Tuesday, November 25, 2014

So You Want to Start a Youth Ministry Blog? Part 1

This is the first in a series of posts on the basics of youth ministry blogging. I don't claim to know everything on this subject but a little over 3 years ago LYMFB started and I'm proud of what my little blog has been able to do. It has caused me to grow as a writer and opened doors for me to co-author Ministryplace.net with a bunch of great rural youth minister and guest blog opportunities on More than Dodgeball and the DYM Blog.

3 years ago LYMFB started as a joke between myself and a friend. As we were discussing youth ministry ideas and thoughts, he jokingly told me I should write a youth ministry blog. I didn't know the first thing about blogs, honestly I didn't even know what a blog was. But I thought, what a better way to get my voice heard?

If your reading this you might be thinking about starting a youth ministry blog, if so this post is for you. If you are reading and what some practical tips on youth ministry blogging, hang in there! The follow up posts in this series will cover those tips.

Here are some practical things about starting a youth ministry blog:

So what is your purpose?
Have a purpose for your blog from the get go! Like a youth ministry mission statement, having a purpose for your blog from the get go will help you shape and guide your posts. When I started my blog the entire purpose was just to get my voice heard in the youth ministry world. It has evolved over time and I would say the purpose of LYMFB is this:

LYMFB exists to bring practical tips on rural youth ministry, parent ministry, and general youth ministry to the masses. Providing youth ministers with practical application, product reviews, and thought provoking questions.

This purpose is what helps me select my subjects and guides my writing. If your looking for a deep theological youth ministry blog, your in the wrong spot! All my tips can apply to a wide variety of settings. So what is the purpose of your blog? If it is to record your journey as you battle cancer and how that applies to your youth ministry, make sure your posts reflect that. If it is to cover the sticky faith movement in the church, make sure your posts reflect that.

Post often.....at first.
Even though I don't post as often as I would like, when you first start your blog post as often as you can. If will cause you to be a better writer. The more often you post the better your writing will become. At first writing can be intimidating, especially if you haven't written anything in a long time. So write often. As you gain experience and a following on your blog you can be more selective about when you post.

Just write!
Here is the most magical tip that I can give you about blogging...just write! Your blog is a reflection of you, there is no right or wrong way to do it! There are certain things you can do to make your blog more successful BUT in the end if you want to be you and it gives you a creative outlet go for it!

When I was a senior in high school I nearly failed English class, my teacher told me I would never amount to anything as far as English and writing were concerned. As a result I hated writing, it still is not my favorite thing to do in the world, but it allows me to think things out, to put principles I know about youth ministry in black and white, and just generally makes me a more knowledgeable youth pastor. Two blogs, a lot of guest blog posts, magazine articles, and a (knock on wood) hopefully a book proposal later; I get the last laugh with my English teacher. So just be you, let your blog reflect your personality, let your identity come through in the words, and post about the things you are passionate about.

Hopefully this will give you encouragement as your are starting out! Stay tuned to LYMFB for more upcoming posts for ways to make your blog stand out! Until next time, Just Keep Swimming!

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