Last week our friend Jac led us through some great thoughts on being a Christian who blogs versus being a Christian blogger. Being online can make you question your social media hobbies and begin to ask how God wants you to be spending your time, online and offline. We start to wonder if we can still be doing God’s work without making Him the outright message of our platforms.
God is there in all the details, in all the relationships, in all the downtime and all the chaos. By his grace he allows us to draw others closer to him by simply being people who live their lives with love for Jesus, people who do life with one another and lead with love in all we do.
God also urges us to point others to him in more obvious ways. Is our blog an obvious way? For many it is. The words you share on your blog might be someone’s only glimpse into heart and life of a believer. They might be the first time someone hears about Jesus. The real life-changing, ever-loving, salvation-bringing Jesus. He prompts us to share his good news with people who don’t know Jesus. He prompts us to use our platforms and our time and our talents to spread the gospel, whether it is quietly or boldly.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes… Romans 1:16
This week we wanted to share some words of encouragement, and insight from women who have chosen to use their blogs and platforms as ‘ministry’. Not that everyone needs to stop, drop and scripture – as Jac pointed out,”there are a lot of ways to share the love of Christ with people – I just happen to believe that getting other people to laugh at my puke stories is one of them”
This post is a collaboration of interview questions we asked each woman to answer, here are our three interviewees . . . .
Leah is a mom and wife who is writing for women with loved ones who struggle with addiction. She has a free four-week bible study called “Be Still and Know”. She shares her story, the Hoplessmess, and offers messages of peace, finding purpose and healing yourself even when your loved one is in the midst of addiction.
This month we shared Shannon’s post encouraging women to share their testimony. She is a mom, wife and blogger who is candidly sharing her grief and struggles. Through miscarriages, motherhood, and marriage, she has seen God’s hand in the little and the big and she seeks to share it all on her site.
Bety is an Alberta blogger who has also started an Etsy shop selling the AGAPE shirt, 100% of the profits go towards fighting human trafficking. The tagline to her blog is Freedom, Fashion, Faith – her site weaves all three of these themes throughout her posts.
What is your definition of ‘writing for ministry’?
For me, ministering isn’t a “telling” it’s a “calling”. It’s writing the things that God quietly puts on my heart and says, “They need to know…” – Leah Grey
My definition of “writing for ministry” would be that one is intentionally seeking the Lord in what to write and share with others. Your hopes and prayers are that your writing will touch just the right people that the Lord wants to reach out too. – Shannon Grochowski
I think it means to write with a purpose and that purpose should align with the purpose God has for our life. I believe we all have different abilities and even when it comes to writing there are so many voices and styles. Whichever one fits with our personality we are to use in order to carry out the great commission. – Bety Tesfay
What makes your writing a ministry as opposed to simply writing to share information or story?
My story alone is pretty interesting but without God it’s just a story; It entertains but it won’t enlighten. I actually haven’t told the majority of it because the details aren’t necessary for God’s purpose. Telling the story of the hope and strength God has given me throughout what I’ve gone through is something else entirely. Right now, the world is talking a lot about addiction. Methadone clinics are popping up everywhere and taxpayers are spending good money to keep people “off drugs”. The story God gave me, the one He gave my husband, has the ability to inspire and change people’s perspective on hopelessness. It’s so opposite of what the world is saying, it simply has to be a ministry! – Leah
I have a little of both in my writing. The difference between the two is that when I am writing for ministry it is rawer and from my heart. I do not hold back in my struggles because I know that there is a sea of people hurting and not knowing where to turn. Ministry to me also means community. When you write by God inspired words you create a community of healing and nurturing one another. – Shannon
I think it’s my focus on intentional living. Intentional living for me means to be aware of what I am doing and why I am doing it. To me this leads to Micah 6:8 “…To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” To intentionally live a life of justice that is tempered by mercy and ALWAYS walking closely to God. – Bety
How does blogging about everyday life serve your purpose to write as ministry?
Life can seem mundane to a lot of people, even me at times. When you write about everyday struggles people can relate. You form a bond and suddenly when you thought you were the only one struggling with say, just getting through your day as a mom, you aren’t anymore and it makes a colossal difference. – Shannon
It is more relatable and less preachy which is something that I personally preferred. I like taking the things I am passionate about and then writing a story that points back to Jesus/my faith. Now I am by no means perfect and I don’t always get it right but boy grace makes things easier! – Bety
Did you start blogging with writing as ministry? Or was it about other topics?
This is the first blog I’ve ever made. I launched March 2016! I was writing a screenplay before I starting this blogging adventure and before that, a book. I’ve always known I wanted to write, I just didn’t know what to write about but then, God gave me a story worth writing. – Leah
When I started writing seven years ago it was to keep my family and friends up to date on what I was doing in Bible College. It was part of the credits for a course. I had just become a new Christian and my hopes were that somewhere one of those that were reading could tell the difference the Jesus had made in my life. It continued on from that till, now. So yes, I would say that it was. – Shannon
I think it was more to raise awareness about human trafficking, which I now realize, is part of my calling. Slowly my blog turned into other topics too. At the heart of it all is my passion for justice, which I believe, is my ministry. – Bety
Did you feel called to write as ministry?
Yes! To be totally honest, I’m not even sure how it happened. One day, I was a hairstylist and the next I was paying for a website. I believe it started with an Instagram account and snowballed from there! – Leah
I definitely do feel called. There will be many times when I am either in prayer, church or just a regular day and I get these inspirations on topics to write about that may help someone else or even healing or a reminder for myself. – Shannon
Honestly, I am not too certain. This probably is not a great answer but it’s the truth. Writing scares me because I have not done a lot of writing. English is not my first language, I grew up in Ethiopia and English was not the official language there. I think this is one of those times where I am stepping out in faith big time and waiting to see where God leads me. – Bety
Many are nervous about sharing ministry on their platforms because it might alienate some of their audience – how has your audience’s reception affected your desire to write for ministry?
This is an interesting question for me because the majority of friends and family members of addicts, that I’ve met in person, are not Christians. However, there’s an interesting audience I didn’t plan for within the online Christian community. They’ve either struggled with addiction themselves or have had a loved one struggle with it and they just don’t talk about it with anyone. There’s a silent majority. It’s ended up making the ministry MORE effective than anything! Now, I’m on a mission to find all the silent, struggling Christians. – Leah
When I started I wasn’t nervous at all. I had that bold new Christian fire in me. It was only when I started to want to grow my blog that I was nervous at how it would affect my audience. Or how it might make me lose opportunities. In the end, though I always will choose my faith and proclaim what Jesus has done in my life even if that means losing readers or other opportunities. My faith is all that I am. It’s not something I am willing to give up.
Thus far it has been inspiring I believe to most and I have never really had too much negative feedback, so far. I’m sure it will come more and more but I’m willing to keep going. – Shannon
What kinds of hurdles do you think are specific to bloggers who write for ministry?
I have to be very careful and be sure I’m writing what God wants me to say and not my own opinion. Especially, because I’m quite opinionated! I minister to a heated, controversial topic so I also need to watch the way I word things. It’s very easy to offend online. The first post I wrote for the website I haven’t posted yet because I know it’s going to be heated and I have to be sure it’s worded properly! – Leah
Unfortunately, we are just human even though we are Christians. Which makes most of having the past. The past that we aren’t that proud of but it is there none the less it was there to showcase the amazing redemptive power of Christ. Some may feel uncomfortable hearing details of a messy past. Others may be offended on a certain biblical stance that is a very hot topic. That is why it is so important to have a community lifting you up and affirming your work as your minister in your writing. – Shannon
I think it is possible to offend someone. We are living in a time where everyone is easily offended and that can be hard to take. It is also very easy to feel inadequate maybe we feel like our faith is not as strong as our neighbors. – Bety
Is there an accountability or verification process you go through with a post or thought to ensure it is accurately reflecting biblical scripture?
I pray. I pray before I write. I pray while I write. I go have a good sleep. I wake up and read my post again. If God doesn’t give me, “an uneasy feel” about anything then I post it! – Leah
Most times when I write it just comes out. This is an area that I could definitely work on. It would have to be by someone that I look up to or trust their judgement, not just googling. People can take one verse and think it one thing and someone else can believe it to be the complete opposite. It’s a bit tricky to navigate. Not sure if anyone else feels like this, but I certainly do. – Shannon
For me I think about how it relates to intentional living. I question what I am conveying based on the purpose I have for my blog, which is to encourage and inspire [women] to shop ethically and live intentionally. – Bety
A Little Light is a community for Canadian Christian women who have online platforms. We aim to gather women to be in community with each other and to create a new landscape in Canada of women who use their platforms with passion and purpose. Find us on Instagram!