The Ministry of Blogging

I have come to understand very well that blogging, at many of its best points, is a ministry. Like most ministry, it carries certain limitations. It is not a sacrament of the Church. I trust that when, as a priest, I administer the Body and Blood of Christ, His perfection is everything and I need be nothing. There is a great comfort in that – only the concern that in my own sinfulness “I myself will become shipwreck while administering salvation to others,” as St. Paul wrote.

In this ministry of blogging, however, there are other sorts of limitations. First, I do not know everything, thus I only write about what I know (a severe limitation indeed). I also write to an amazingly diverse audience, from other Orthodox priests to the casual surfer who knows little or nothing about Orthodoxy.

Even among the Orthodox there can be a failure for me to state things well or accurately, thus causing consternation or worse.

I pray about this ministry (more than you might guess), and I take very seriously every response, and extremely seriously every negative response. I know there will always be negative responses – but I tremble when I think a poor response was on account of my own sinfulness. God forbid that any of us cause someone to stumble. It is a fearful thing.

Thus I have set rules for myself and others for kindness and gentleness (though I break the rules myself, forgive me). At least with kindness we may have a long enough conversation to actually achieve communication.

Some have asked me how I manage to post as often as I do – the answer is – mostly – I watch little television. This ministry is my own “relaxation” of sorts, a discipline to think well and write well and hopefully be of some benefit to someone. I like to write.

If occasionally (or often) I am autobiographical in my writing, it is not because I am a good example of Orthodoxy, but I am the example I know best. Poor as it is – it’s what I’ve got. God help me.

I am deeply grateful for the many kind words I receive daily and the encouragement you give to one another as well. Please pray for me, and for others who read (or comment). Prayer for one another is more important even than what we may say or write.

I have passed through a very exhausting illness the week and am glad to be writing again, though I do not have the energy of last week (yet). The Orthodox faith has buried a great giant (Solzhenitsyn) whose writings will impact generations to come. It is a reminder of how ephemeral this form of writing truly is. The only substance it will have will be found in the heart of a human being if it should be so graced as to have entered that holy place.

May God bless. May we always forgive one another. May paradise consume us!

16 Responses to “The Ministry of Blogging”

  1. Karen C Says:

    Dear Father, God bless you for this ministry. I benefit from it every time I read. I find yours to be an extremely wholesome perspective, and though you may “know very little,” the little you know you seem to know well enough to be of great service to one such as me! I thank God for the gifts of communication He has given you, and I pray for your swift recovery.

  2. Mary Gail Says:

    You were a highly significant factor in my conversion to Orthodoxy.

    So many times, your latest post just happens to touch on an issue which is active in my life at the time you post it.

    You have introduced me to many wonderful Orthodox authors.

    Blogs are no substitute for a church home but they can reach many people who have yet to step foot in a church and so they have much value in that regard.

    This blog helped lead me to a local orthodox church.

    Prayers for your ministry and for your speedy recovery!

  3. Isaac the Syrian Says:

    There are Orthodox “ministries” on the internet (a perilous medium for certain) that probably do more harm than good, but this is not that kind and I for one truly appreciate it.

  4. Fr John Bostwick Says:

    Thank God that you have come through this illness. May the Lord in His goodness
    keep you healthy. And thank you for your generosity in doing this work. I am amazed that you are able to maintain the regularity and quality. Yesterday I once again recommended your blog to one of my students.
    Gratefully,
    Fr John

  5. Sophocles Says:

    Father bless,

    Thank you Father! May our gracious and bountiful Lord always bless you and your efforts and always fill you with forgiveness for what you realize are your own shortcomings in this ministry.

    But know as well, at least from me, that you and your work are loved.

    And speedy recovery.

    In Christ,

    Sophocles

  6. Damian Says:

    Father,

    Don’t stop writing what you’ve been writing. I’m not Orthodox, but what you write – autobiographical and all – tends to communicate a wisdom and humility before God and you serve as an example to everyone who reads your writing.

    Damian

  7. Fr. James Early Says:

    I, for one, am very glad that you perform this ministry. And I have a good friend whose wife decided to become Orthodox (he had already made the decision) as a result of your blog. So that’s at least 2!

  8. Visibilium Says:

    I like your blog, too.

  9. Alexander Says:

    Father, my prayers and appreciation are with you and the ministry!
    (you knew that🙂
    Please pray about me, too.
    Alexander

  10. canicus Says:

    I may not have commented until recently (and that rather clumsily), but I have read your blog for some time. I read it, because you teach me many things. Thank you for doing it.

  11. Father Stephan Freeman and Maturity in Blogging. A Lesson About Love As Communion « Teologie pentru azi Says:

    […] sursa. Publicat […]

  12. Lucias Says:

    Father Stephen,

    Prayers for your speedy return to normal. And thank you for taking the time to engage in the ministry of blogging. I fall into the curious Christian but non-orthodox category. I enjoy your insights on things.

    Later today I will journey to New Symrna beach in Florida, which has become my custom as I first visited and now live in the state. I recently learned that New Symrna was the location of the first Orthodox church in the New World. At least that is my understanding. I shall think of them wading ashore to build New Symrna as I stare into the waves today.

    Regards,

    Lucias

  13. selena Says:

    Your blog is a blessing to me in Australia. Thank you.

  14. AR Says:

    I think I crossed the Orthodox line when I prayed to my guardian angel one day in urgent need – and I only thought of doing so because you posted that prayer and I read it. Just another example of how this blog is indeed a ministry.

    From me to you, Father, many thanks.

  15. brianglass Says:

    You have fundamentally changed the way I think.

    I still stand outside of Orthodoxy, but my steps come ever closer.

  16. Jim B Says:

    I am truly thankful for your blog being far less knowledgeable.

    I know this is not a Sacrament as in the seven, but is not every little thing we do in the Church a sacrament or at least an opportunity to be a sacrament? Wouldn’t your blog, being a ministry, also be a sacrament? The reason I ask is that my Priest says that everything we do can be a sacrament, from drinking a cup of coffee, helping someone, etc.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: