I know, another pastor launching a blog.
I can almost hear some of you pooling money together to place bets on how long this will last before it fizzles out.
I totally get it.
Pastors have an interesting way of starting things with great enthusiasm only to never bring them to completion (see: pastor's library).
Yet, with hopes of riding against the tide, I've finally decided to enter the blogosphere.
Why I'm Starting a Blog
Over the last few years, I've had a paradigm shift in regards to writing.
I used to think that writing was solely about benefitting the reader. You know, a kind of one way transference of knowledge from "the wise, to the unwise."
I've realized however, writing serves a dual purpose.
Sure, it may invite the reader into a conversation regarding a certain body of knowledge, but it was a pool of information that was first considered and shaped by the writer.
See, everyone thinks they know something until they have to sit down and write it out. Suddenly, they're forced to articulate in their own words what they really think about something.
As a church leader, my little brain is buzzing with ideas and thoughts, but these often float down a muddy river of little clarity.
Writing, I'm hoping, will be a thought channel, which crystallizes what I really think.
"Readers are leaders?" I believe writers are precise leaders.
To quote an English philosopher, "Writing maketh an exact man" (Francis Bacon) and an exact man I hopeth to be.
And maybe I should add, I've been surprised by the voices who have encouraged me to write over the years.
Yeah, it could just be that they're being nice to me, but it's more likely that my mom secretly paid them behind my back to tell me these things.
As a naive man once pronounced: "I'll take it!" and taketh I shall.
What I'm Aiming For
A number of years ago, there was an emerging group of young Christians who wanted greater clarity of their faith from their spiritual predecessors but struggled because the faith that was packaged to them was decorated in unfamiliar verbiage, assumed world-views, and blurry lines between cultural heritage and scriptural understanding.
And yet this young group, somehow transitioned from emerging to becoming established in their faith.
But like every faith generation before them, unbeknownst to themselves, they now have started to become the very ones who speak in unfamiliar verbiage with assumed world-views and cultural ideas to a newer, emerging group of Christians.
I believe I am a part of this narrative.
The Christian faith may have been murky for many of my peers and I growing up, but I wonder if we're at the genesis of painting an equally murky picture of the Christian faith for others without knowing it.
My aim in this blog isn't to say anything new. It's already all been said.
But my aim is to express old things in new ways, ancient things in fresh ways.
I'm not trying to innovate, but renovate.
Renovation means dusting off familiar ideas which for some reason, have lost their beauty, clarity, and practical edge, so that we can see them for all their intended glory.
It means finding redemptive value in the seemingly mundane things, while receiving fresh lenses for things misunderstood.
It means beholding black and white things for all their colorful beauty, while handling grey issues with all their black and white subtleties.
It's an attempt to repackage what's already available. And maybe in the process, I'll discover that I knew something much less than I had initially thought.
What Readers Can Expect
"Blog" is the channel through which I'll repackage general issues regarding faith, church, and culture. It exists to provide "filters" and various lenses for faith issues.
"Leader's Line" is a specific channel for Christian leaders with a separate subscription option.
The intent of "Leaders Line" is to strengthen church leaders by initiating conversations that may not occur in our ministry contexts.
Though designed for pastors and church volunteers, anyone is able to subscribe and read.
The "Mailbag Question" button exists to interact with the concerns and questions of the reader (that's you!).
I'll pick certain questions and create a "MailBag Edition" blog post through appropriate channels. This empowers you, as the reader, to ask questions, be heard, and even influence the direction of content creation.
No, I don't think I'm a culture expert or a leadership guru of any sort. I'm just passionate about people having the "lightbulb" moment and about leadership issues in the local church.
My goal is to crank out 2 "Blog" posts and 1 "Leader's Line" post monthly.
If I'm honest, I have my fears.
I'm afraid this platform will be a means through which I take shots at ideas and people I disagree with from afar.
I'm afraid I'll become the kind of Christian who is exact in thinking but doesn't really live out half of what he writes.
But I have my hopes as well. I hope someone out there will find clarity and beauty in the things of God.
I'm hopeful that as I write for others, I'll find myself changing first, little by little.
I hope you'll journey with me.