Online Ministry Benefits and Costs
By Brad Aldrich of One Flesh Marriage
Like all ministries, especially public ones there are costs, consequences and benefits to running an online marriage ministry. The last post dealt with the relationship and personal consequences that you might face as you start a Christian marriage blog. In this edition we will help you to count the costs and remember the benefits of the journey!
Counting the Costs
The costs of online marriage ministry happen primarily in two different areas, financial and time.
While it is possible to have a successful marriage ministry without large financial investment, there are some costs even for beginners. As your ministry grows these costs can easily multiply. Is it possible to run an online marriage ministry or blog for free? Yes, it is possible, but it if you can budget even a small amount of funds to the ministry there are many more possibilities. Getting started you can anticipate spending between $20 and $100. The one cost that while not technically required is the most significant initial investment is your domain name.
Your domain name is the address of your blog. CMBA’s domain is upliftingmarriage.com. Just like physical addresses, web addresses are important for three reasons, “Location, Location, Location.” Okay, to be real it is less location than appearance of location. A domain name is the first thing many people will know about you. The easier it is to remember, and the more connected to your ministry the better.
The blog I run with my wife is One Flesh Marriage, we were able to very affordably purchase the domain onefleshmarriage.com. This domain name is much easier to remember, and hence visit then our first domain, www.onefleshmarriage.blogspot.com. This is a free domain name associated with a Blogger account. It is effective and free, but does not have the “location” most ministries want to make sure they have.
When you consider that most domain names are around $8-$10 a year, and you can (and should) add domain privacy for another $10 it is hard not to pick the location you really want. Before you decide try out some names in the box below, you might discover the perfect name that will give your new ministry a great location!
Blogging, podcasting or videocasting takes time. Creating, modifying and managing a website takes time. Promoting, Tweeting, Facebooking, and pinning takes time. Answering questions, comments, and emails takes time.
Just like any other ministry, running an online marriage ministry is an investment of time. How you carve out and manage this time is an ongoing discipline. Most bloggers, and all CMBA members has other full time jobs, families and responsibilities, all of which need to balance to avoid you burning out!
Don’t let the time commitment scare you away, but be realistic in setting aside time on a regular basis to manage your ministry. Make sure that the time you carve out for blogging is not limiting your time together. Continually focusing on your own marriage will be essential! If one of you is primarily launching this ministry it is essential that you discuss the time commitment with your spouse! The last thing you want is for your spouse to feel resentful of the time you are poring into others marriages.
Remember the Benefits
Don’t let that list of costs scare you away! There are tremendous benefits that come from running a Christian marriage blog. The first and foremost of these is a direct benefit to your marriage.
Put Heart Lessons Into Action
Something powerful happens when you are regularly challenged to turn the beliefs of your heart into words. The act of writing or speaking serves as a powerful way to cement lessons and changes that you have implemented in your own marriage. As we write we continue to learn, we grow and change and those changes continue to improve our own marriage.
I know that my staying faithful to writing One Flesh Marriage has helped me to be a better husband! All those posts are not just for everyone else, they are for me too! Even as challenges and circumstances of life continue to happen blogging has a powerful way of focusing us on solutions rather than feeling stuck in situation. It won’t be long till you stop or avoid a conflict with your spouse and find yourself saying, “Ooo that’s a great Blog topic.”
In addition to benefits for your own marriage, online marriage ministry has a tremendous benefit to the world at large. Our world is crowded with messages about failing marriages, divorce and pain. Growing up in this it is easy to be discouraged about even the possibility of having a successful marriage.
You will hear stories and comments from some people who are in very challenging situations. As you share, you have the opportunity to see lives change. At times it may seem like the sad stories outweigh the victories, but hearing one, “this post changed my marriage” makes it all worth it! This world needs your voice!