I keep coming back to the similar subject of numbers within churches. There are some churches that draw large crowds. Often these are churches that stress Evangelism. They are led by pastors whose gift is Evangelism. They grow quickly in numbers and have lots of new converts to the Christian Family.
Often these churches do not have enough leadership in order to take care of all the discipling that is needed. The focus is on Evangelism and not discipling. The numbers are impressive, but the depth of growth and faith among them is not and some even fall away. I talked about this in more depth in my post "Why do we Blog?".
I remember reading once about a minister that was discouraged about his numbers and also jealous of this other minister that had a huge church. It seems to me that it might have been Dietrich Bonhoeffer, but I'm not sure. Instead of the Lord blessing him with larger numbers, he was asked to pray for the growth of the larger church that he was jealous of. Reluctantly, he obeyed. What made it even worse was that the prayer for this other church was answered.
This minister's smaller church was near by and continued to only grow at a snails pace. Eventually, though, as this larger Evangelistic church grew, some of it's members began to seek council from the minister at the smaller church. Like is so often the case, the larger church lacked the leadership required to handle the load of the rapid increase in their numbers.
Hungry for Discipleship and something more than just the basic Gospel Message taught over and over again, those who wanted something deeper than that overflowed into this other minister's church and his church began to grow as well; never as fast as the larger church, but it was a growth that represented not just an introduction to the faith, but a greater depth and growth.
The principle here is illustrated in one of Paul's letters to the Corinthians...
"6) I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7) So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8) The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose and each will be rewarded according to his own labor." (1 Corinthians 6-8, NIV)
So what does this have to do with Blogging. Well, different bloggers have different gifts. Just as in the Church "One Plants and Another Waters", so also in the Blogosphere, one plants the seed of a new idea into the hearts of many and than another picks up the job by trying to weed out all the obstacles that are blocking people from accepting the idea.
The second of these jobs is more intense and requires much time and thought. The second of these jobs involves a greater depth that is not accepted by and does not draw all of the crowd.
As one last thought, I ought to add that influence goes out like the ripples from a pebble thrown in the stream. As I am often influenced by people like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, as well as by many of you, and my blogging is influenced by you all. As you influence me, you influence how I write and than what I write influences how other bloggers write, which influences what other people write, which influences all that is available on the Web to read.
Interestingly, when ever I pray and ask God to do this or that in our world, God ends up assigning me at least part of the job. For example, I asked him once to give energy to all the bloggers on the web that are writing about what is true. Since I don't have the energy to do the whole job myself, I need God to give energy to all others that are doing it as well. Considering that prayer, is it any wonder that aside from my originally thought that I'd be blogging about Politics and the fact that God seems to keep drawing me away from that and into more Spiritual Subjects; that aside from all that, I am also drawn often to the very subject of blogging itself? As soon as I submit this post, I will be able to say that I have done more posts on this subject than any other subject. Why the subject of Blogging? Well, because this is one way in which I can encourage other bloggers and "give energy" to them to continue presenting what's true.
When you think about it, there are two ways to influence the world. One is to directly influence someone and play a part in changing their mind on something. The other is to influence those who influence. In a lot of ways, the second of these contains more power.