Five Big Benefits of Blogging

Most new bloggers don’t realize the demands a blog can place on time and creativity. However, once the discipline of blogging is developed, it can benefit you in other aspects of life. Maintaining a blog practically forces you to develop routines and content plans. These routines can be mimicked in your dietary planning, workout regimens, personal discipleship, and relationships. A successful blog may not always mean more page views. Personal growth through the discipline of blogging can be success in and of itself.

In 2016 there were 4 months when I didn’t publish a single blog post. There were 2 months where I only posted one single blog post during the entire month. I published 24 posts from January-October. I published 16 posts in December and 1 post per day in January so far.

Over the course of most of 2016, I lacked discipline with my blog. It simply wasn’t a high value for me. Looking back, I can see missed opportunities personally (growing myself) and professionally (helping others grow), but I’m OK with how the year went. I am discovering the truth of the quote above. As I have shown greater discipline over the last month to publish something more regularly (at this point, daily), I’m finding it more natural to be disciplined in other areas of my life too. The final sentence is correct – page views are not my greatest measure of success – my own personal growth through the process of publishing regularly is my measure of success. I hope you’ll find what I write to be helpful. It is helpful to me just to write and publish in the first place.

(via Auxano)

Collegiate Ministry is the Edge

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At any gathering of people, from a high school assembly to the General Assembly at the UN, from a conference to a rehearsal at the orchestra, the really interesting conversations and actions almost always happen around the edges.

Change almost always starts at the edges and moves toward the center.

This blog from Seth Godin makes me think immediately of collegiate ministry. I see it as the edge of mainstream ministry. It is where some exciting innovations of modern ministry are happening and where the next wave of catalytic leaders are right now.

Resolve to Pray

Far too many resolutions fail because we fail to pray. We set out with courage, ambition, and even some exhilaration. We might pray over our resolution(s) on that first day of January, like praying in the driveway before a long car ride. But before we’ve even made it out onto the highway of another year, we’ve already left prayer behind, and with it, the power needed to persevere in any new habit or pattern.

As we prepare to enter the new year, many of us are thinking about Resolutions. I’m wary of them because I know how flimsy they can be, but Marshall Segal has some poignant words for us before we enter 2017. I think having goals for a new year is a good thing, but let’s not rely only on our own strength to accomplish them.

Why?

My friend Evan wrote an excellent article on Collegiate Collective called “The Frustration and Power of Why.”

Here are a couple of quotes:

“This simple word — a single-word question — can frustrate, illuminate, or obliterate the execution of your collegiate ministry’s vision.”

“Most of the things that were going on previously were not bad things, but it’s surprising how many “not bad” things can turn out not-so-good when nothing gets filtered. Asking Why? made us focus.”

Our Why Questions
Our ministry has gone through some significant shifts in the last 3 years. Similar to Evan, it all started with asking, “Why?” Here are some of our Why questions:

  • Why haven’t we seen a single salvation in years?
  • Why do we treat leadership as a position?
  • Why don’t students share the gospel?
  • Why do we have a ministry building?
  • Why are our most committed students least likely to make disciples?
  • Why wouldn’t we want to reproduce what we are doing on a new campus?
  • Why are our leaders burning out and fading away?

These questions have been game changers for us. They were painful at times. They also turned out to be both necessary and clarifying. Lean in. Ask the hard questions. It is worth it.

Link: Think like a Starfish

This post by Scott Kindig and T.J. Joy on the Collegiate Collective is an excellent perspective  on decentralized ministry. Transcending buildings and the need to gather everyone all at once could very well be the key to a much broader and more effective mission. I certainly believe that it is. 

If you are able to decentralize your leadership and get the disciple making DNA of Christ into the students, the location problem will take care of itself. As we help students leverage their ability in Christ to make disciples, the gospel moves from the church building to the dining halls, classrooms, and dorms on campus. We must give our ministries away to the students and mobilize them across campus.

“I believe that every believer has the potential for world transformation in them. If you think that is such an overstatement then think of this … a seed is a potential for a tree and a tree is a potential for a forest but it is all contained in a tree; all the potential of a forest is contained in the one seed. In the same way every believer has the potential for world transformation. There is an “ecclesia” in every one of us and in every “ecclesia” there is a potential for a movement. When we begin to see the church this way, everything changes. It is a massive shift in the way we see ourselves as God’s people.”

–Alan Hirsch

Four Fields of Kingdom Growth


T4T (Training for Trainers) is the general model/posture we have been taking with BCM. Our desire is to train students to be reproducing disciple makers. While T4T speaks directly to this, Nathan and Kari Shank’s book Four Fields of Kingdom Growth is the best comprehensive implementation of T4T that I’ve found. I’ve only just discovered this great resource, but I’ll be digesting and internalizing it for quite some time.

Writer’s Block

I have a very spotty record of consistent writing. In the last couple of months I’ve realized that I need to focus on writing more (and more consistently, at that). I’m thinking this for 2 reasons:

  1. Writing helps me think more clearly. 
  2. Even the mistakes I make, the poorly articulated ideas and dreams I have, could be useful to some. It’s better to share than to hoard. 

Seth Godin says as much in his blog post from back in 2011. 

Writer’s block isn’t hard to cure.

Just write poorly. Continue to write poorly, in public, until you can write better.

I believe that everyone should write in public. Get a blog. Or use Squidoo or Tumblr or a microblogging site. Use an alias if you like. Turn off comments, certainly–you don’t need more criticism, you need more writing.

Do it every day. Every single day. Not a diary, not fiction, but analysis. Clear, crisp, honest writing about what you see in the world. Or want to see. Or teach (in writing). Tell us how to do something.

Write like you talk. Often.