Thursday, September 30, 2004

It's a blog world after all

I know I am relatively new to this blogging business and so this may be news to some of you old hands but I am CONSTANTLY amazed at the fact that I get comments! I suppose it's because I don't really think anybody reads this.

Now I know that Coz (currently in Oz) reads regularly and I was told this morning that KT checks in each day (bless u KT!). Ian certainly pays the old blog a visit on a regular basis which is only fair seeing as I read his youthblog with devoted regularity. Yet these are people who know me and have reason to check in. It's the people who I don't know that add comment that I'm really surprised (and certainly thrilled) to read. Of course there might be other people who read without comment and I have no idea who those people might be.

The strange thing about the blog business is that you don't know your audience. Maybe this is something that I'm especially conscious of because I've moved from Medieval and Latin lecturing to youth work. You really CAN'T get those two audiences mixed up for long and survive.

Whenever I prepare a talk or sermon I ALWAYS prepare quite specifically to my audience (By that term I mean the classical Latin sense of those listening not specifically NOT congregation!) Even if my audience is our mixed age family service, as it often is, I still keep that particular mix of people in mind.

This idea of considering your audience is something we covered when we were learning about preaching at the SAOMC last year. We had to compose a series of two minute sermons on one of two set texts and we had to specify what the audience for the sermon was. This was a rather revealing exercise as it showed each of us in our natural habitat as far as churchmanship goes and then challenged us to try something a little bit different.

The strangest thing was delivering a sermon intended for all-age worship to a group of four Anglican ordinands, a Methodist minister in training and a Church History lecturer. Yet the most daunting experience however was deciding to preach to that VERY specific audience. I knew every person in that room well and although it was an exercise, it was still preaching. I was trying to help people explore the bible and deepen their faith - even if I only had two minutes! That was 20 seconds for each member of my audience!

Yet here in blog world, I know some of my audience, others I am getting to know and yet the majority (I flatter myself!) are people I don't know so do how do I address things to my audience? Well as always I don't worry about it TOO much as I know there is Someone decidedly older and wiser than me guiding my thoughts.

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