Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Monking Around

The iMonk weighs in on Missional Street Cred, and it's a fantastic post, this part especially:
There are three kinds of credibility that evangelicals should examine very closely these days. Those are the credibility that comes from your web presence, your conference presence and your ability to get published.

These three things do not mean you know what you are doing on the ground, that you have any cred when it comes to building missional community or that anyone should listen to you. They don’t mean you are telling the truth or should even be speaking.

They mean you have a platform. That’s it. Beyond that, someone should look deeper.

I get emails all the time from dudes asking me for advice and/or input on all kinds of things related to churches and ministry, and while I do my best to respond (because, clearly, I have an opinion on just about everything), I always try to provide the credibility caveat. "This is what my ministry looks like, this is how long we've been doing it. I'm not an expert, I'm still figuring this stuff out, blah blah blah."

Having a blog, even a well written one full of strong and clear opinions, doesn't make anyone an expert.

In addition, the things that Michael is urging at this post ("Look deeper") appears to me to be the very thing Mark Driscoll was touching on. The comments of Driscoll's that have received some negative, if muted, reaction strike me as saying essentially the same thing: A church guy having a blog/book/platform doesn't mean he's having ministry effectiveness. And of course you can define effectiveness any way you want (numeric growth, conversions/baptisms, spiritual health, etc), but again, however you define it, a strong and widely disseminated voice isn't a substitute for any of them. Unless having a widely read blog or book or getting conference gigs is considered ministry effectiveness; and let's be honest, it's considered at least part of it by a large segment of evangelicalism.

In other iMonk news, he's shutting the doors on The Internet Monk site soon. 'Twill be a sad day, but I'm looking forward to his new online venture: Jesus Shaped Spirituality.

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