Every few weeks we send some material (blog post/article/etc.) to our Connections team as a way to cast vision and remind them of the “why” that dictates the “what” of our ministry. Usually it’s content from other sources, but I wonder if my volunteers struggle to connect as well with some guy from some other state. So, I have started writing a blog for my team.
The goal is to provide a quick piece of vision for my team written by their leader that we can dissect during our weekly huddles and get them mentally involved with the vision.
So, what tips do you have for blogging, especially for a Connections Ministry audience? What worked for you & what didn’t?
[Matthew Dunavant, Connections Director, The Bridge Church, Spring Hill, TN]
Let me start by blatantly paraphrasing 1 Timothy 3:1 way outta context: “If any man desires the office of a blogger, he desires a good thing.” There is nothing that helps shape my thinking about a topic quite like writing about it. And truth be told, this blog started off nearly nine years ago as a way to do exactly what you’re attempting now. Here are a few things I’ve learned – and am still learning:
1. Write for yourself. Don’t write for sake of numbers. Don’t write to build a platform. Don’t write to get famous or make money or score a movie deal based off of your blog (that said, if it ever works out, I hope I’m played by Mr. Bean). Write because you love writing. All of those other things are slippery idols that will force you to give up when the numbers don’t add up.
2. Don’t wait to write until it’s right. I suffer from perfectionism syndrome: I don’t want to approach a topic until I have every last answer covered. Sometimes the most effective posts are the ones where you don’t have it figured out, and you toss a topic out for a wider audience to help you think through.
3. Write to the insiders, knowing that outsiders are looking in. As I mentioned, one of the original purposes of this site was to be an “inside the walls” talk about how guest services happens at the Summit. Eventually, a few people on the outside started looking over our shoulder. But years later, my first audience is our campus teams. Those are the folks I’m writing to.
4. Develop a blogging calendar. I was recently challenged to lay out a typical month and follow a calendar of subjects. That helps me to keep topics in balance and shapes the path for what I’m writing about and thinking about. Two months in, and this has been one of the most helpful suggestions I’ve ever followed.
5. Poll your team. What do they struggle with? What are their frustrations? What are the things you’re talking about over coffee anyway? Write about those things. If one person is asking it out loud, chances are ten others are thinking it.
6. Don’t give ’em six things when five will do. At the risk of being hypocritical, I’d encourage you to keep it succinct. 🙂
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- Except for you, Star Wars jammies guy in your mom’s basement, writing about Doctor Who conspiracy theories.↩