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2005-11-07 8:39 PM
more on blog boundaries
Keith asked what the downside is for my congregation to know about this blog. Here are a few reactions I can imagine:
I'm hurt by what you said in your post about X, Y and Z. (A recent example would be my post about the elder who suggested I preach while on maternity leave.) That has a fairly simple remedy--make any post private which has the potential to cause hurt feelings... although there is always the risk that I'll miss something.
I can't believe you've had this major "hobby" all this time that *nobody* at the church knew about. What else are you hiding from us? No, a church does not have a right to every aspect of my life. But clearly this is an avocation of mine. Will it seem inauthentic of me to have kept it from them?
You aren't who I thought you were. I don't know if I see you as my pastor anymore. It would not surprise anyone at the church to see that I come down on the liberal side of most issues, but I don't talk a lot about that at the church, because I am called to be everyone's pastor, thoughtful people can disagree on a lot of this stuff, and I don't feel the need to get up on my soapbox. Here though I can vent and rant... and I also curse, I gripe about stuff, I admit my faults and foibles. Of course nobody at the church thinks I'm perfect (what? her house isn't clean all the time?), but for better or worse, some people want a certain strength or togetherness from their pastor that is not always in evidence here.
So, those are the three major negative reactions I can foresee.
What I have going for me:
This journal is read by family and real-life friends, which gives it less of an underground, whole-'nother-life flavor to it. I keep in touch with far-flung loved ones this way. Big deal. Do I tell my church when I send out mass e-mails and Christmas letters? No.
I have never positioned myself as a pastor who has it all figured out from on high. I don't think I project a "togetherness" that's radically divergent from what one sees here. There's just less of a filter here, that's all.
Knowing my church as I do, they will probably feel there is a certain cache to having a pastor who's participating in this new technology. And who writes stuff that's been printed a few places.
The content of the blog itself. I do more than my share of navel-gazing here--uh, like this very post--but I hope this is also an engaging, interesting, sometimes humorous place to hang out. That has as much to do with the commenters as anyone else.
So, those are the issues as I see 'em.
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