I began writing a blog when I was a District Superintendent as a discipline meant to replace the discipline of sermon writing. Since DS’s don’t preach every week, I found it was real easy to get out of the habit of sermon preparation. Seriously, a DS could have one good sermon and preach it in a different church each week. I’ve read some of the great evangelists of days gone by would have 8-10 good sermons and would preach them over and over for a year at a time. I rather like the challenge of preparing sermons week in and week out. That’s one of the elements of the work of ministry that energizes me. Blogging became a way for me to keep that habit of weekly preparation. It was also a way for me to vent sometimes, but I always tried to acknowledge that was what I was doing.
Now that I’m back in the local church, I’m not blogging nearly as often. Because blogging was a way to keep the habit of preparation, I don’t need it to as much anymore. So, as I’m thinking and praying this morning, I’m trying to capture a vision for what this blog might be. My readership is down now, and I think that’s because I’m not blogging as often. Of course, as I’ve looked back at my stats (yes, WordPress provides copious amounts of statistical information), I’ve discovered that the days I’ve had the most readers is on days I’ve written something that might be considered controversial–the only exception being my tribute post to Rev. Jimmie Pyles that appeared on “theunexpectedds.” That was the most read post I’ve ever written. I’m not writing too many posts that could be considered controversial these days. Oh! I could write some! But, because I’m a pastor (though, not a perfect one), I choose to remain silent on some of the issues facing both church and culture these days. Don’t think I don’t have my opinions. I just choose not to put them out for public consumption. Generating readers on a blog is nothing that strokes my ego.
I could post weekly, I suppose, if I wanted to share excerpts from the past Sunday’s sermon. After all, experts I read these days say for a pastor to remain relevant, he/she must have an on-line presence (I wonder if an expert is really an expert if it’s a self designation?). I suppose I blog to maintain that on-line presence, and that might be all the vision that’s needed for this blog, but I also think a good number of my readers are church members, and I don’t want the blog to simply be a re-hash of the Sunday sermon. But, then again, not everyone makes it to church on Sunday, and I do have followers who aren’t members, so…
As I seek a vision for this blog, let me share some thoughts on vision. They come as random thoughts from this random mind.
- Vision is acknowledging what is, and seeing what could be or should be.
- Vision is the ability to define a preferred future.
- Vision is birthed out of a time of reflection. Waiting time is not wasted time.
- God-given vision is birthed out of prayer. Prayer for a God-given vision should soon be followed by planning for God’s vision to become reality.
- A dream is not a vision. A dream is something we wish would happen. A vision is something we take action to make happen.
- Dreamers say, “I wish _________ would happen.” Visionaries ask, “How can I make __________ happen?”
- Dreamers ask God to do something. Visionaries ask God to do something through them.
- Nothing makes vision more concrete than writing it down on paper. If it’s not on paper, it’s probably just a dream.
I don’t know if any of those random thoughts help me define a preferred future for this blog, but there’s nothing quite like processing the whole matter by writing about it. And, hey? Someone reading this might actually share a thought that could become the vision for this blog. Or, my random thoughts on vision might help bring clarity to a vision God is birthing in a reader right now. That would be a worthy result, now wouldn’t it? Might even be a pretty good vision of what this blog could become. Yeah, now I’m just rambling.
So, I’ll close now. Experts also say a blog post should be between 600 and 800 words. I’m at my limit.
Until next time, keep looking up…