Is God calling you to start an on-line ministry? Maybe you’ve thought about blogging and sharing your faith with others, but you don’t know where to begin?
One question I get asked often is, “How did I start my on-line ministry?” Well, today I thought I’d share with you my answers and recommendations to help you get started.
I can remember back to December 2010 when God called me to write on His behalf. I was scared to death, and I had absolutely no idea where to begin. At that time, I only read blogs to get a gluten free recipe! So the concept of starting an on-line ministry was completely new to me, and I had no one around to show me the ropes. But I stepped out in faith and obedience (although it did take me 3 months to write my first post because I was too busy wrestling with God about this writing gig.) But, I finally surrendered to Him and did my best to honor the Lord in this process. And He was faithful to equip me.
One thing I committed to when I began this journey was to show up here to write one post each week. Blogging for the Kingdom of God is not like showing up each week to hold a Bible study. You know if the study meets each Tuesday morning, then you need to be there! Well, you don’t have the same accountability here. Because of the uniqueness of this ministry, I knew I needed to determine and establish some standards of accountability.
From the get-go, I also never really called this site ‘my blog.’ Although this is how people view it, I view this site as an on-line ministry, and it’s what I tell others. I think this perspective helped me to view what I did here as a sacrifice unto the Lord because ministry is a sacrifice; it’s an outpouring of our lives as we use our spiritual gifts, time, and resources so Christ can be glorified.
Things to Consider
Your viewpoint toward ministry and your perspective and reasoning for starting a blog (the tool you use for ministry) is of utmost importance. Doing a heart check as to why you want to start an on-line ministry is something you should consider.
Ministry is not about us, and it’s not for our glorification. It is Christ’s name that we are to lift on high, not our own.
Which brings me to platform. The word, ‘platform’ is thrown around a lot in the on-line world and what I constantly hear is that we need to build our platforms. Well, this just rubs me the wrong way because it is not my platform I’m seeking to build. The premise of an on-line ministry should be to reach hearts and minds for the sake of Jesus Christ. Drawing others to Him so we could build His platform, aka, the Kingdom of God. My go-to verse as to why I write and speak for Christ is John 12:32
“And I (Jesus), if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”
Count the Cost
Are you willing to serve the Lord even though you’ve spent hours writing a post only to have no one leave a comment? Or worse yet, have complete strangers attack you for the content you just gave to them for free? Or the comments they do leave are those telling you all about your grammatical errors in the post?
Are you prepared to be attacked?
The on-line world is not a friendly world. For some reason when people are behind a screen, they lose all sense of decency. They no longer have kindness on their tongues, and they’ll type out venom and send it to you in a matter of seconds. I’ve had women who have told me I’m a horrible writer, a lousy Bible teacher, they’d never want to have a marriage like mine, and they’re thoroughly disappointed with my podcast…and these comments come from professing Christians!
Expect spiritual warfare. The more Truth you share, the more you’ll be attacked. And if you’re going to write about having a biblical marriage, don’t be surprised if you start to experience spiritual attacks in your marriage! The last thing the Enemy wants you to do is to encourage another wife to live out a Christ-centered marriage. If he can distract you with your marital issues to hinder you from writing on-line, he will!
Having an on-line ministry is not glamorous by any means. You sit in your home doing ministry alone. There are no prayer groups, potlucks, or fellowship Fridays where you’d gather with other like-minded women. An on-line ministry is just you, the Lord, your keyboard, and a screen. The extent of your ministry interaction is seeing a name with a teeny tiny photo of a human being who left you a comment.
Also, are you prepared to cover the initial expenses to start an on-line ministry? It does cost a few bucks to get started. The details are below.
You need a domain name for your site. My domain name is simply my name, JoleneEngle.com. You can either use your name or choose something more creative. Do a search on GoDaddy.com for domain names and then purchase the domain through them if you’d like. They charge about $10-12 per year for your domain name.
Website Hosting Service
Then you need to host your blog somewhere. I recommend a self-hosted site rather than a blog spot or a free WordPress-hosted site. Blogger and a free WordPress site are like renting space on the internet. A self-hosted site is like having a small piece of your land on the internet. If you rent space, Blogger or WordPress can take your content down anytime they’d like. When I started this ministry back in 2011, I started on Blogger because I didn’t know any different. During the years I made a move to a self-hosted site. This was a big technical headache! Learn from my mistakes and go directly to a self-hosted site and use WordPress. You’ll need to host your site through a hosting company, and I recommend Blue Host. It’s just $3.95 a month. You can sign up here.
Restored 316 Designs is a Feminine WordPress Theme
Unless you want to hire a blog/website designer who could cost anywhere from $500-$2,000, you can save some money and upload your theme and give it some customization. Most of the themes from Restored 316 designs are around $50.00. Since I’m a do-it-yourselfer, the designs from Restored 316 are the perfect fit for me. Also, I recommend that you use a theme that is mobile responsive. Almost half of my readers read my articles on their phones.
Pretty Darn Cute Designs is another feminine WordPress Theme
You’ll want to send your fabulous content to people who have subscribed to your site. My email provider is ConvertKit and it’s one of the most user-friendly email providers I could find. Not to mention ConvertKit was designed by writers for writers. You can find out more about them here.
Don’t let the fear of writing or technology keep you from sharing what God is putting on your heart. Goodness, I’m the last person on earth that would ever have a blog. I don’t even like to write. And me and technology just don’t mix! And social media? Well, that’s just laughable that I’m even on any of that stuff. But, I do all of this because of my Lord. I love Him, and I want to proclaim His name. He has parted my technical Red Sea countless times, and He’s calmed the raging sea of this writer’s heart. If He is calling you to start an on-line ministry, He’ll equip you, too!
These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields. Luke 10:2 (NLT)
So, is God prompting you to the mission field of the internet? Will you follow His leading?
Live a poured out life for Christ,
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products or services I personally believe will help you. Thank you for supporting this ministry!