Vicky Beeching’s Finalist Interview For #CNMAC11

Vicky’s site has been nominated for Best Christian Blog, in the 2011 Christian New Media Awards. We chatted with Vicky about her blog and her vision for impacting the online world.

Give us a bit of background to your site – when was it established and what is its goal?

I started my blog in 2003, but as its been through so many mutations over the years, I haven’t been able to import all my previous posts and the archives only go back a few years. My site has gone through LOTS of changes! In 2004, when I signed to an American record label, they took it over and put about $20k in to a really fancy artist website. But it was one that I couldn’t access or update, as it was run by web managers. After several years of having that site, I felt like my blogging hands were tied and that the site would be better if it were a personal blog again. So I asked my label if I could run it myself, they said yes and I changed it to a clean and crisp WordPress site. Since then, I’ve really enjoyed growing a community there. I’m glad this approach has become more standard for worship leaders and bands now, as five years ago it was more common for a record label to run websites for signed musicians. My goal is to create a genuine community, where we can be there for each other, discuss important topics and figure out what following Jesus really means. I’m such a geek, I check the comments section all the time and love hearing from my readers!

Can you share some good news stories that have come out of the digital project? Has anything made you punch the air in joy?

Yes – and I’m so grateful for every single story and email. I try to deal with areas of theology and Christian practice, that many bloggers shy away from. For example – women’s roles in Church, predestination, tricky issues about congregational worship, and the good/bad of the worship ‘industry’. People have fed back that these discussions have changed their outlook and helped them see things from a different perspective. For some who feel isolated, they’ve said the blog community has become a genuine family where they comment, meet other commenters, and feel a great deal of support. Some of my readers have met through my site and flown miles to meet each other! I’m always so humbled by these encouraging messages and it inspires me to keep blogging. I know I’m no one special – I’m just one person trying to encourage others to discuss topics that matter, and I love getting to do that!

Do you think it’s important for Christians to be online? 

Yes. People are quick to realise that different nations or demographics are a mission field, but less quick to see the online world as a place that needs Jesus. People are spending more and more time online, especially young people. It’s a crucial place for Christians to inhabit. Not as Bible bashers, but as genuine participants. For me, it’s as important as the physical world, as I’m interacting in a very real way with people across the globe that I never would have met otherwise. I pray that more Christians catch the vision for this, and dive in!

Which digital media tools do you use (either personally or for the project), and for what purpose? Which tool would be the winner in the race for ‘most important’?

I blog using WordPress, which I think is a phenomenal tool. I use an 11″ MacBook Air, which enables me to blog on the go, as it fits in my satchel. I’m also a fan of the WordPress App on the iPhone as it makes replying to comments or even creating blog posts, possible when all you have is a phone.  So…it would be a close tie between WordPress and the iPhone for me!

How does it feel to be a finalist for one of the Christian New Media Awards?

It’s encouraging to be a finalist in the Best Christian Blog category as I feel it’s not me who’s nominated, but the community who engage on my site. They are the ones who make it great! So all you regular commenters – this is your nomination and I love getting to interact with you every week.

We’re working on the @bigbible project. How do you think the Bible can inform what we do online, in whatever sense?

We are called to live out the message of the Message. For me, that means making sure that my online presence is authentic, congruent with who I am, and points people to Jesus. The Bible is the greatest story ever told, so I want my blog to be full of stories – of my life and other’s lives and how God has transformed us. Also, many of my posts deal with how to interpret the Bible (for example, the ‘tough texts’ that many Christians disagree about!), so I hope the site helps encourage discussion about what the Bible truly says.

And finally, where do you see your site going over the next months and years?

I’m excited to keep asking really difficult questions, and chair discussions about theology and practice. I hope my blog community of readers and commenters grows even closer and stronger. I want its interactivity to increase. I’m thinking of using more video posts, as that increases the face-to-face feeling of the interaction, as you see the person’s expressions and hear their intonations. I’m also excited to travel with the charity Compassion International, and blog from nations like Haiti, raising awareness about the needs of the people there. Come over to my site and join the gang!

BigBible Readers, you can join Vicky’s blog community here: VickyBeeching.com and follow her on Twitter here: @vickybeeching

About bigbible

The #BigBible Project. Educating in the digital spaces, creating 'bigger Bible conversations' between #digidisciple(s). Look out for #bigread14.