Have you ever found yourself mid story, realizing you were speaking a deeper truth? While sharing “ancient” history, I found myself revealing the profound.
PASTOR, YOU MUST DO THIS
Shawn stood in my office telling me what I had to do. He was convinced that it was important. I protested, my time was limited, there was no band-width to add one more thing. “Dan, if you want to reach people today you MUST have a blog.”
A RECURRING CONVERSATION
This was not the first time Shawn and I had spoken this way. He was convinced a blog was important. I was equally as convinced that I had no time for such a thing. What would I write? The idea of generating content of value for one more thing was not appealing. I wanted to do things well, the amount of time needed to write quality could not be found on my current calendar.
Shawn kept after me. Each time he came with new ideas on how something like a blog would fit into my life. “Dan, you could use your sermons as content.” “My sermons are rarely written in text form, I generate an outline and speak from that. Taking time to turn an outline into text worthy of public consumption is too much.” “Pastor, you write a newsletter article each month. You could simply use that as part of your blog content.” “That is written specifically for the people of this congregation, it is not for wider consumption.” I had an answer for everything he brought to me. Shawn was not deterred, he returned a few days later with a new suggestion.
While I love new technology, I fear/dread the learning curve to learn how best to use it. Many of our current ministry teams use Slack to communicate. It took me weeks (probably months) to embrace the idea of using the technology for our ministry. Today I cannot imagine trying to organize people without it.
The Blog hit me the same way. Who had time to learn how to program, code and make the thing look good? The last thing I wanted to do was put something out there that looked cheesy. The second to last thing I wanted to do was spend hours learning how to make a blog look good. The easy answer was to say, “No thank you.”
To say Shawn wore me down is probably not an understatement. Shawn and his family lived just a few streets down from the church. We were/are good friends. We would get together often. The Blog thing was a frequent source of conversation. I did not bring it up.
There came a day where Shawn stood in my office and said, “Dan, I will build the blog. All you must do is generate content. I will handle the technology side, you generate content. This is important.”
With a sigh too deep for words I agreed, and the blog began.
I found myself recounting that story this past week. I was talking with someone about the book I have written about this journey over the past two years. Much of the content has come from writings on the blog. I have taken those thoughts and built them into a history of our struggle and God’s faithfulness amidst difficult times.
As I was sharing how Shawn “forced” me to start blogging I realized (again) what a blessing it has become.
THANK YOUShawn, thank you for pushing me and not giving up on me. Thank you to all those people in my life who have seen things I did not have the eyes to see. Those who pointed me in directions and called me to be and do more than I felt was possible. When the book comes out in a few months Shawn will be getting a signed copy, hopefully hand delivered.
Who in your life has pushed you to be or do something beyond what you believed possible? Who saw what could be and would not let you rest until you began moving in that direction?
As you look at the people God has placed in your life today, who might you come alongside and speak words of encouragement and challenge? Are there people with gifts, abilities that are sitting dormant because they fear taking that first step? How can you come alongside them and encourage them to take that first step?
Shawn and I have shared much of life together. Days before his son was born we were making the nursery ready. We built the shed in his backyard. When I was sick, it was Shawn who came over and helped Nancy remove the snow from our driveway. We could tell stories about each other for hours. It makes life fun. I asked him for a picture, he did not supply one. I reminded him I had a picture from his high-school year book. Still no picture. Under normal circumstances I would have run with the high-school picture. It did not seem proper here. Just letting you know I have it.