One of the things that I struggle with as a blogger is the tension between blogging for myself and blogging for others. What I mean by this is that I want to write content that is from my heart and serves me but at the same time serves other people. and this is a tricky thing, for a number of reasons: 1. I don't want to be under the control of the 'crowd'. By this I mean I want to write about what I want to write about, not what other people want me to write about. I find the act of writing to be completely enthralling. I love it. And even more so, I love writing about the things that occupy my thoughts throughout the day. So to hear people telling me I should write about stuff I don't care about would suck.
2. At the same time, I want what I write about to strike a chord with other people. I don't want to feel like i'm the only one feeling or thinking a certain way. I want to be an influence on other people, and I don't think this is a bad desire.
3. One of the tricky things of writing about church, theology and culture is that most of the blogging tips, the how-to's, and tutorials don't fully apply. 'They' say you need to give easy to follow formulaic steps, you need to be an expert in your niche, you need to be consistent in your focus, you need to provide excellent value to your readers and so on. I don't think these things are accurate or honest for people whose topic of choice is the collision of faith and culture. There is no road map here, there is no formula to figure out how this works. It's a brand new, ever-changing process. Culture is evolving and understanding how our faith interacts with it is new everyday. There is no expert in how to perfectly mesh Christianity with today's American culture.
4. I don't have it figured out. So naturally anything I say on my blog is in process, it's not perfect. And when it comes to matters of God and faith, people want you to take a solid stand on things. People want to know exactly what steps to take, what prayers to say, how much of their income to give, what date and time Christ is coming back. I don't know, but I'm a pastor so people expect me to know this sort of stuff. Can we be ok with the mystery of God, please!? Seriously, if he was that easy to figure out would he be worthy of praise? Let's get off of our iPhones for 10 seconds and just be ok with the mystery. Google cannot answer this question. Be ok with the mystery!
5. Fame. Do I want to be famous? Not really. Do I have ambition for acclaim, and is that a bad desire? Not so sure. These are tricky questions. Do I want influence? Yes. I have it whether I want it or not. Do I want that influence for my own good or for God's? Now this is the more pertinent question and the one that really needs answering. The good Christian in me would say, oh yea, any glory I receive is all for God. But the kid who grew up in the 90's part of me, he wants his own TV show. I'm a conflicted man with complex feelings and desires. It's not easy following Christ today, you know this, either by your own struggle with faith or by watching the news.
Hopefully this is honest enough for you to understand and appreciate. I struggle with this, daily. And that is what I want this blog to be about: the tension found in learning to live out the Christian faith in a world that is becoming more and more hostile to the Gospel. I want to practically answer the question: how does our faith (historical and practical) interact with the culture in which we live?
It is my hope as I work through what this might look like, as I write from my own experience and knowledge, that along the way we can engage with one another and discuss deeply the working out of our faith. But regardless of how large or small this blog becomes, I'm still going to write. For my own pleasure, for my own sanity, and as a way to think through the implications of my faith in God.