Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

Afterword: Introduction

The first time I read a blog was in 2000. Since then, I've read thousands of posts and written 810 of my own. I've watched as blogs launched a presidential candidate and brought down a senator. I've seen companies changed, a voice given to the voiceless, people comforted in times of tragedy, and relationships formed that would have been impossible just a few years earlier.

And I've had a front-row seat as churches have joined the conversation.

In the past, the church often found itself on the sideline as new tools swept through our culture due to limited resources (human and otherwise) and an institutional resistance to change. This time, the local church is a (sometimes) willing participant in the revolution. Blogging is so simple and inexpensive that many churches, pastors, and staff members have made the leap into this brave new world and are experiencing the power of open and authentic communication.

Many of you are already part of the blogging revolution. You've joined the conversation and blogging has become part of who you are, so much so that you no longer see a distinction between your life and your online life. For you, asking whether the church should use blogs is like asking whether the church should use the telephone or the internet. You see the limitations of broadcast marketing and four color brochures and the potential of blogging.

The blogosphere is blessed with many innovative blogs written by pastors and people on the front lines of ministry. There are churches using blogs to reach and teach and share the life of the church.

Unfortunately, the status quo looks quite different. The reality is that many blogs written by people in ministry reflect little of the promise of blogging or who God has called us to be. These blog are often filled with their own unique combination of pettiness, self-promotion, negativity, derision, and the all-consuming pursuit of traffic.

Blogging isn't worth doing poorly or for the wrong reasons. It's too demanding and too distracting. In God's economy, we don't have the luxury of pouring ourselves into good things when he has so many great things for us. There is simply too much at stake.

It doesn't have to be this way. Christ-followers can be a light in this new world and help make the blogosphere a better place. We just need to open our eyes, look up and smile.

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