Devotionals/Bible Studies | What To Know As A Christian Blogger

I have gotten some questions for help from newer Christian bloggers.

“Can you give me some tips?”

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I’ve noticed two common things with a number of newer Christian bloggers, which is what inspired today’s post.

First, many of these bloggers plan to write solely devotional or Bible study type posts. Second, many of these bloggers are extremely scholarly in Christian studies/theology. This is awesome, there is nothing wrong with that.

I’m open when bloggers ask for tips for their blog. My process is always the same. I will go to their site and scroll through their posts. 95% of the time when I look at new Christian blogs, they are purely focused on giving the audience scripture either through devotionals or Bible studies. That in itself is not the problem. It is how the posts are written. Dry. Non-personal. Lecturing.

These all turn me away as a reader.

Why? Connection. The definition of “blog”  says a personal website or webpage. 

If a blogger is only writing through scripture with explanations, very straightforward…and that’s it, it’s not really personal. Most people will not feel engaged and turn away.

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There’s nothing wrong with having a straightforward study but it is important to be personal and engaging. If we can’t relate to others, our message will not be listened to. 

I think newer Christian bloggers (especially those with degrees, I’ve noticed) may be more accustomed to writing a particular way. Often times, this version of writing is extremely essay-like, straightforward, preachy, and not personal at all.

Posts of this nature, depending on the topic, can come off very accusative.

Many bloggers struggle with always using the word “you”.

Proper communication is used with “I feel” not “You did this!” The more we use the word “you” the easier it is for us to sound passive aggressive and accusative to our audience. As a Christian blogger, it is not so much about “I feel” versus “we.” We are the body of Christ. We are all in this together. We need to stay accountable to that.

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When discussing sin and struggling with the flesh, or anything especially in which a person can fall, include yourself. We are not separate from falling in sin or being tempted. Preachy and lecturing posts often feel isolating and separating. The speaker, the blogger, sounds perfect while not sharing any personal stories or connections to the material he or she is presenting. I’ll ask you as a reader, how do you feel when someone is only speaking AT you? Like their finger is constantly pointing at you from a high pedestal.

Keep that perspective for your audience. 

If we do not sound human (flawed) and we sound more like a book or a sermon, most likely, we will lose people. 

Just to show you what I mean cause I just rewrote the above sentence, this is what it originally read, “If you do not sound human and more like a book or a sermon, most likely, you will lose people.” See the difference in how it sounds?

A Christian blog can absolutely only be Bible studies or devotionals. But make sure there is a personal connection that flows throughout. Do not just throw in a paragraph of personal connection, or a few scattered sentences as a framework around the posts. It’s obvious and can feel spotty.

Our posts need to come from a personal place. Our audience does not care about how much we know. They are not our students. How we word our posts reflects how we look at our audience and how our readers, in turn, feel about that reflection.

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Having knowledge does not make us a good teacher. Notice in scripture, knowledge, and teaching are two separate gifts. I think sometimes, and this is my opinion, that people get caught up in everything they know and they want the knowledge itself or “success” (awards, labels, gifts, degrees) to speak for them. “This is why you should listen to me because I know what I am talking about.”

That’s not teaching.

We are not entitled to an audience or people listening to us just because we know stuff. 

Jesus knew exactly what He was talking about. But how did He teach? 

He got down to the level His audience was on. Christ was willing to explain and break down the truth.

Even if our audience can only take small pieces out of what we are saying, that’s important. Something else to remember, people did not follow Christ simply because He taught. He was a good Teacher because of everything about Him. He was relatable. His presence alone drew people in.  His love for God and people made them stay.

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Good teachers connect with their audience. They are personal. They are willing to admit struggles. They are Christlike and they show love in everything. Christian bloggers are not writing papers for professors. Our audience is not meant to edit and marvel at what we know. Our audience needs to be encouraged. Our audience needs to be challenged. They need to see why God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are important. They need to know why what we are saying is important to us. 

Why This Matters

This is beyond comments, followers, and numbers. It is about God and reaching His people. It is about showing the world who Jesus is. Honestly, it makes me sick to my stomach when new Christian bloggers ask me about tips for stats. That’s not our focus cause that’s a worldly view and if we are focused IN THE BEGINNING with the temptation of numbers, our heart is not in the right place. We need to check the state of our heart daily.

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I see so many Christian bloggers share that they struggle to be personal. I don’t know if it is because we live in a fake world. Everyone wants to focus on good, positive, and “perfect” vibes. That’s not reality.

We can be awkward. We can be an introvert. But as a blogger, it’s in the name, we can absolutely be personal. My first post concluded how God gave me the pen to be my Aaron.

Gradually, God has used blogging to help me vocalize better to the people around me in my life. He will use you. He will use you with the gifts you are equipped with. And He can use you in areas you are not equipped with. Whatever gifts you have REFINE! DO NOT REMAIN SETTLED! Grow always with the gifts God has given you.

