Are Christians grabbing hold of the potential of ministry through weblogs, specifically the potential for youth ministry? How are weblogging Christians online fostering relationships? ... Are they creating a distinct Christian weblogging community and alienating themselves from the rest of the online blogosphere?
These are some of the important questions asked (and answered) in Michelle Johnston's groundbreaking paper Breaking the Bubble: Relational and Incarnational Ministry Online via Weblogging. Johnston is a Master's student at Briercrest College, Canada. She has been studying blogging, and especially Christian blogging, in an effort to learn how Christians are using the web, and whether it is an effective venue for ministry.
Youth are thirsting for friendships with adults who will take an interest in them and who they are, helping them grow to the next level and beyond. According to Johnston's paper, more than half of all weblogs are created by teen-aged young people. What are they looking for, and more importantly, what are they finding on the web? Are they discovering a call to follow Jesus? Are they finding answers to their questions about faith, God, the purpose of life and their place in the world?
Read Michelle's paper. She has a lot to say to the traditional church and to those of us who are using the web as a forum for Christian faith. How can we better meet the challenges of the Great Commission on the Internet?