Baptist minister-in-training is blogger of the year
Chris Goswami was a Premier Digital award winner for his blog 7minutes.net
Chris Goswami, training for the ministry at Northern Baptist College and a frequent contributor to The Baptist Times, began blogging two years ago on www.7minutes.net, a magazine style Christian blog that discusses community, faith and Christian living.
He was a finalist with 7minutes in the Premier Digital Awards in 2014, but went one better this time during the award dinner and ceremony in London over the weekend.
‘To say I was shocked when they announced the winner is an under-statement,’ said Chris, associate pastor at Brownley Green Baptist Church, Wythenshawe, ‘I was videoing the announcement thinking 7minutes should get a mention when they announced I had been awarded first place!’
7minutes is divided into three areas, with a blog, audio and interesting content drawn from elsewhere, all looking at a range of issues from a Christian perspective. The aim is to give visitors “something to think about, something to encourage, maybe amuse, refresh, or inspire, in bite sized chunks.”
Chris has worked for 25 years in the telecoms industry and is currently Director of Marketing and Communications at Openwave Mobility. This background and a call to the ministry led to the formation of the blog in 2013, he explained.
‘When I entered the process of ministerial training we know as "Formation Training" a question that occurred to me was "but what has God formed already..?" I don't believe he has been sitting by waiting for me to reach middle age before he could say "Start training now Chris". When I thought about this the obvious answer that hit me was my current title as a Director of Marketing and Communications. This role coupled with the fact that I was now being hit with a whole mass of theology I was previously ignorant of was the equation from which 7minutes emerged.
‘And in fact a surprisingly large number of blogs have come out of subject matter we have studied at college - but always in a "theology lite" container of course!’
There were more than 800 entries in the Premier Digital Awards, now in their ninth year, across various categories of blogs, apps, social media, websites, and creative uses of media.
‘Best Use of Video’ award went to ChurchAds.Net which created the powerful 45 second video titled ‘Christmas starts with a baby’s giggle’ as a modern way of echoing the current Christmas campaign message ‘Christmas Starts with Christ’, and the PrayerMate App won the People’s Award.
Coulby Newham Baptist Church in Middlesbrough was a runner-up in the most engaging Small Church Site category.
Commenting on this year’s winning entries, Premier’s Chief Operating Officer Kevin Bennett said: ‘We’ve been totally amazed and utterly delighted with the quality and originality of all the entries.
'This year’s winners have set a new benchmark for pushing boundaries in sharing the message of Christ online with the aid of cutting edge technology.’
Chris (pictured) naturally agreed about the importance of having a credible online presence.
‘Sometime you wonder whether it’s worth the effort continuing to write but this is a tremendous encouragement to all entries who made it to the finals,’ he said.
‘With the prevalence of smartphones and tablets, so called sacred spaces online have become a key ministry area. The annual Premier Conference provides a great focus for us here in the UK.’