Monday, August 4, 2008

Gospel-Driven Church's One Year Blogiversary

My little baby is one year old today! Isn't he pwecious?

I began "The Gospel-Driven Church" on August 4 of last year. It was a natural next step after blogging through a trainwreck at my church on BCC is Broken became less and less BCC-focused and more and more evangelicalism-focused. I'm not even at BCC any more, which most folks will realize was the natural outcome of the convictions expressed in my blogging.

I've been blogging since 2003, actually, at the Coca-Cola of Christian group blogs, The Thinklings (accept no substitutes), but it's been at GDC (and to some extent, BCC is Broken, and Shizuka Blog before it, and Mysterium Tremendum before that), that I believe I've best and most consistently expressed the passion of my life: maintaining that the root of discipleship is joyfully clinging to the wonderful gospel of the sufficiency of Christ for the glory of God, the growth of the Church, and the good of the world.

Here's what I wrote in my introductory post on this date in 2007:
I am undoubtedly a cynic and critic about the state of evangelicalism in America. This thing we've been handed is broken. I'm not sure it's ever been un-broken, actually, but that's a post for another day. The point is that, in the spirit of the Reformers, for whom semper reformada (always reforming!) was an ongoing commitment, I don't think seeing what's wrong should lead us to despair and despondency, and still less should it cause apathy or complacency. I'm a cynic and a critic, sure, but there is something in the air, a prophetic call I guess you could say, that is hopeful and optimistic. This is a grace-driven call to cheerful repentance. It's my hope to contribute, however meagerly, to the growing effort to reform the discipleship culture of the American Church.

Frankly, I'm really excited about the opportunities opening up in the evangelical landscape right now. It's a great time to be doing ministry, because we are in a peculiar age when the Gospel even scandalizes people inside the Church!

I flat-out love the Church. I just do. I love Jesus, and Jesus loves His Bride, and I want to love the things Jesus loves, and that means I love the Bride. I love the Church, warts and all. And it is out of this love, the same love Jesus had for the never-quite-getting it, bumbling stumbling disciples, that I am outspoken about the call to the Church to repent of modernism, postmodernism, consumerism, idolatry, mega-mall mentalities, cultural absorption, showmanship, hype, and trendiness, and once again embrace the full Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I would love to see churches repent of the fixation on "success," and start making disciples.

And one year later my aim is still the same. (I don't know if I could say that year to year of my other blogging endeavors.)

So what's next?
More blogging, of course. And I'd like to toy with something that could be a mistake, I don't know. One of the inherent weaknesses in the medium of the weblog is the virtual temporariness of the best writing. A good solid piece may exist on a main page for a brief time, and then it disappears into the aether of the archives or random web searches. If a blogger attracts new readers, they will likely never see past posts unless they are the thorough sorts who read archives. But most are not.

I think the bulk of my regular visitors have added me to their blog reading in the last 6 months or so, as the site has gained more attention. (Thanks, iMonk, for putting me in both your year-end Top Ten list and your "excellent blogging" syllabus, and to others like Bill Kinnon and Ed Stetzer for "Noteworthy Itemizing" me.)
So I'm going to do something some may consider lame: I'm going to start recycling older pieces, typically stuff published one year ago to the day. But only stuff that I think is worth bringing back up to the main page. No link posts or random musings or things like that.

And hopefully with the ongoing addition of new posts, this move won't make GDC itself seem hopelessly repetitious. People's memories are short, anyway. :-)

Thanks for reading, friends. Here's to another fruitful year!



Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary. Here's to many more years (and no hiatuses .. hiatii ... uh, no breaks.)

Here's an alternate idea: Add 'most commented' and 'favorite posts' lists to your sidebar. You can then give new readers instant, and permanent, access to the things that your readers have found most compelling (based on the dialog it generated) and the things that you have been most proud of.

I read somewhere that a blog ought to have a 'favorites' list for that very purpose - to allow new readers get an idea of what the blog is about. As you can see, I've jumped right on that at my blog ... :-/

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Jared! When I first found your blog a few months ago it was the "gospel-driven" phrase that caught my eye. I want my life, my family, and my church to be gospel-driven. Thanks for giving us your insight into this cruciform way of life.

Milton Stanley said...

Over the past year my readings and my discipleship have been made richer through what I find at G-DL. May God continue to bless your work here.

Bill Kinnon said...

Ahh, the joys of one year olds. :-)

gavin richardson said...

happy blog'versary! it's been fun watching your morphing from the bcc to gdc. to learn there was more history, oh my! &:~)


Rob said...

My kudos as well--you've richly blessed the church over this past year, because you've stayed true to the vision God gave you.