Why a Leader Should Blog

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I often get asked by other pastors if they should have a blog. After all, it seems like any pastor who is doing anything has a blog. Whether that is true or not, it feels that way. Also, many pastors hope to write a book one day and a blog is a natural first step.

I’ve been blogging for 8 years now and I believe that a pastor should blog. Here are 4 ways to know if you should:

  1. You feel like you have something to say. If you don’t feel like you have something to say or you are starting a blog because every other pastor in your network has a blog, you shouldn’t start one. Don’t look to fill a void in the blog world, there probably isn’t one. Just write about the things you are passionate about. When I write something, I ask myself, “Do I want to know about this?” That for me is the question. If I’m interested in a topic, I assume others will be as well. This is why my blog has leadership topics, preaching, theology, family, marriage, NFL, fantasy football, health and crossfit and random Dilbert comics. Don’t try to talk about something you don’t care about or aren’t passionate about.
  2. You like to write. I’ve asked writers about their rhythm and schedule and many writers love to write. I’ve met some that have told me, “I write because someone pays me and I have a deadline.” If that’s you, don’t blog. Stick to books. I tried to make on of our leaders blog because I thought it would be helpful and it was a disaster. He hated it and I stopped trying to force him. It has to be something you want to do.
  3. It is a great way to shepherd and lead your church or organization. This is the reason I have continued blogging. I love to preach, read books, prep sermons and develop leaders. Blogging is an opportunity for me to shepherd and lead my church outside of Sunday morning. I can post more ideas about my sermon, talk about things I didn’t have time for in my sermon, pass on great articles and helpful resources. This is why pastors should blog. If you don’t, I believe you are missing a great leadership and shepherding opportunity.
  4. It is work. But it is work. Keeping up a blog takes time. A friend of mine recently told me that he had his highest traffic ever and said it was because he posted regularly. If you want to grow a blog, you have to write regularly. If you don’t, your readers won’t know when there is new content and won’t come back. The best way to grow a blog is to be helpful and write good content. Look at any of the blogs with the most traffic and usually those 2 things are true. Get into some kind of rhythm that works for you in terms of writing and stick to it.

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Happy 7 Years of Blogging

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Today marks 7 years of blogging at joshuareich.org. It has been a fun 7 years. Let me first say, “Thanks for reading my blog.” I started blogging simply to write about stuff that interested me. I don’t have a specific message or subject I blog about, just things I like. My hope was to find others who enjoyed some of those things, wanted to learn together and sharpen each other.

A lot has happened since I started blogging. In that time, I’ve moved to the other side of the country (from Pennsylvania to Arizona), planted a church, we now have 4 kids, adopted one child, started the adoption process of another, lost 130 pounds and kept it off, started a book project, became addicted to Crossfit, went gluten free and read more books and listened to more music than I ever expected.

To commemorate the journey, below you will find the top posts for the last 7 years:

  1. 15 Ways to Improve Your Marriage
  2. The Role of Men in the Family
  3. What Attracts People to Church?
  4. Why did I Get Married?
  5. Accountability
  6. My Journey of Losing Weight
  7. Interacting with the Opposite Sex as a Pastor
  8. Before You Criticize Your Pastor
  9. How a Wife Handles Her Husband’s Sexual Addiction

Here are some of my favorites from the different subjects I blog most often about:

Leadership

Marriage

Church Ministry

Health

Preaching

Here’s to many more years of blogging. Thanks for reading.

Taking a Digital Detox

You probably won’t be surprised by this, but a new study shows that we’re having a harder and harder time disconnecting. Even vacations are becoming workcations. Check these stats out…

  • Seventy-nine percent of respondents have taken their work-related device with them on vacation.
  • More than one-third of respondents admit to hiding from friends and family in order to check email on vacation.
  • Nearly half of survey respondents admitted to traveling up to 10 miles just to check email during a vacation.
  • More than one-third of respondents admit to checking mobile email even during such vacation activities as skiing, horseback riding and biking.

Once a year, I take a digital detox. This week is that. A week with no phone, no email, no twitter, blog or Facebook. All the posts you’ll see this week were written ahead of time.

I will admit, this is harder than it sounds. In fact, after telling other pastor’s and leaders about it, most of them said they could never spend a week with their phone off. I have learned that this is a much needed practice to stay healthy in leadership. The more and more our lives revolve around technology, the more and more crucial I believe it becomes for us to pull away from technology for a period of time.

