30 (40) Days of Blogging
Here at the Preachers Institute, we are intensely interested in helping pastors, preachers and evangelists prepare themselves for the art of preaching. Many Orthodox preachers, priests, deacons, teachers and evangelists have entertained the idea of starting a blog – something which would be of immense interest and help to their flocks – but are concerned about being able to consistently produce material day after day. This exercise also has some excellent benefits for sermon preparation as well!
Therefore, beginning November 15th, we will be starting 30 (40) days of blogging!
If you have thought about starting a blog (but feared there was no way you could do it consistently), or if your parishioners have suggested you should start one, this is for you.
If you aren’t sure you can actually blog for 30 (or 40) days in a row, take heart. We’ll be offering information, stories, topics and suggestions to make it easier for you on those ‘sticky’ days when nothing seems to be happening.
We will commence blogging publication on Nov. 15th, and complete our blogging kickoff exercise on Dec. 15th, with an eye to complete an entire 40 days of blogging on Christmas, Dec. 25th. In other words, we’ll blog down Advent/Nativity Fast this year as an exercise in diligence to obeying the Lord’s command to teach everything he has commanded.
Your parish will benefit, and your readership will be able to comment!
Here’s what to do.
Write us and sign up. Either email or post us on the forum. We’ll be sure to add your blog to our Blog page, and give you some accessibility and accountability in this endeavor.
Sign up for a blog. For an easy-to-use, easy-to-learn, very flexible and powerful blog, I recommend WordPress, but there are many blogging platforms out there, including Blogger, LiveJournal, and more. You can title it whatever you want. Here is a good example: Schole. Whatever you do, take a moment to personalize it. Colors, images, etc. should make it yours. Include a photo of yourself. It matters! How it looks is less important than what you are writing, but remember, the internet is a visual medium, so it does matter. Need help? Ask!
Send us the link to your blog. Get some instant and consistent readership and feedback. We at Preachers Institute will provide a link directly to your blog from our site, so you can get some support, ideas and feedback. Don’t worry. We’re in this together. I also recommend you set up a link on the homepage of your parish website to your blog, and advertise it in the weeks before Nov. 15th. Your parishioners want to know what you are doing. They have a right to benefit from your insights and devotion. After all, you are their spiritual father. Write them a letter every day! This will help the accountability part of this exercise.
Begin preparing. Look at the Calendar. Look at the lectionary. Look at the season. Then simply mark some spots where you want to blog about a particular Scripture reading, spiritual idea or discipline, doctrinal article or life of a saint. For example, Dec. 6th is a great day for blogging on the life of St. Nicholas; Dec. 13th – St. Herman of Alaska. You don’t have to plan everything out in advance, but you can get a head start on more than a few days on your blogging journey.
The more you write, the easier writing gets. Remember, it is not perfection, but consistency you are striving for. Write in your own voice, as you might speak. This practice will make preaching better, too, as you will be generating ideas in your own idiom and teaching and preaching from your heart.
Need a few good examples? Here is one of my favorite blogs by a member of our Forum and fellow Orthodox priest, http://frjamescoles.wordpress.com from my friend, Fr. James Coles at St. Ignatius Orthodox Church in Mesa, AZ. He started his blog after many parishioners regularly and continually asked him (badgered him) to do so. It is a marvel of concise and thoughtful commentary. Imitate Fr. James example, and follow his blog too!
Note that Fr. James’ blog is not lengthy, or preachy. It is short, straightforward and worthy a daily look.
Yours will be, too.