Monday, September 30, 2013

Heavy-Duty Thinking

Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! 
For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.  
But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; 
you will only find yourselves fighting against God.
Acts 5:38-39

During the past month, I have done some heavy-duty thinking about the purpose and goals of this blog.  And, in a supernatural I'm-sure-God-is-working-in-this way, I have seen waves of encouragement and support roll across this Christian-blogging community.  Writers are posting - don't be discouraged by not knowing who you reach.   Don't be discouraged by comparing your posts to others - other writers who truly excel at their craft - other photographers who regularly capture exactly that special moment - other bloggers with more followers, more friends in their circle, more likes. 

So.  Heavy-duty thinking.  Self-evaluation.  Self-searching.  And yes, I am guilty of comparing.  But, this is what I've come up with:

 Christians comprise the largest percentage of the world's religious population (which in 1970 comprised about 82% of the world population).   The religious population is projected to increase by 2020, to around 90% of the total world population.  Of this, Christians will again make up the largest percentage.  Christianity is not the fastest growing, however.  Islam is the fastest growing religion.

This graph shows the projection of change - it shows a 'shift' of Christianity and Islam to the Southern Hemisphere.  My concern is the drop in North America, Europe, and Oceania.  Guess what - these are the countries most reached by blogs, and where blogs are most read.

Between 10 and 20 percent of bloggers write about religion/spirituality.  That's you.  If you are blogging from the United States, your blog is one of perhaps 3 million blogs.  Of those, let's guess that the statistics follow the world population - maybe 33% are about Christianity and for the sake of accuracy, put a give or take on it.  Give or take 10 percent and you have somewhere around one million blogs about Christianity.  Wow.  So of course you're going to feel a little lost in the mix...but look at the next statistic...

These are your readers.  Again, let's play with the population...  33% are Christian - maybe looking to read about your personal experience, your application, your encouragement.  That's a potential readership - again give or take - of 40 million or so.  Ok, so I'm being optimistic.  Take 10% of that - it's still a readership, in the US alone, of people who are already reading blogs at least on a monthly basis, of four million,  

Think about it!  Across the blogosphere, across our computer screens, we have the opportunity to change the world!  

Remember the trend - Christianity moving south?  Here's the part that really grabbed me.  When you pull the stats apart by region, the US, Northern Europe, South America, and Oceania are predicted to lose Christians.  Guess what they're expected to lose to?  Agnosticism.  Agnostics are people who don't believe in anything really - they don't deny the existence of God, but they also don't believe in God.  You can read about the trends in this report: 

Here's my guess.  These people haven't been shown God in the world.  These are people who believed because they were told to believe, but never really had any kind of life experience that cemented their belief.  

This is where you can make the biggest difference.  Don't deny your Christianity.  Don't mess around with the little things.  Proclaim, loud and clear, who you are and who you represent.  Show, in your writing and in your photos and videos, your tweets and your posts, the presence of Jesus in your life. Describe the miracles.  Define the joy.  

You wouldn't be writing if you weren't nudged by God.  I think He understands this blogosphere better than anyone.  He's using YOU.  You.  And you don't know who you're going to reach with your amazingly talented writing, or your amazingly sincere post.  

It's not a question of comparison or discouragement.  It's a question of what you're going to say, today, that might make a difference in someone's life - somewhere, somehow.  And it's God's plan - you may or may not ever know the difference you've made - but believe that you make a difference.  

Look at today's verse!  Our God is amazing - like Paul was looking 2000 years in the future.  Do you believe your blog has a God-purpose?  I do.

God, thank you for opening up an opportunity for me to do what I love and serve you at the same time.  Thank you for the encouraging community of bloggers I've met.  Help us to be missionaries for you.

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I know we probably haven't met in person, but I believe that the sharing of our ideas and thoughts, sometimes our hearts and souls, makes us more than strangers. I would like to say friends. Thank you for taking the time to contribute to my little space - I appreciate you.