OK… so… full disclosure here… I blogged a few years ago and made a lot of mistakes while doing it. Like many bloggers, I used my platform as a blunt tool with which, at times, I hammered on all the wrong things. I vented my frustrations. Aired occasional dirty laundry. And sought out sensational topics that I hoped would get me some kind of fleeting, vain, internet stardom. I really wanted to be an agent of change, but hadn’t quite yet figured out the right and appropriate ways to go about that process. I was younger. I was foolish. I made mistakes. I even hurt people and created unnecessary division among many brethren that I deeply respect. I say all this to my shame.
To borrow a phrase that my friend Kyle McClellan used as a title for his book… Mea Culpa. My bad. I was wrong.
But now, I’m a few years older and hopefully a few years wiser. I’m returning to the blogging format with a new site for a number of reasons:
1. I still feel like I have a lot of good and positive things to contribute to the discussion. I love Jesus and I love Christian ministry. I have been doing ministry since I was 18 years old and have seen and learned a lot. I have studied under some of the most brilliant minds in evangelical life today and gleaned some things that I believe can be helpful to the broader discussion of Christian ministry.
2. I strongly feel that there’s a need for further, continued discussion of all things related to Christian ministry in these changing times. In ministry and church-life in general, we need each other. Christian leaders need each other’s ideas and feedback. We need fresh ideas, new perspectives, and thoughts and insights from each other that expand our thinking and sharpen us in our missional pursuit of making Christ known as we make disciples and advance the Kingdom of God.
3. I firmly believe that blogging can be a positive platform for encouragement and growth. For all the reasons I mention above (#2), I feel like pastors, ministers, and lay-leaders need to hear, read, and process encouraging messages of support. Ministry can be a lonely place, as I have personally learned, and at times, it has been the writing of others that has encouraged me and reminded me that I’m not alone in the difficulties I am facing. I want to be a voice of encouragement and challenge to a generation of ministers serious about making disciples in this rapidly-changing (and sometimes hostile!) world.
4. I love to write. I love expressing my ideas and sharing them with others. There are times when, after listening to a sermon, or attending a workshop, or finishing a book, I feel like I am ready to explode with ideas that I want to share and use to encourage others. But for many years now, I have resisted the urge to get back in the ring because of my earlier (failed and unwise) venture in to the blogging arena. With a bit more insight and hopefully a different perspective, I am now ready to get back in the ring and share my voice.
5. I truly believe that the need for Great Commission faithfulness is greater than it has ever been and I don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to be as useful as I can be with the time I have left. Lostness is greater than it has ever been. The ministers I know are often more discouraged then they’ve ever been. And the opportunities for exciting, engaging, Great-Commission ministry are actually greater than they’ve ever been. I want to help strengthen the church in our efforts to reach the world with this medium that we’ve been given.
For these and other reasons, I am taking up my pen again (metaphorically) and beginning a new era in blogging. I hope to fill this site in days to come with book reviews, helpful articles, and encouraging thoughts. If you’d like to join me on this journey, please subscribe and stay tuned for further thoughts. Even if no one reads the things I post, I hope that writing these ideas out and thinking through these issues is a helpful and edifying exercise for me personally. But I think it can be more than that. I realize that one voice, one blog, one opinion, may seem like just a pebble in the ocean or a teardrop in a rainstorm, but if I can use this platform to sharpen, edify, or encourage just one person in the days to come, then the effort will have been worth it.
So stay tuned… follow my thoughts… and interact with me through this wonderful medium we have. Perhaps we can “sharpen one another” (Prov 27:17) with our thoughts and interactions.
Oh… and by the way… Kyle’s book is great and if you’re a pastor, you may want to pick it up. Perhaps in the future, I’ll review it!