Blogging is a medium of expression used by millions, and more and more people in the church are using this to expand their ministry. I was hesitant to begin blogging. People use blogging for many reasons...here are mine
I am external processor. I think while I am writing, speaking, and discussing an issue. I will say things one moment, and in the process of writing, speaking, and discussing, change my mind and say something else. That will happen on this blog. Hopefully it is a result of growth and greater clarity.
I am a learner. I want to know things, think things, and understand things. This means I will grow in the process. I will evaluate and re-evaluate my own stance on things constantly. As I write and discuss, I learn and change. I will say or write one thing, but will grow and change my mind. You will see a record of that on this blog. Being a learner means growth.
I try to look for the best in people. I want to believe that the ideas, ideology, methods, etc I am critiquing (even though I may not like the method) are being done by some wonderful, godly people who are wrestling with how to expand the Kingdom of God. This may take some time for me to get around to, but I will get there. This means that I often play Devil's Advocate by looking at the good in something that may seem diametrically opposed to something I believe. Also, after discussing the idea, I put a face on the idea or method. We all learned from the movie Silence of the Lambs that serial killers don't call their victims by their real names because it would make the victim human. If we are not careful, the victims of our critiques and discussions become not human. When we put a name on the concepts and methods being discussed, they become human and they have feelings. They are also our neighbors which are meant to be loved.
I am not unhappy. I have never been more content in my life. While I struggled through the failure of a church plant, God used that time to bring some healing to my life and to stretch me in ways I never imagined. I also learned that congregation-envy is not helpful to me. I had to give that up. I don't critique things to put people down, I critic them to learn from them. I want to know what the best practices, the best theology, the best methods are...while these may be ultimately elusive as things change, I want to be constantly evaluating everything.
Critique is not the same as being a critic. Critics do things to complain, put down, or denigrate someone that is different. I love the differences of people in the Kingdom of God. We are allowed to speak openly and honestly about those differences, critiquing them, but we must always come back to working like brothers and sisters.
I felt this needed to be added to my blog. Blogs hide people behind a shadow of anonymity to hurt others, and that is NOT the intention of this blog. I welcome open, honest discussion. I value the opinion of people who disagree with me because I can learn from them, as I hope they can learn from me.