Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A basket of linking goodness!

Last week, John Schroeder over at Blogotional put up a post about the call to servant leadership in our blog-writing. His main example of such leadership is leading through linking people to ideas and sites that are worth reading, and then he begs the question -- what are other ways of engaging in servant leadership?

Here's a pungent quote from the post:
Effective institutional leaders usually view the institution as an extension of themselves - a way to get something done that they want done. But the approach described here would have the institution serve the other and the leader work to make that happen, regardless of the leader's desire.

Linking is certainly one form of blogging servant leadership, but the question is what are others? How do we blog in ways to serve? If we are to follow the example of Christ the purpose of our blogs should most assuredly be NOT attracting attention to ourselves, yet that seems to define the medium.

Godblogging needs, in my opinion, a new paradigm. What is it and how to we get there?

This is as irritating as a reminder to floss -- By golly he's right, but I admit that while pounding my keyboard in frustration, for I have met the enemy and he is me. Part of the problem is that the act of writing is an act of ego -- why would anyone care what it is that we have to say? What audacity makes us think that our words merit the eyetime of readers when there is an ocean of wit, wisdom, and whimsey available online. Indeed, what separates us from the mountebanks, hucksters and snake-oil salesmen who peddle their thoughts online in the neverending quest to attain A-list blogdom? Michael Foster brought up some of these thoughts when he took a blogging sabbatical a while back.

I suggest that perhaps another guideline might be found in Ephesians 4:29 "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." combine this with Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things."

Simply put, our blogging should seek to edify and build up the saints, not engage in a tough-man free for all of words and attack. Sometimes that edification may be in the form of challenging cultural or institutional assumptions -- but it must always be done with the aim of edifying rather than scoring points. The question still remains -- is there a place for prophetic wrath? I welcome your thoughts on that question.

However, in the spirit to which John Schroeder calls us, I offer up this little basket of linking goodies for your edification and pleasure:

Dear Church This website (and the corresponding book that is coming out this fall) tells stories of 20 somethings who have left the church because they've been so badly burned. Some of their complaints are grossly unfair -- however as you read on you may find yourself being deeply challenged. Worth a look-see. Anastasia Goodstien's weblog all about marketing to generation Y (that would be todays teenagers, ya'll) has become one of my favorites. Goodstien is not a cynical "this is how you get them to buy stuff" type -- rather, she wants her readers to understand the mindset of this generation. She's not afraid of highlighting faith trends in a positive way. And she practices linking "servant leadership" better than most blogs I've seen.

Heart and Soul While working on my laptop in one of my branch offices (that would be any coffee shop with free wifi), I ran into my friend Gary Sweeten who told me about his new blog. Gary is an experienced counselor, pastor, and leadership coach, and this blog brings all that wisdom to bear to help leaders be more effective -- certainly worth a visit. BoingBoing is a team weblog where the team members scout out stories of interest to the new digital overlords of our culture -- the tech geeks. Most of these stories have to do with nifty gee-whiz products, sci-fi, free speech, techno-trivia, sex, and more. It's worth following for an insight into a very large world in which faith is not a consideration (if even disdained). It also clues you in to interesting intellectual developments like the Singularity and round the world coverage of events like Hurricane Katrina recovery and the Israel/Hezbollah war.

hope these links interest you -- let me know what you think.

Soli Deo Gloria