It is not always about having the skills or even knowledge. The world may argue against this, but God won’t. Jesus chose men who originally had no skills or knowledge. Things that He would equip them with later. 

It is about heart.

Is your heart for Christ when you blog? 

Because that alone is our starting point…

He needs to be our core.

How has God led you on your blogging journey?

For more Christian blogger topics check out previous posts

5 Things You Need To Know As A Christian Blogger

Temptation To Post When You Should Wait | Christian Blogger

3 Ways To Engage Your Audience As A Christian Blogger

5 Ways To Be Inspired With Ideas As A Christian Blogger

And Remember...Be The Salt Of The earthAnd The Light On The HillWe Are His Branches1

Monthly Scripture – (NIV) Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

*** Community Prayers | October ’18 – Join Me In Praying For Each Other And If You Have A Request To Add Let Me Know. 

Second Blog: Peeking Beneath

Social- Twitter: T. R. Noble   Instagram: Noblewriter77  Facebook Page: T. R. Noble   Pinterest: TRNoble77  YouTube: T. R. Noble

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64 thoughts on “Devotionals/Bible Studies | What To Know As A Christian Blogger

  1. This is an amazing post, T.R. I like when you said, “If we can’t relate to others, our message will not be listened to. ”

    I definitely agree with you becuase I have felt that when I go to new Christian blogs, they sometimes do feel preachy and accusative; but overall, I think it allows for new Christian bloggers to see how they are writing.

    You are right. We are all sinners, and as such, new Christian bloggers can be preachy and I remember I did that in the beginning as well.

    God has definitely used my blogging journey to reveal alot about my relationship with Him and how I view it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It definitely can help us see how far we have grown. See I’ve had a number of people ask I thought it may be helpful to cover this 🙂

      So nice to see your comment! I know you have been busy.

      Like

  2. In my journey I have had been preachy. Thanks TR for helping to include personal touch. It has worked wonders. I am so thankful to God first and you as well for your valuable guidance and support and feedback. Thanks again for providing platform to think about it all over again. God bless you. Please do continue to guide the new bloggers. You are a blessing.

    Like

    1. I’m so glad my advice was helpful and you learned from it. That’s one reason why I thought talking about the topic may help others. It is not always easy getting started.

      Like

  3. Hey T.R.,
    This is such an important topic that not a lot of blogs touch on. I feel like there is a lot of writing out there that is preachy and dry and isn’t very relatable. If you think about the apostle Paul, be wrote to the churches as a fellow struggling brother, and they respected him. Thanks for a great read. God’s blessings to us as we spread His good news!
    With joy,
    Emily 😃

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly, Paul certainly rebuked but we know where his heart was. This was one reason why I felt writing about topics for Christian bloggers was needed. People do not really talk about this stuff and we need to. I’m glad you liked the post 🙂 God be with you!!!!

      Like

  4. Thank you for the tips, will review myslef as a new christian blogger.

    I don’t really like doing this buy can u pls check out my blog and let me know what can make you turn away from it. Just to better myslef. Blessings to you

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you so much for this! It was sooo good! I honestly considered not blogging anymore because I didn’t think people wanted my blog which is basically a digital devotional. I know there’s nothing wrong with it but I was discouraged because of numbers. Over time I have become more open and personal through my blog, sharing my journey with my audience. I’m believing that God will send me the right group of people who are encouraged and want to converse about the things I share on my blog. This definitely encouraged me! Thanks again!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad you didn’t give up!!! When I first started I hardly had any views. God taught me about blogging consistently and then He encouraged me to focus on community, getting to know other bloggers. It takes time for many, and personally I think that is a good thing. I’ve seen many Christian bloggers who have grown fast burn out or become discouraged with fixation of numbers. The temptation is real. I think sometimes it is hard for us to focus on the few or the individual when we want the “many”. But God is good at humbling us and redirecting our focus. I’m so glad this was encouraging to you! Keep walking with Him!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. People blog for many different reasons. As followers of Jesus Christ, hopefully we all blog for the honor, glory and praise of God and not for the praise or acceptance of humans. Thus, our blogs should be led of the Holy Spirit, and if we are sharing devotionals, those should also be guided by the Holy Spirit and biblically sound, to the best of our understanding.

    And, yes, they should be relatable, not only to our audience, but also to the times in which we live, but without compromise with the world in order to relate to the people of the world or to other Christians who may be living worldly lives.

    Yes, it is true that we all need to work at our communication skills and to be sure we are not always pointing the finger elsewhere while giving the impression that we have no weaknesses or failings at all. And yet, I see so many Christian bloggers so often sharing that they failed that I can’t help but wonder if they are living in victory over Satan at all, or if regular failings is some kind of badge they wear to show that they are relatable. Just an observation here.

