This blog, born in May 2005, may be near the end of its lifespan. I'm just not sure. With the ways I use Facebook – to easily share newspaper and online articles, to express brief comments about current issues, to connect with others on certain topics . . . – I sometimes wonder if the longer and much less connective format of a blog is even worth it.
Of course, it is not just a matter of which online platform I should use. Facebook and Twitter – if I could ever get into Twitter – have their limitations, too. More importantly, I wonder if this blog has served its purpose in my life. You see, The Lutheran Zephyr filled a void in my life in that interim period from my days as a non-ordained seminary graduate with serious questions of call, to today when I'm knocking on the door of a call as an ordained pastor. This blog was a place to share ideas about ministry when I wasn't actively involved in ministry, but wishing beyond all belief that I could be. But as I look ahead just a few weeks to a congregational vote and the beginning of a call and career in pastoral ministry, all of a sudden I'm not sure if The Lutheran Zephyr is quite as important to me as it used to be.
And it's not all of a sudden. My blogging has slowed down over the past year, and particularly over the past few months. I used to write several times per week, but over the past two months it has been much less frequent. My time and energy are more directed to work and my growing family. The pixels of The Lutheran Zephyr are just not as appealing as they used to be.
There's also the cost. More than two years ago I purchased my own url (www.lutheranzephyr.com), I pay $8.95/mo to use some extra services at Typepad, and I pay $18/yr for somebody to host my blog at my url. It's not a ton of money, but it adds up. And if I'm on the fence about the future of my blog, and if I can blog elsewhere for free, then why pay?
Though at times I've gotten consumed about the number of visitors to my blog, checking statistics on an almost daily basis, those days were few and they are far behind me. At its best this blog has been a place for me to express and share ideas, to connect with others, and to grow. If others enjoyed reading it, all the better. The Lutheran Zephyr was never was intended to be a polished online journal, but simply a personal journal that happened to be online. I am grateful for the practice of regular writing that this blog has given me, for writing is a skill I truly value and enjoy using. But now that I will soon be writing sermons, lessons, Bible studies, and other materials with great frequency, I wonder if the impetus to blog will only continue to decline.
We'll see, and I'd welcome the insights of other bloggers out there, particularly those bloggers for whom the purpose and practice of blogging has changed over the years. At the least this blog will stay up until my eventual ordination . . . which might be an appropriate time to bid farewell to The Lutheran Zephyr.
Discernment and deliberations to be continued . . .