Fr. James Coles is the writer of one of the most enjoyable, thought-provoking, and whimsical Orthodox blogs in the blogosphere – Scholé. His success is belied by his unassuming approach to writing, blogging, the priesthood, and life in general. His writing style reflects his voice, manner and approach to life and faith. We asked him to share with us what has made his work so successful as a blogger, and in light of our 30 (40) Days of Blogging exercise to inspire other pastors to begin blogging, he has graciously obliged us.
No one, except maybe my wife, is laughing more than me that I am being asked by Preachers Institute (www.preachersinstitute.com) to blog about why I blog! I would have never thought that I would become a “blogger.” In seminary my wife had to fiercely and radically edit all my papers. Writing seemed to be a skill I would never have. But, I have always enjoyed creative writing and the creative crafting of sermons and talks. Blogging, it turns out, is just a good fit.
But the rumors are not true. My parishioners were never begging me to blog. I would be surprised if even half of them have ever URLed their way to my site. Ultimately, and this is the secret you have been waiting for, I blog because I enjoy it. It is a spiritual discipline akin to journaling. But I had grown to hate my journal entries. My journals always began great. But then they would slide into one long complaint about my life. It was like I was constantly rehearsing problems and frustrations. I had to kill that sick discipline and begin a new work.
And while blogging promises to make one a better writer, I really have no idea if I am better writer because of my blog, Scholé. I am confident that the discipline of blogging has made me a better preacher. Why? Blogging forces one to coherently organize and communicate what is going on in the mind and heart. Blogging is way more of an extension of myself, my faith and my ministry than I ever thought it would be.
I blog because with all the preaching, teaching, public speaking, reading, writing, playing and praying there is always something bubbling to the surface. Putting fingers to keys is inspirational. Thoughts line up and the Lord shows up.
And, I feel compelled by God to put it out there.
Fr. James Coles is the priest of the St. Ignatius Orthodox Church in Mesa, AZ.