    I believe we should all strive in the power of the Holy Spirit to walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh and that we should never put on airs and pretend that we are better than we are. But I also believe we must guard against accepting a life of continuous screwups just so we can relate to other people.

    Well, that is my 2 cents worth.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes being relatable does not mean being flawed 24/7. What I meant was more so about being personal. When we open up about things we have struggled with we then have the opportunity to share what God has done. And being flawed does not necessarily mean sinning either. Sometimes we are distraught, worried, or overwhelmed. Paul and his men were this way when they were shipwrecked. Jesus’ heart was heavy at times. These too should be shared. There certainly are bloggers who consistently share failings and I’ve had to turn away from some in which it was constant complaints. But this post, as I shared, is more directed at newer Christian bloggers. I’ve looked at and have been asked to check out several and they almost always share the same qualities in the beginning which is why I thought this would be helpful 🙂 And I’m not against what you added either, just wanted to clarify.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great advice! Using the “we” pronoun is huge–it makes the post seem more personal, and the writer acknowledges their own sinfulness. Humility is so important as a Christian and also as a Christian blogger. Agreed that dry devotionals without honesty or personality or testimony are blah.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I believe that one of the reasons God has blessed this blog is that you speak TO your audience not AT them. I have 3 degrees, but I had to learn a long time ago that the vast majority of my audience needs practical, “cookies on the bottom shelf” writing and teaching. I could choose to be scholarly, but I want to go beneath the surface in a practical way. Most of the time, I simply want my audience to leave with one simple takeaway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it can be hard for some to have that shift especially when others uplift them speaking in a higher way. I know more than one blogger has shared they don’t understand. I’m grateful God continues to help me reach others and He has taught me I have to be accountable while speaking. I did not learn that when I first started getting close to Him. I would just have all these rants to Him about things believers need to work on. Then about ten years later right after I graduated college I realized my main calling is for believers.He started to humble me and help me understand things my heart wanted to accuse others of, that I too was flawed in. With that understanding, He helped me grow and I hope to bring Him glory this way. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This is so true! It’s so encouraging to be imperfect even though our imperfections drive us crazy because they allow us to better connect with others. I really strive to make what is imperfect beautiful when I’m writing, and I love your heart to always connect with people! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi T.R.,
    I admit something I can get preachy too.😁
    But often I get too real for some of my readers.
    Being a Christian and a recovering addict, I tell the truth that most Christians don’t talk about.
    In recovery it nothing to talk a life’s struggles on a deeper level.
    I share my story because people can relate to honest sharing.
    I write to let others know that being a Christian starts with self acceptance.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is important to be open and telling the truth even if hard to hear is exactly what Jesus did and we absolutely should follow His example. By being honest and personal that connects us with others. Our message leaves a better impact whether people agree or not they listen and are stirred. I feel and believe my calling is for believers and I know a number of topics I’ve covered it questioned and pushed people in ways they may not have been ready for. But it’s so crucial we keep pointing to the truth and including ourselves helps people see we are pointing fingers at anyone except the truth. 🙂 keep walking strong and reaching others!!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Thank you so much for taking the time to right this. My husband and I are beginning our Christian blog journey and our goal has been to be more relatable and less preachy as well. I’m still working on how to write my posts, but reading yours really helped open my eyes even more to how words can really affect people. Thank you again! If interested, let us know what you think about our posts. We welcome any feedback and suggestions you may have 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great advice! I am one of those new Christian bloggers whose blog is mainly devotionals. I try to be relatable but I know I fall short, but continue to work on it each blog post. Thanks again for this great information. I would love your feedback at livingjoytoday!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks you for this post. I’m pretty new to the world of Christian blogging. I’m not a writer I don’t have any degrees or college qualifications but I really felt God put it on my heart to do this so I’m following that. I try to be as transparent as possible in my writing about my life and struggles as a Christian without being preachy at all.
    If you have time to look over some. I would love the feedback. Thanks T.R

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks for your post! As a Christian blogger, now starting over, I realize that I should only post what God has given me to post; and secondly, write as if I am writing to a friend. You’ve got a lot of helpful advice. Let me know if you have any suggestion on growing audiences. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is important to make sure the Lord directs our writing, amen! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the advice, praise the Lord!

      I am very cautious with talking about audience growth for Christian bloggers because so often, as I experienced, too, it’s easy for our eyes to go to numbers instead of Jesus.

      I do have 3 posts on stats and audience.

      1. https://nobledevotionblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/16/5-things-to-focus-on-when-the-stats-become-an-idol-christian-blogger/

      2. https://nobledevotionblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/14/the-right-way-to-look-at-stats-christian-blogger/

      3. https://nobledevotionblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/16/5-things-to-focus-on-when-the-stats-become-an-idol-christian-blogger/

      If you are interested into more Christian Blogging posts you can check my full page with all of the posts categorized, including these three, here: https://nobledevotionblog.wordpress.com/christian-blogging-help/

      Hope this helps! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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