Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Think Southern Baptist Preachers and Bloggers Have Much in Common

I was writing a post yesterday  (this Johnny Carson one, my new second favorite) and I realized that I was typing in a way that reminded me of many sermons I heard growing up. I don't mean any disrespect to any Preachers*, I'm a believer myself although I'm no longer protestant.  But just to confirm my epiphany that good bloggers and good Preachers used alot of the same skills I spent a few hours reading lots of posts. I realized that there are many similarities between good bloggers and Preachers.

My Carson blog was an entire  post based on one simple quote attributed to Johnny Carson. That quote was 14 words long and yet I found three very convincing, meaningful and practical truths in it.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard sermons based on one single quote. From 'Jesus Wept' I've heard 3 hour presentations.  So the main commonality I find is the ability to take one quote/idea/simple thought and milk from it many interesting points and ideas.

Another thing I found among great blogs I read and good Preachers I've heard was the ability to let me paint a very real personal visual based on their words. I remember vividly the mental picture I had of hell as a scary dark place as well as the image of heaven I had where I might actually be able to sing on key. The blogs I enjoy reading illustrate the author's life or situation in such a way that I can imagine myself there. Reading business blogs outlining the '250 Ways You Can Kill Your Business Online without Meaning to' conjure up horrible visions of me with long periods between pedicures...NOT a pleasant thought. The ability to give the reader a visual they get immediately was a common talent among bloggers and Preachers I enjoyed.

Blogs that change my mood or attitude and compel me to do something also fall into this similarity category. All of my preaching experiences involved an Altar Call, the bloggers equivalent of a good closing that moves you to do something. The point of being preached to was ultimately to finish with you being compelled to do something: repent, re-commit, donate, change your horrible life, etc. A good blogger does the same thing. They know how to leave you at the end of the blog with a definite idea that you should respond in some way and most tell you exactly what that way is: leave a post, follow this blog, donate to this cause or buy this book.  And if you're persuaded to act, then you've had an experience, not just listened or read during that time.
*Preachers is capitalized through-out this piece. As a former Southern Baptist and as a born and bred southerner, a Preacher is someone who deserves to be capitalized.

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