The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


“Any idiot can have a blog…”

posted by jmcgee

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Certainly, I’ve done my part to prove that, haven’t I?

But don’t take my word for it: check out what my friend Mike Hayes says on the topic over at his fine blog Googling God:

Since I started a media ministry (BustedHalo.com) and now have this blog, I have come to wonder if there is a huge difference between being a ministry and being a media outlet based on religion. I’ll make several points here:

1) Ministry takes as its starting point the spiritual well-being of individuals who come to us for spiritual guidance. People entrust priests, religious women, deacons, brothers and lay ministers with their lives. Media does not necessarily do this and if it did it might be quite boring for the average “lurker,” someone who reads a blog but doesn’t necessarily make comments on them.

2) Unless it’s explicitly stated, Blogging and other Media ministry outlets is not equated with catechesis. Meaning that blogs and other media outlets serve to entertain, to engage others in an argument that is happening, or to further some agenda’s point of view in some cases. Usually, blogs are told from a specific point of view, namely the blogger’s-which could mean they come from a certain place on a variety of spectrums and therefore don’t really express the fullness of any one tradition. Blogs take what Rush Limbaugh did for radio and placed that mentality into a new delivery system. Rush states: “I will interpret the news FOR you.” So what blogs do is simply express the entertaining voice of one person (sometimes more). They aren’t usually meant to teach, they are meant to further the OPINION of the blogger and when they do try to teach, they usually fail to cover the fullness of the church’s tradition. In short, any idiot could have a blog and any idiot can comment as well. It doesn’t make them a catechetical expert or even a teacher. Even looking at Deacon Greg’s blog the subtitle lets you know that this is a commentary-”where a Roman Catholic Deacon ponders the world.”

3) Ministry, however, needs to go beyond the mere blog post. In other words, minister’s who use media should hope that they get further comments from their audience and therefore, they have a responsibility to answer those comments, perhaps even off-site. I know this blog often opens a conversation with some of the students here. It has also allowed me to engage more deeply with friends who are struggling with the church and who turn to me as a “public” minister to help them understand the church’s point of view and their own personal struggles. In short, media opens the door for a minister, but it is the minister who needs to go beyond the media forum to further engage the individual. This is a point sorely missed by many who use media…

He has much more to say. Drop by and see for yourself. (He even takes comments!)



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