Questions Every Blogger/Writer MUST Answer

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote about why every leader and pastor should blog. If you decide to blog, here are a couple of things you need to think through:

  1. Why. Most people struggle with what to blog about, more on that in a minute. Why are you blogging? Why is it worth your time? If your goal with blogging is to build a platform to write a book, that’s a poor reason. Do you want to help people? Serve people? Get better at writing? Be famous? It is important to have a stated goal when it comes to your blog. Not everyone should blog. If you don’t have a compelling reason to start blogging, once the fad of it wears off, you will quit.
  2. What. This is the content. For me, I blog about things I find interesting and helpful. I blog about leadership, books, preaching, family, marriage, NFL, fantasy football, crossfit. Things I like. I assume that there are others out there who are interested in what I am interested in and so far, that seems to be the case. I will share things I think will be helpful to my readers and my church, things I’m learning, things I want to rant about, things about my kids and Katie. Some blogs are focused on one topic, which is great if that’s what you want to do. You should have a focus though, a grid that helps you decide what you do and don’t blog about.
  3. How often. This right here is one reason most blogs fail. They don’t blog enough. You can read about how to design a blog, what plug-ins to use, how to connect it to social media (and you should do all this). If you don’t blog on a regular basis, your blog will not get off the ground. I probably blog too much, but that’s my choice. Some blog 3 times a week or everyday. The point is, your readers need to know how often you will blog. People will tire of checking back on your blog for new information and it isn’t there, they will give up. I would say someone should start blogging when they can do it 3 times a week.

Blogging takes work, it is a job in many ways. You will spend hours writing, working on ideas, finding pictures for posts, responding to comments, looking for links to share and doing it all over again.

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Links for Your Weekend Reading

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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Fast Company on The secrets of the best public speakers.

Why atheists lose debates with William Lane Craig.

Andrew at Evaluating Christianity has put up some excellent posts of advice on how to debate William Lane Craig (onetwothreefourfive). The reason Craig wins all his debates with atheists is not because his arguments are sound, but because he is a masterful debater. Craig has been honing his debate skills literally since high school. Not only that, but he is a Ph.D. philosopher and encyclopedic historian: an expert on the two subjects he debates, the existence of God and the resurrection of Jesus. Let me repeat. Craig has done 20+ years of Ph.D+ level research in the two fields he debates, has published hundreds of academic books and papers on both subjects, and has been debating since high school.

Justin Lanthrop on I’m a pastor. So, who are my real friends?

One of the most difficult parts of being a pastor, or working in church ministry, isn’t talked about much—and that is the difficulty of making close friends.

Sam Rainer on The biggest leadership distraction.

A lot gets said about followers that create distractions. Those distractions exist. And they can be great time wasters. The greater distraction, however, is the one created by the leader.

Why do so many pastors leave the ministry, the answers might shock you. So sad, but so true for many pastors.

It’s true that some pastors fall into temptation and yet others simply feel it’s their time to call it quits. But often it goes much deeper than that. And the stats reveal much.

Bill Tenny-Brittian on Preaching to a new target.

Most of us pastor-types were taught to preach primarily to a Modern, well-churched or well-church-experienced audience. The target of our preaching was essentially “one of us.”

Passionate Seattle Seahawks fans watch the NFC championship game in complete silence

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Rex Ryan: The Model Father?

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This past Saturday, Rex Ryan, head coach of the NY Jets caused a stir in New York City by skipping out on the last day of cuts and going to see his son dress for a college football game at Clemson. His son is a walk on for that team.

If you aren’t familiar with “cut day” for the NFL, it is when all teams must get their rosters to 53 players. This day was Saturday, the same day as the Clemson football game.

According to one NY reporter, “his trip to watch his son play is ‘big F.U. to all of the players,’ that coach was going to watch son play…Ryan shirked his professional responsibilities for personal ones.”

Did he shirk his professional responsibilities for personal ones? According to ProFootballTalk, “Ryan had permission from the Jets owner to attend the game.”

Let’s say it is true and he had permission to attend the game. The question becomes if it was a wise move.

From the perspective of a father, the answer is yes. They didn’t decide who was being cut that morning. Those cuts were in the process all week. It isn’t like Rex Ryan could not be reached if something came up.

How many times does your son dress for his first college football game? Once. You can’t replace that. I still remember my first college soccer game that I dressed for. I was so excited about it and my dad surprised me by driving 5 hours one way to see it. Right when the game was over, he drove 5 hours back because he had to work the next day. And I played 0 minutes in that game, but he was there to see me dress. I had accomplished one of my goals and he didn’t miss it.

That’s choosing what matters.

If you are a dad, you have professional responsibilities and personal responsibilities. Everyday is a balancing act of those 2 worlds. There are times you won’t be able to get back. The “first” experiences your kids have of anything is one of those. Being at games, recitals, plays, concerts, don’t come around again. As a father, every choice you make with your time and your family has enormous implications for years to come. Every adult can look back on their childhood and see the absence or presence of their father and know this is true.

I would say, as a father, Rex Ryan made the only choice that should have been on the table.

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NFL Picks

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I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am for football to start tomorrow. Every year, I like to post my picks for the year and hear your picks, so feel free to leave your disagreements and comments below.

Here you go:

NFC Division Winners:

  • Washington Redskins
  • Green Bay Packers
  • New Orleans Saints
  • San Francisco 49ers

NFC Wild Card:

  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Philadelphia Eagles

AFC Division Winners:

  • New England Patriots
  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Denver Broncos

AFC Wild Card:

  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Baltimore Ravens

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Monday Morning Mind Dump…

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  • Yesterday was a super long day, but a really good one
  • It started off with some MC leader training
  • Really excited to see more and more people stepping up to get involved and wanting to be leaders at Revolution
  • One of our big prayers is that by January, our MC’s will double from 10 to 20
  • We continued our series Jesus Changes Everything yesterday and looked at John 1:35 – 51
  • If you missed it, you can listen to it here
  • I talked about how Jesus does not call us to ask him into our hearts, pray a prayer or make him our personal savior
  • Instead, He calls us to follow him, to make him Lord
  • The implications on this are enormous
  • A couple of books that have been hugely helpful to me in this thinking are J.D. Greear’s Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart and David Platt’s Follow Me
  • Booked our summer vacation this past week, so excited about a week in San Diego with Katie and the kids
  • I can almost hear and smell the ocean simply by typing those words
  • Yesterday we had another newcomer’s lunch
  • It’s amazing to me that we’ve had 4 of those in 2013 and so far have had almost 80 newcomer’s at them total
  • Unreal
  • So excited for the NFL draft this weekend
  • The NFL draft signifies that the NFL season is almost here and I don’t have to hear about baseball and basketball
  • They move too slow for me
  • Tomorrow night I’m speaking on the U of A campus at a ministry called EPIC
  • I get to talk with college students about self-control
  • Should be a fun night
  • I’m trying to remember the reaction I would have to someone talking to me about self-control in college
  • I’d love to hear what you would tell them if you were talking to them
  • Leave a comment here
  • Katie and I are also trying to nail down our final fundraiser for our Ethiopian adoption as we just got out “on-deck email”
  • Stay tuned for how you can help after we put more details together
  • It is crazy to think that by the end of 2013 our agency thinks we’ll take 2 trips to Ethiopia and bring our child home
  • Exciting and scary all at the same time