They’re everywhere; hiding in our newsfeeds, boasting click-worthy titles, and sometimes even masquerading themselves as advertisements. You know what I’m talking about…blogs. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do with your life, if you spend any amount of time on the internet then you either 1) read blogs, 2) have your own blog or 3) both. They’re seemingly inescapable. WordPress alone claims to have over 46 million downloads since 2003. That’s a lot of people with a blog (though I’ll admit, 13 of those are probably mine). In the midst of this blogpocalypse we often forget that behind every sentence there is a person tapping away on his/her keyboard trying to muster up the confidence to get their message out to the world. When we forget about the person behind the screen we forget about common courtesies humans ought to be afforded as well. This problem becomes compounded when Christianity is involved as sometimes blog posts make us forget the Christian faith of the writer as well as our own Christian faith at times. Here are three facts we often forget about, but need to keep in mind when it comes to the average Christian blogger.
They Are Trying to Be Read
You’ve seen the headlines:
20 Things That Will Literally Blow Your Mind
12 Words You Should Never Use, Number 8 Will Make You Cry
This Man Thought He Was Heading to Work, But What Happens Next is INSPIRING!!!
Yeah, I hate them too. I still have that occasional nightmare where the internet is filled only with shared click-bait articles accompanied by the words “THIS. So much this” (to the 99% of you who didn’t get that joke, thanks for the sympathy laugh). As much as we poke fun at them or hate to see them, ironically we still share them. Have you ever wondered why so many websites post these click-bait articles? It’s because it works. This article does a good job explaining why you can’t stop clicking on click-bait articles, even though it may make you die a little inside every time you do. Knowing that this kind of tactic works, it can become tempting from time to time for the Christian blogger to fall into the trap of posting that click-bait headline, because, after all, the Christian blogger is trying to be read.
It’s an obvious, but oft-forgotten point. Those who write typically don’t do so for their own benefit, but so that they’ll be read by others. Those who hold up a religious banner are seemingly under more scrutiny than the average, everyday blogger. You can imagine, then, the stress that the average Christian blogger goes through as they look for ways to get their article read, while at the same time both avoiding and combating click-bait titles. I can tell you from experience that it’s not always easy to have your written voice heard over the incessant noise of these click-bait titles. Every blogger struggles to find that balance between an engaging title that doesn’t step over the line of annoyance. Sometimes we find that happy medium and other times we fail miserably. We search for this balance because we’re trying to be read and we’re trying to be read because…
They Are Trying to Get a Message Out
Some people write how-to articles, others post glimpses into their day-to-day life as a mother/father, some post recipes and others write movie reviews. The average Christian blogger writes to a get a message out. For them blogging isn’t about selling advertising space or receiving individual glory, it’s about illuminating the greatness of the Father. They’re coming up with creative titles and promoting the content so that they can get the message of the Savior out into all the World Wide Web.
You might be thinking “isn’t the gospel a good enough message that you don’t need creative titles?” To which I would reply “you’ve obviously never written a blog post before.” The need for creativity in titles or presentation does not in any way, shape, or form remove even an ounce of power from the gospel. The gospel is still God’s power to save just as much as it has ever been (Rom. 1:16). However, just because you post something that has truth in it doesn’t mean people will be crashing your server to gobble up what you’ve written. Content is king, but someone has to direct people to that king. When you see a Christian blogger reference a specific someone or something in the news there’s a reason for that. Instead of writing them off as “unchristian” or “hypocritical” consider for a moment that they’re only using, what you might call, a sensationalist title in order to reach more people with the greatest message of all, the gospel. That’s not to say that every blog article the Christian blogger puts out lays out the plan of salvation, but in the case of the website I help run, we have a section on our website dedicated to just that. If we can get people to read an article, maybe they’ll read two, and then maybe they’ll visit our section, and maybe, just maybe they’ll be saved. At the end of the day the average Christian blogger just wants to be read so they can get the message of the gospel out to as many people as possible. There’s still one more fact we’re missing however.
They Are People Too
Yep. The biggest and most important fact we forget about the average Christian blogger is that they’re living, breathing people. This is an important fact for two reasons:
1) They will make mistakes. There isn’t a person on earth who lived life without a mistake, except for Christ of course. The average Christian blogger doesn’t claim to be, in any form, deity and therefore acknowledges their potential to slip-up from time to time. Sometimes mistakes manifest themselves as something minor, like a misspelled word or lost punctuation mark. Sometimes mistakes are much bigger, like a misphrased sentence that came off as sounding like false doctrine (that seriously does happen sometimes). These are mistakes any writer can and will make and should be met with message asking “did you know you misspelled that word?” or “I’m not quite sure what you meant by that phrase, but it sounded false.” Instead these mistakes are met with public comments proclaiming the idiocy, incompetence, or alleged hypocrisy of the writer. We’ve got to extend a little more grace than that. Think about how you’d like to be approached were you to write/say something that was allowed to be publicly criticized. People make mistakes, and the average Christian blogger is no exception to this rule.
2) Your words hurt. “Stick and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is a flat-out lie we’re told to repeat as children so we can hopefully soothe the pain that someone’s words just caused us. I’ve certainly been guilty of calling someone names or attacking someone’s character online. I foolishly thought I could put the writer in their place by whipping up a “well-crafted” angry rebuttal casserole with bits of ad hominem sprinkled in. Having been on the receiving end of some of those comments I realize how hurtful they really are. It’s easy, when staring at our computer screen, to forget that there is a living breathing person that thinks, feels, and struggles on the other side. One little comment may not seem that damaging, but I guarantee you that the other 40 people who sent one thought the same thing. Now that writer you tore down (something we shouldn’t be doing anyway; Eph. 4:29), not only doesn’t want to write anymore, now he/she is forever scared to spread the message of Christ (which was their only goal in the first place). Our words hurt and the person on the other side of the screen is getting a lot more words than just the ones you sent. Before you hit the enter key sending that comment into cyberspace remember that your words could be dealing a discouraging death blow to a Christian and his/her ministry.
The next time you pull up that Christian blogger’s article please remember this isn’t just some random guy/girl throwing out unstudied, controversial nonsense. It’s a human-being who really hurts, and is really trying to make a positive difference for the kingdom through the medium of online writing. So please, extend a little bit of grace, give them the benefit of the doubt, put yourself in their shoes, and remember that they’re people too.
By Jack Dodgen
Jack Dodgen writes at and