As always you've given much food for thought.
God bless

11:22 AM  
Blogger K.M. Weiland said...

EXCELLENT post. I admit I'm often frustrated by the lackadaisical, decidedly unprofessional attitude adopted by many Christian writers. As Christians, we're supposed to be the light of the world, and yet, too often, we settle for slumping in the slough of mediocrity. We need to take the world by the ears - and we can't do that sitting around waiting for God to do all the hard work (and marketing and promoting *is* hard work) for us.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Just Be Real said...

Beautiful story and song. Thanks for sharing. Blessings....

6:44 PM  
Blogger B His Girl said...

I think you stepped on my toes! Yes, you did. That's a good thing! God reminded me the other day, He is using our blogs even when we do not have a clue! Thanks for being direct. B

11:03 PM  
Blogger Rose said...

Alisa,

OK, ouch! I see myself in this post. My intentions were to share, God, family and friends. I want to glorify God, not me. Yet, I find myself doing those very things you mentioned. Perhaps I should step back, take a deep breath and pray about where my blog is going. Thanks for that reminder.
Thank you for stopping by my blog. Have a blessed day!
Rose

11:50 AM  
Blogger Life Laugh Latte said...

On our blog, our intent is not to be a Christian Blog. Although we are Christians...and so it is going to work its way out through our conversations. I do feel strongly that I don't need to please our non Christian audience by tickling their ears. If I want to talk about what Jesus has done for me...I will! Spending time on their blogs and acting with love towards them, gives me permission to speak the truth to them. They'll listen because I've earned their respect. Holly

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Violeta said...

Hello from Romania ,
please read the blog – My heart His words – at Humbled and convicted , my friend Tammy Nischan from Kentucky, wrote them the story and some pictures of some hungryes poors kids , what we try to help them for Christmas .Our LORD will be so proud of us if we will do something!
I love you blog,
sweet blessings and MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Violeta

3:29 AM  
Blogger Life Laugh Latte said...

Come by later today for some bling for your blog. Holly

5:26 PM  
Blogger Warren Baldwin said...

Good points!

9:47 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

After you comment on my post, I rushed right over to "meet" you. I was interested to read this particular post. "Marketing" my blog was/is the farthest thing from my mind. (I blog for a different reason.) But I appreciated the emphasis you put on ascertaining the will and way of God in THIS pursuit as well as in all of life. HIS glory and the advancement of His Kingdom are clearly to be ever "front and center" -- heart, soul, mind and strength! I'll be back after church today to read more!

4:00 AM  
Blogger Fruitful Vine2 said...

Profound words of wisdom. Keep on following the leading of the Holy Spirit.

5:00 AM  
Anonymous VIOLETA said...

Anonymous said...
Hello from Romania ,
please read the blog – My heart His words – please look at-post - Humbled and Convicted- , my friend Tammy Nischan wrote them the story and some pictures of some hungryes poors kids , what we try to help them for Christmas .Our LORD will be so proud of us if we will do something!We wish to help this kids hope that you will love the story !
I love you blog,
sweet blessings and MERRY CHRISTMAS

5:03 AM  
Blogger Midday Escapades said...

I'm back. Come on over to my place. I've got a little bling bling for ya:
http://www.middayescapades.com/2009/12/awards-galore-part-ii.html

6:44 AM  
Blogger The Unknowngnome said...

This is a wonderfully powerful post.
Thank you and thank you for stopping by.

7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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7:28 AM  

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