Your website Blog – 5 Resources for Deepening Discipleship

By Stephen Trout

Your website blog can be a portal for traveling to some wonderful places in God’s world (including your own church, of course!), and a great way to help deepen discipleship in the body of Christ. 

But perhaps you’ve resisted starting a blog – either out of fear that it will sap your time, or that you simply won’t have the content to keep it going. This blog is for you!

Here are 5 ideas to encourage, and help make your blog section shine: 

1. Provide links to helpful resources –

You don’t always need a long article to do this. You can simply point out valuable content and link to it – such as these free online classes from Covenant. They offer seminary-level instruction for members of your congregation – and the price is right!

2. Engage your writers! 

A regular blog feature from someone on the pastoral staff or a talented writer in your congregation can foster imagination and creativity in the body. In so doing, you’ll also be encouraging writers to use their gifts! (A word of caution – avoid political platforms and hobby-horses – keep it about grace!) 

Blog topics can include:

  • helpful links to Scripture study tools (many are now free and online, like
  • essays on gospel-centered social justice or relevant cultural issues
  • stories of grace
  • devotional material targeting various groups (men, women, youth)
  • marriage & singleness topics
  • highlighting new members, missionaries, or upcoming events
  • longer form Q&A for skeptics & inquirers
  • Etc.

3. Provide supplemental resources for your current sermon series. 

Include an outline, Scripture portions, links to additional reading (books, commentaries, online articles), and even a link back to the sermon itself. 

4. Provide reminders for prayer and service.

Always helpful.

5. Add a video blog section! 

Video is one of the most engaging ways to connect with others – often chosen by online content consumers over long-text articles. Not that we ever wish to disparage reading (God forbid!), but a short video can be a great way to introduce, for example, new ministry efforts. 

You might interview someone in the congregation who heads up a particular outreach effort, or a para-church ministry leader that your church supports. Video shorts are a great way to spur interest and deepen connections. Any aspiring filmmakers in the congregation?

These are just a few ideas to prime the pump and help get you started. Once you get going, you’ll be amazed at how the ideas can flow.

Don’t have a blog section on your site? TruePath offers a user-friendly website builder to make things easy for you. Talk to us about how we can help!

As always, we encourage you to pray about your efforts, that God would guide, give wisdom, and raise up members of the body to use their talents and gifts!

Truepath’s vision is to empower Christian organizations and businesses to take full advantage of their online presence by providing affordable and best-in-class applications and dedicated, live customer support. You can reach us at: (760) 480-8791.



Hope for the Despairing

“There was an epidemic before the pandemic,” says Akshay Rajkumar. A native of India, he writes eloquently about his country’s changing approach to emotions, especially despair. I can’t help but think he describes our own country as well.

“Old India,” he says, tended to focus like a laser on financial health. Education, family, and vocation were all stepping stones to that ultimate goal. Emotions were subservient, deemed unimportant to the greater goal of wealth and success. 

In the “Old US,” the “rugged individualist/American dream” was a common response to suffering and interpersonal strife, and remains among us. Negative emotions are subjugated to the goal of “everyone’s fine,” keeping a brave face and maintaining the status quo.

“Smile though your heart is aching,” crooned Nat King Cole to a whole generation. “Hide every trace of sadness, although a tear may be ever so near.”    

The New Great Depression

Today, “New India” – similar to our own culture – is (rightly) turning from such rigidity about emotions as inauthentic. No doubt a tidal wave of fresh suffering including a raging pandemic that exploded in India this past Spring has caused some of that facade to crumble.

This longing for authenticity in the face of suffering may be a tilling of the soil for new things to grow. Yet without a connection to the true God who comes close to us in Christ, feelings can easily overwhelm us – even lie to us. This is what Rajkumar sees happening in India today:

“Our feelings are more than feelings… They are the center of our soul, the core of our identity. They are the lights we must follow to find salvation by the gratification of desire.”

That’s “a lonely road, marked by fear, anxiety, nagging self-doubt, self-destructive habits, and addictive coping mechanisms, not to mention the despairing weight of ennui,” Rajkumar notes. 

The result? 

“Among India’s youth (15-34 years old), 12 percent feel depressed often, and 8 percent feel lonely quite frequently, The Indian Express reported. “The impact of loneliness has been compared to having 15 cigarettes a day and, left unchecked, can cause severe mental wellness challenges,” The Hindustan Times said.

Again, it’s not that the old version of stoicism and “just smile” was better; both old and new miss the mark about what true emotional health can look like.    

In the Psalms, we see a better dynamic fleshed out. “David knew how to treat a wounded heart,” says Rajkumar. “He knew there are no shortcuts to joy. He knew the way to the warm light of joy is through the dark tunnel of lament. He spiraled too. But he spiraled upward.” 

Rajkumar points us to Psalm 7 as an example. There, David is honest about the threat that’s causing him distress; he voices “his real fears about the injustice against him (vv. 1–2), and ascends into the highest courts of heaven, into the throne room of God, longing for ultimate justice (vv. 6–9). 

The Redeeming God who Listens

David brings his feelings to God, and God lifts him to himself. David begins the prayer with fear and ends with thanksgiving and praise. This is the promise of lament. This is the power of prayer.”

To turn away from the God who reigns over all things for our good, offers us the free gift of salvation, and even offers groans on our behalf (Rom. 8:26), is to embrace a lonely quest for “self-salvation.” On it, we always need to look good, righteous, and successful (see Rom. 10:3) to prove ourselves. We can never be truly authentic (seeing the real “us” as God sees us), or enjoy the freedom of not taking ourselves so seriously. This is “artificial life” as we reach in vain for the golden ring. 

In the face of 24-hour news channels and social media pumping out a steady diet of distressing fare, our grounding in the gospel and consumption of the psalms for meditation and prayer – as Jesus himself did – is vital. They can steer us away from hopeless stoicism on the one hand and slavery to our emotions on the other, while giving voice to the honest expressions of the soul. 

That’s emotional and spiritual maturity. That’s authenticity and honesty without emotional autonomy or suppression. 

In the end, Rajkumar says, our feelings aren’t a “sound to be silenced,” but we can let them lead us to – and not away from – a God who is a good listener. 

Ultimately, because Jesus triumphed over death, we can also look forward to the day when he will wipe every tear from our eyes (Rev. 21:4), and sorrow will be no more. Eternal joy will be ours forever, and despair will not have the final word.    

All quotes from How to Despair Well by Akshay Rajkumar.

Truepath’s vision is to empower Christian organizations and businesses to take full advantage of their online presence by providing affordable and best-in-class applications and dedicated, live customer support. You can reach us at: (760) 480-8791.