2009 Blogging Retrospective

January 1, 2010

iCal Jan 1

As we begin a new year, I thought I’d take a look back at what has happened on blog one another in the past year. 2009 saw some significant shifts. Most notably, I went beyond single-topic postings and wrote a number of different series:

  • Why Twitter? : I discovered Twitter in 2009. These things that made me interested in it.
  • Before You Sign Up for Twitter : Things to consider if you want to get started on Twitter.
  • Twitter Practical How-to’s : Easily the best guide online according to one new Twitter user. More to come.
  • This I Used to Believe : An examination of an NPR show demonstrating evangelism done right, and evangelism done wrong, by the same person. Important stuff for anyone who has a heart for evangelism in post-Christian culture.
  • Stolen Laptop : Lessons learned, from theft prevention to struggling with forgiveness. (I have one more post to come on Mac security settings.)
  • Missional Advent Candles Meaning : What our family does for Advent with meanings I made up to remind us of the missional nature of the gospel. I give you a glimpse into the chaos of our family devotions.

I also took a crack at writing guest posts on other blogs:

In fact, I have given up trying to change my church in any way.

There was a decline in personal updates and random things like the Out of Context posts; I am still sharing these, but mostly on Facebook instead of here. I figure that such posts are uninteresting unless you know me personally — but I may be wrong about that. If you’d like to read more personal stuff on blog one another, let me know.

There was also a decline in posts about church: particularly about worship, evangelism, and the call to missional living. One reason for the decline is that although my heart is emerging-missional, I still belong to a very attractional, modernist-with-candles church. And I have stopped fighting it, because it is where we belong for now. I have laid off public critiques, because I have no desire to hurt the leadership. In fact, I have given up trying to change my church in any way. Our role is simply to help in any way we are asked.

But another reason for the decline in missional posts is that my passion has been put on hold. I used to scoff at people who said they were “too busy to be missional.” But this past year has been difficult, and in many ways I have withdrawn into my family. There were many times when we called it a victory just to make it through another day.

There are seasons for everything. I hope that 2010 will see me living (and blogging) a more outward-focused spirituality. In the meantime, I leave you with my most controversial post of the year. It has been translated to Spanish. It has been critiqued on the radio. It has been seen (though not necessarily read) over 7,000 times! Perhaps because it is so brief (and thus easy to take out of context), it continues to receive criticism. Yup, I’m talking about 14 Reasons to Stop Evangelizing Your Friends.

The number of folks subscribing to this blog did increase this past year, so I need to be careful not to make assumptions based only on what people have said before. What would you like me to write about? I’d especially like to hear from you if you started reading blog one another sometime this past year; please leave a comment below.

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Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

5 responses to 2009 Blogging Retrospective

  1. Hmmm. I really enjoy reading what you have to say about evangelism, and the church. I guess your posts on spirituality in general are the most interesting to me.

  2. I completely agree with your list of reasons about why to stop evangelizing your friends. I think it is really funny that anyone took offense to it.

  3. For me personally, when I find I can’t change my church, that is one indicator to me that I don’t belong there any more.

  4. Sami,
    Thanks for putting up with all my Twitter postings. 🙂 I am going to try to find ways to write about church ‘n’ stuff — both encouraging and critical postings — without slamming my church. Too much.
    Anyway, I have made some tweaks to my approach, based on thoughts spurred by feedback from you and others. Hope you like it!

  5. Jim,
    I think the people who were most offended by my list are hard-core Calvinists who give little thought to the saving work of the Holy Spirit. So I think the reason it bothers them, but you agree, is that I can sum up the list by saying, “Pay attention to what the Spirit is already doing.”
    As for not being able to influence a church, I would normally go by what you say as a useful rule of thumb. But you know how the Spirit can overrule rules of thumb? Yeah. I never imagined that I would still say, “I am where I belong for now.”