Does having a blog affect your ministry?
The answer to that is clearly, Yes. It affects my ministry in that, knowing that the blog is there at desiringGod.org and that I'm invited to write for it all I want, I now have an immediate outlet for thoughts that come into my mind. Before my only options were to turn my thoughts into a Star article (Taste & See) or to file them away for a later sermon illustration or whatever.
So yes, it has the affect of offering another way to communicate to folks besides the Star article in our weekly newsletter. It has the immediate sense that I could take fifteen minutes, half an hour, or five minutes and write down this new insight I got from my devotions this morning and send it off to Abraham, and he would tweak it, consider it, and use it.
Does blogging affect the way that I write?
Abraham, the content manager for the DG website and blog, has persuaded me that long is not good for a blog. I think he's right about that. There are some people who do write very long blogs, but I don't tend to read them (and most people don't). And so the effect it would have is that, if my thought is a long, complicated one, I'll just rule it out. I'll write it as a Taste & See or just put it in my journal to await going into a book or something.
So when I'm thinking blog, I'm thinking of something that can fit on one screen, because I doubt that people who are cruising through have a lot of time on their hands.
The usefulness of blogs, in my judgment, is that they're like a taste, just like you snack between meals on something healthy or not. And I would just like mine to be really, really healthy and nourishing.
I've got a little book here, my 300-year-old blog by Samuel Rutherford called The Loveliness of Christ. I only mention it because of the function that snacks have. Each portion takes only 30 seconds or so to read, but they're usually so good that I linger on them for a minute or two. And he says things like, "The Christian life is a foul way but a fair home." Now that only takes two seconds to say, and it changes my day. It changes the way I think about my troubles in my family or my church.
If I could do that for somebody on a blog, if I could say a sentence or two from the word of God with words that hit home, and a person could walk away from that and enter the pain of their marriage with that nugget, I would feel like I have invested 15 minutes well.
So, Yes, it has an effect.