Last week I recorded an episode about ministry and technology where I talked about ten lessons I have learned in ten years of doing ministry of some kind online. In the course of my speaking I convicted myself with some of my own words. I have always tried to be open and honest in my writing and want to do the same now in this article.
I have some apologies to make.
I have written publicly for ten years now, six of those with Strong Church and in the course of that time I have written on a number of issues, typically cultural in nature. There is very little I regret saying, but I regret the way in which I said some things more than I would like to admit. One of the lessons I have learned is to not get caught up in chasing after hits. Unfortunately, I learned this only after being someone who chased after them.
As a result I wrote articles ranting about problems I saw in the church.
I made far too many sweeping generalizations about how things are everywhere, when in reality they were probably only that way in my small corner of the world.
I “called people out” like a coward by indirectly talking about things they had said instead of approaching them privately person to person.
I allowed some events in my life to foster pessimism and wrote negatively, and sometimes angrily, as a result.
I have been purposefully inflammatory in my writing at times to try to increase awareness around an article.
None of these things were right, none of them were appropriate, and none of them are things that God would want me to be doing. Over the last few months my tone in writing has changed dramatically. I have started to care significantly less about how many read something I have written, and started to care more about trying to make a difference to the few that do. I have started to remember that God wants me to use my ability to write and speak to encourage and guide others to truth, not to tear down (Eph. 5:25-29).
My writing has improved greatly over the last ten years, as has my perspective. I am thankful for all the people who have been patient with me and my attitude especially over these last few years.
I debated quite a lot as to whether I should even write this let alone publish it, but I feel that at the end of the day if I have published things publicly I should not have said I owe it to you all at the very least to publicly apologize for them.
Thank you for sticking with us at Strong Church for all of these years. As we continue to grow I pray you will continue to send us feedback on how we can
improve. Thank you for reading, and I hope that the content I produce in the future is content that has learned from my past mistakes and is content that brings others closer to Christ.