Eight years ago today my teenage daughter helped me launch this blog. My primary purpose for the blog was to help churches of all sizes, but especially smaller ones, reach the next generation. Most of my early posts focused exclusively on that topic. As the years have passed I’ve expanded my focus to include cultural trends that impact churches and devotional writings that rise up out of everyday experiences. I also have invited a handful of friends to write guest posts, some of whom have been so kind as to write a number of guests posts. I think having more than one writer adds depth to the blog.
Since the blog’s inception 258,364 different people have read one or more posts on the blog. Forty percent of the visitors found the blog through Facebook. Forty-five percent found it through a Google search. Fifteen percent discovered it through some other search engine. Most readers are from the United States, though the number of European visitors is rapidly growing.
There are 958 posts on the blog. Five hundred and fifty-four people “follow” the blog and read almost every post. Nearly 1,000 people have to read a post before it gets into the list of “most read” posts on the blog. All the posts have a comment section that is open for two weeks after posting and some great discussions have been had in those comment threads. On very rare occasions I have to delete a comment because someone tries to hijack the thread and talk about something unrelated, or they attack some other person or group in their comment. I am thankful that the vast majority of people are respectful on the comment section, as I think it helps strengthen the overall value of the blog.
As I reflect on what I have learned through blogging, these things come to mind:
- Having a blog has greatly expanded the number of people I minister to. It is unlikely that I will ever preach a sermon or lead a church health seminar to more than a quarter of a million, but that is how many have read at least one post on my blog.
- Having a blog has opened up doors for other writing assignments that I had not previously considered. I’ve written articles for magazines. I’ve write editorials for Baptist Press. I’ve written some chapters for books that other people edited and published. Almost all of those opportunities came from someone seeing something I wrote on the blog and wanting to know more. Five of my seven books developed out of things I first wrote for my blog. It really has been the gate to more significant writing.
- Having a blog has forced me to write in a more focused way, which has also improved my verbal communication skills. Learning to write something meaningful that was short enough to read from someone’s mobile device, yet worth the time they took to read it, was a bit of a challenge. But it has many benefits that spill over into communication skills across many different formats.
- Having a blog has allowed me to interact with a wide variety of people that I might not have connected with in any other way. I have become good friends with many people outside my natural circle of connections who have greatly enhanced my life. Many of those connections originated from the blog.
- Having a blog has given me a larger platform for finding partners for the other ministries I serve. As a leader of a faith based non-profit, strong partners are essential for effectiveness. The blog has given me greater credibility, a larger network, and a voice that has impacted those non-profits in a very positive way though the blog is not officially sponsored or endorsed by those non-profits.
- Having a blog with regular posts takes a lot of time. Anything worth doing takes time.
- Having a blog is a lot of fun! It has been a great 8 years. I am looking forward to the next eight.
What have you appreciated most about this blog? Of all the posts you have read, was one particularly impactful? What about it made it stand out? Leave your responses in a comment below. Thanks for being part of the journey!
Dr. Terry W. Dorsett has been a pastor, church planter, denominational leader and author in New England for more than 20 years. He is a happy husband, a proud father and adoring grandfather. He is a cancer survivor and believes that God works powerfully through times of suffering. He writes extensively and you can find all of his books at: