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Interview with Christian blogger Nolan Bobbitt: Part 2 of 2

We continue with the rest of my interview with Nolan Bobbitt regarding blogs, the internet and Christianity:

Richard Zowie: How crucial, in 2011, is it for a church to have a website and blog?

Nolan Bobbitt: Having a website and blog is not crucial in 2011. Building relationships and creating compelling and interesting content is hugely crucial. If you are going to have a website or blog that makes a difference, it must be focused on helping people, growing people, and deepening relationships. Some ministries might actually be better suited to make use of social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter for interaction. Blogs or websites should be places we go to grow grow and be inspired. That only happens when we have great material to read!

RZ: Do you see your blog as more of an evangelization or edification tool?

NB: My personal blog is more focused on growing believers at this point. I am in the beginning stages of potentially launching two partner blogs (one with me as the primary writer, and the other will actually have a writing network), and at least one of those new sites will be almost exclusively rooted in evangelistic efforts.

RZ: What blog postings tend to get the most traffic for you?

NB: This may be a funny response, but those blog postings that have either unique titles, or feature the name of a high-profile “celebrity Christian.” Again, for me personally, I almost have to distance myself from thinking about blog traffic, so that writing well is my primary focus!

RZ: What advice do you have for people who want to blog or be more successful at it?

NB: Short posts are better than long posts, always! I shoot for 300 words an entry and make it a rule to not go over 500 words. Set aside a regular time to write your blog. I used to try to write 30 minutes a day, six days a week, but I am discovering that I am much better off to set aside a larger chunk of time (90 minutes) less often (twice a week). Do what works for you, but the only way to get better at writing is to write more often! Read blogs that you want to be like. Build relationships with those bloggers by referencing them, linking to their posts, and leaving comments. Don’t ask for anything from them, especially at the beginning. I have at least 2 high profile CEOs who read my blog at least sporadically and it’s because I became “friends” with them through consistent comments on their sites and through Twitter conversations. At the same time, be “you” on your blog. If you can’t be who God made you to be, you are wasting your time and everyone else’s. If growing a large following is your primary goal, don’t blog–twitter instead. Blogging should be reserved for those who love creating and sharing content!

Post comments here or e-mail richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Church, Bible reading, this blog and, well…

March 31, 2011 Leave a comment

Went to church last night. Had to walk there since I did not have the family van readily available. No problems: I walked the mile to church in about 15 minutes. Great exercise. It seems that every time you have to make a strong effort to attend church it ends up being well worth it. Bible study and then a chat with a few people. I obtained the name of the lady who runs the church’s library ministry, so Lord willing, I will be able to serve there in a small capacity soon…

…Finished reading Isaiah today, and in chapter 65 was the passage where the Left Behind story teaches that the unsaved during Christ’s Millennial Reign will have 100 years of life to accept Him. If they are unsaved on their hundredth birthday, they will die. Time will tell if this is accurate.

Read through Hebrews’ Faith Hall of Fame and saw that Samson and Sarah were there. Samson I remember from a past reading, Sarah’s presence in the HOF was a surprise. You know Samson: the cocky strongman who allowed his hair to be cut off and was left to the brutality of the Philistines. I wonder if his faith involved his belief that once his hair grew back his strength would return? Hard to say. I also imagine Sarah’s faith was in her belief she would indeed eventually give birth to a son in her old age, even after she took her eyes off God and allowed her husband Abraham to sleep with Hagar, her maid…

…As far as this blog goes, I think I have found a theme that’s good for now. Someday I hope to redesign this blog to make it far more unique. In the meantime, I will post when I have something to say rather than putting something up on a daily basis.

As always, comments are welcome. Post them here or drop me a line at richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Interview with blogger and fellow PCC alum Nolan Bobbitt: Part 1 of 2

March 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Nolan Bobbitt, a fellow Pensacola Christian College graduate, is a great example of someone I knew of at college (but not on a personal basis) but have, in recent years, exchanged e-mails with him every so often. I remember at PCC he had a reputation as a friendly, wonderful guy who loved people and wanted to serve in the ministry.

After I graduated from PCC and spent time in the proverbial real world (which included a four-year enlistment in the U.S. Army, where so many forbidden things at college were done by most as an afterthought), I began to discover the internet and websites that were both favorable and not favorable to PCC.

On one website I discovered an essay by Nolan titled: “ISOLATIONISM: The Gospel of the Fundamentalist Movement.” Sometime in the near future I will post it on my blog, as it is much-needed reading about how Christians should be insulated but not isolated from the world.

Nolan Bobbitt

These days, among Nolan’s ministries is a website, where he blogs. As I’ve read his blog I have grown to admire both the content and the design. Just a few years ago, I learned what a blog was, how to choose a server, how to post, how to create one working within the allowed parameters. And, yes, how to deal with angry readers who think I’m far crazier than I actually am.

Since blogging is still relatively new to some Christians, I decided to ask Nolan a few questions about blogging, how he got into it and how Christians can use it as a ministerial tool…

Richard Zowie: When did you first start using the internet?

Nolan Bobbitt: I started using the internet back in the dial-up days, around 1995.

RZ: When did you start blogging?

NB: Wow, it’s hard to believe, but I started blogging back in 2005.

RZ: What types of growing pains did you have when you first started blogging? Do you still find yourself wanting to tinker with your blog’s layout, format and what you write about?

NB: Sure I went through the typical blog growing pains, and the funny thing is, there are still some pains there from blogging, but they are a different kind. In the first couple of years, I was really consumed with growing an audience and trying to get high-profile “celebrity Christian” bloggers to read my stuff or write a guest post so that I could have their readership come my way. I obsessed over having a cool blog layout and header.

These days, it’s a little different…I obsess over writing something of substance and value, rather than growing a broad readership. I actually have taken an unintentional break from blogging. I was getting into a really good rhythm and posting at least 4-5 times a week, and then, I just stopped writing. At this point, I really need to update the “look” and layout of my blog, but I’d actually rather just have something that’s worth reading posted there more consistently.

RZ: Do you run across Christians who are opposed to blogs or to being on the internet? If so, what do you tell them?

NB: Oh, I am sure that there are a few Christians who are opposed to blogging or the internet, because they think that it is too “worldly.” I would tell the opposed that the internet may be one of the greatest evangelism tools that the 21st century will see if harnessed to further the Gospel in a compelling way!

In Part 2, Nolan will discuss his thoughts of how blogs can be used for Christian ministries.

Richard Zowie has blogged at Blogspot, Livejournal and now primarily uses WordPress. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

New look to the blog…for now

I didn’t like the previous look, since it looked a little too pastel. This is the theme that I chose because, frankly, I disliked it the least of the other WordPress themes. They don’t have one that focuses on God or Christianity or even religion, so I chose this one. It’s actually the third format I’ve tried in the past two days and is an improvement over the others. It’s plain and a little boring, but it has blue (my favorite color) and one thing I adore about blogs–contrast. (When it comes to text on a blog, I prefer black or very dark fonts with a nice white background).

Someday, I’d like something perhaps with clouds, crosses, royal blue or purple and accents of gold. That may have to wait until the day I have money to customize this blog.

What do you think, reader?