I think many pastor’s are worried the world will end if they are out of touch. The leaders at Revolution know how to get a hold of me if the world ends. In that case, Jesus will be here so it will be okay.

I’m looking forward to a week of pouring into my family (I’ve learned that this practice goes a long way with Katie and showing her how important she is), reading some novels, taking afternoon naps and generally doing nothing.

Links of the Week

  1. Tim Challies recently publised two free e-books:  Sexual Detox: A Guide for the Single Guy and Sexual Detox: A Guide for the Married Guy. After our I Want a New Marriage series and the response we got for the week I preached on porn, I can’t recommend these free books any more. Download them, read them (with your wife, if married). They are great resources.
  2. Chris Brogan on How to blog almost everyday. If you are a blogger and need ways to be a better blogger/writer, this is a great list on where to find ideas. He also has a list of 100 topics to write about and 20 topics to get unstuck as a blogger.
  3. John Piper on 9 ways we know the gospel of Jesus is true.

Links of the Week

  1. Sam Rainer on The importance of vision. Vision is a leader’s friend, yet, so many pastors seem to not know where they are going or where they are taking their church.
  2. Craig Groeschel on Values and culture. Your values, culture and DNA drive everything about your church. From how you spend your time, money, programs you do and who you hire. When you experience problems, it is a culture and values problem.
  3. Perry Noble on 16 signs a leader has lost his mind and 18 signs a staff has lost their mind.
  4. Mark Batterson on Rebuke distractions.
  5. Mark Driscoll on Leadership is lonely. This is so true.
  6. Scott Williams on Activity doesn’t = productivity. This is one of the biggest traps churches and leaders fall into. He also wrote a great post on how twitter makes you a better leader. I am a big believer in leaders and pastors twittering and blogging.
  7. David Fitch on 3 myths about preaching.
  8. Scott Bellsky on How ideas happen.

Saturday Night Mind Dump…

  • Tonight was our BBQ/Baptism
  • I got to baptize 6 people
  • I’ll post some pictures and video when we have it
  • Love when we do baptisms
  • Love hearing the stories of life change
  • This one of the reasons I love what I do
  • Definitely going to sleep well tonight
  • It was awesome to see everyone just hanging out tonight and talking
  • Community is happening at Revolution, which is amazing to see
  • So many people put in a ton of hours to make tonight happen
  • I am reminded every week how blessed we are to have the team we have at Revolution
  • We simply have the best volunteers on the planet
  • We have our small group tomorrow, we’re talking about families, raising kids, what that looks like
  • Should be fun
  • My summer break has unofficially started
  • I’m still getting some things done, which is part of the plan
  • Can’t believe we leave for San Diego one week from today
  • So excited about that
  • Started my break by reading through Mark Buchanan’s The Rest of God, so far it is great, a much needed look at sabbath and rest
  • Katie’s Dad and Stepmom were here this week, it was great to have them here
  • Got to grill 4 ribeye’s from Dickman’s while they were here, always tasty
  • We also got to go to the Pima Air & Space Museum
  • Spent all day yesterday shooting a bunch of videos for our next series
  • Can’t wait to show them, they are hilarious
  • In case you haven’t heard yet, Katie is blogging, so check it out
  • Thinking about going to see the new Transformers movie this week
  • Hope it’s good
  • My big project this week is to finish writing the partnership class that we are doing in August
  • Our partnership class is Revolution’s membership class
  • I’m almost done with it
  • I could keep going, but I am just blown away by how God is working at Revolution and that I get to be a part of it
  • Tonight I’m reminded of the words of Bill Hybels, “I get to do this”

Links of the Week

  1. North Point & Chic Fil-A
  2. Sam Rainer on Faith and family
  3. John Maxwell is blogging and on twitter
  4. Tony Morgan on 14 ways to spend less so you can do more
  5. Carlos Whitaker on Are we relevant enough?
  6. Steven Furtick on Guitar hero ministry mentality (this is great)
  7. Does Satan Exist?
  8. Donald Miller’s book Blue Like Jazz as a movie (awesome)
  9. Sam Rainer on The unchurched next door are receptive
  10. Paul Ingram on It and what’s happening @ Revolution