A Good Question
A few days back I received an email asking a question that I’ve had a few times abut this blog – why don’t I write more often and more openly about my everyday faith, experiences of church and of being a “missional” Christian. That’s a very good question! Part of the answer comes from my […]
A few days back I received an email asking a question that I’ve had a few times abut this blog – why don’t I write more often and more openly about my everyday faith, experiences of church and of being a “missional” Christian.
That’s a very good question!
Part of the answer comes from my background. I started my first website whilst working as a youth pastor and studying at theological college. That context was (and to a large extent still is) antithetical towards revealing too much of yourself online. In those years I kept my websites quite impersonal; focusing on links to other pages and information about Christian Philosophy.
When I tried blogging in 2001, it was part of an active process of evaluating and rejecting that earlier context. Those first attempts at blogging were very personal and quotidian. I recall describing the blog to a friend as a “sort of notepad.”
By the time 2003 came around, I was living in India and facing a very different set of challenges. It’s not always easy (and sometimes not wise) to make some kinds of comments about faith in open media there. Moreover, a lot of people are, understandably cautious about how they talk about their faith and the things their faith inspires them to do.
But also, those years marked a profound time of change for me as the institutional and programmatic church became an ever smaller part of my faith and spirituality. On a number of occasions I’ve toyed with the idea of starting a podcast, as a way to allow some of the amazing people I’ve met to speak about their work and faith in their own words. But, as for me, so much of what it means to be missional in my life is very small stuff – everyday interactions with people, making smalls-scale choices, trying to learn to be an agent of grace, peace and hope in difficult times (something I’m mostly rubbish at).
Herein lies the challenge I’ve faced for this blog and maybe this holds for other believers with a similar orientation who are on the “edges” of the church. How do you write about your everyday interactions, the faith-based decisions you make about the small things in life, without becoming very narcissistic and self-focussed?
Maybe, by deciding to not write a confessional, “yesterday I got upset with the postman, but today I did a good thing for the gardener” type blog, I’ve robbed this site of some level of value for certain readers. As I look back over this blog’s history, it feels like I’ve revealed a lot of my struggles – but maybe not enough. It’s a hard call to make.