In January 2006, I closed the doors on my original solo blog, Mysterium Tremendum, ostensibly going on indefinite hiatus until I could return a bona fide published novelist. Despite contributing now and again to the group blog I co-founded in 2003, I still felt the itch to publicly journal my more personal perspectives and theological idiosyncracies, so I stepped up regular posting to Shizuka Blog, a site I started in May 2005 to record more devotional pieces and "pastoral" reflections. Eventually my efforts there were subsumed by BCC is Broken, a blog I began in the summer of 2006, initially as a place to provide analysis and refletions on my church's firing of our pastor.
BCC is Broken basically took over my blogging life. But for good reason. At the time I was coming out of the most difficult time of my life, a period of deep depression during which I found myself desperately clinging to the gospel of Jesus and learning through some of the same issues being raised in the aftermath of the train wreck at church. I found myself in the peculiar position of actually ministering to people through blogging. (All of us God-bloggers like to pay lip service to this idea, but more often than not it's just a way to justify a time-consuming hobby with some handy spiritualization.) I had only planned on, at first, relating news and information to the church body, but eventually of course, soapboxer that I am, I couldn't help but weigh in with opinions, encouragement for our elders and staff, biblical viewpoints, and coverage of larger relational and ecclesiological ideas related to the conflict.
The thing basically got away from me. But the effort blessed me, and it apparently blessed quite a few others, based on the overwhelming response I received. It also blessed my family, as it was based on the writing at BCC is Broken that BCC technical director Chris Thomas approached me about possibly teaching in a college/young adults ministry he was wanting to start. I met Chris for the first time last fall at a Panera in Brentwood, Tennessee, and the germination of Element began. I didn't know it at the time, but I was having dinner with a guy who would become my best friend in Nashville, despite my having gone 7 years without one real friend at all in town. (That's a long time.)
Out of this connection grew several more, and my wife and I, who have gone almost ten years without close friends in this town, now have a group of friends we consider our second family. Good things come out of brokenness.
Which is why, despite my criticism of and arguing against the state of American evangelicalism, I am hopeful about its future and optimistic about the efforts of some to pursue reformation. I believe the Church has lost its way. What started off as a good and godly movement (the seeker church thing) has gone way off the rails. Churches are run as businesses, malls, social clubs, performance halls, speaking venues, and even group conversations on spirituality and religion, but not often enough are they shepherded as churches. We have somehow forgotten that Christ commissioned us to make disciples.
And so all I've been thinking through, studying through, working through, and living through over the last decade (having worked on staff in a Willow Creek model seeker church start-up over a decade ago) leads to this. BCC is Broken, a year after the mess, has served its primary purpose, I believe, so I am boarding it up. I'll still contribute to the group blogs I continue to be responsible to, but my solo efforts will be concentrated here, at Gospel-Driven Church. I hope you will join me in the conversation and reflection, and I hope that over and through the criticism, you will see one who loves the Bride of Christ and just wants her to get healthy.
For the glory of God.
(A bit more intro here.)