I have never really been a disciplined blogger, but I created this blog three years ago while I was the senior pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Henryetta, Oklahoma. A lot has changed since then: Lauren and I have moved across the country twice, changed jobs, and most importantly added the newest member to our family; baby Wyatt. We are now in Northwest Arkansas, where I am participating in a year long ministry training program at Cross Church called the Cross Church School of Ministry. While here, I have recently felt a desire to return to the blog. I have done so not because I think I have all these great ideas that need to be recorded so the general public can benefit from my expertise, but because I believe it will benefit my personal sanctification. Here are a few reasons why I believe this.
1. Blogging cultivates discipline.
This year I have challenged myself to become more disciplined. Oh how I hate the cliché of New Years resolutions, but I do see the season as one conducive for self reflection and goal setting. Thus, slightly contradicting my previous statement, I am starting to blog again. I am doing so to cultivate discipline in my life. Lauren recently asked me what my word for 2017 was going to be, and I quickly responded, “Discipline.”
In Paul’s letters to Titus and Timothy he gives qualifications for the pastor. In reading over these qualifications, I see the great importance of pastors being very disciplined men. Paul actually uses the word disciplined in his letter to Titus, “For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined (Titus 1:7-8 ESV).” Blogging will force me to stick to a schedule, prepare regularly, and find worthwhile material, which will cultivate discipline in my life.
2. Blogging promotes thought.
I have always considered myself a thinker. I am perfectly content to just sit in a room with no noise or visual stimuli. Such times bring me great joy, because I am freed to think. The pursuit of thoughts and ideas is something I love, and regular blogging will force me to not just think, but to think well. Becoming a better thinker will allow me to love God with my mind.
One of the most important passages for the Old Testament Jews was Deuteronomy 6:4-5 which reads, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might (ESV).” The New Testament also gives great import to this command. When Jesus is asked what the greatest commandment is, he quotes the previously mentioned verse from Deuteronomy. The significance of loving God with your mind cannot be overstated, for it is stressed in both the Old and New Testaments. Therefore, I am committing to this blog to make myself a better thinker and lover of God.
3. Blogging requires study.
Along that same line, loving God with my mind should venture past my thoughts. Simply recording my own thoughts may have some minor benefit, but my mind is quite limited. As a result, this blog will require me to search out the thoughts of other smarter individuals.I am quite aware that I am not the only thinker out there, and it would be a great injustice to leave the thoughts of these men and women untouched. Discovering the thoughts of others, also known as study, will stretch my own abilities far beyond what they could ever be if left to my own capacity. Blogging forces me to study and exercise my mind all the more, making me a better human and a better Christian.
4. Blogging increases articulation.
I know for certain that I am called to be a pastor, and in that is evidenced by an overwhelming call to preach the Good News of Christ. I want to be the best possible preacher that I can be, and that in some ways involves being articulate. Of course Paul preached Christ and him crucified and nothing more, but that in no way means he just rambled on in some boring monologue. The very goal of preaching is to communicate, that is to get the message from the pulpit to the pew. It doesn’t matter how good I am at study, if I cannot get what I have gleaned from the study into the hearts of the people than I am not being faithful to the message. Good thoughts are only good if they can be clearly communicated. This blog will increase my ability to take my thoughts and study and put them into them minds and hearts of the people.
5. Blogging pursues sanctification.
As previously stated, this blog is just as much for my own personal growth as it is for the benefit of others. To speak in theological terms, it is for my sanctification. Sanctification is the process by which the Christian becomes holier and consequently more like God. In other words, we are in the process of being restored to the image bearers we were truly meant to be. If I stick to the plan and do what I have set out to do, I will grow closer to God through this blogging exercise. It is my prayer that I will become more like God with every word that I type in this return of the blog.
To God Be The Glory,
Brayden L. Buss