This was completely unexpected. Without wishing to disparage the award in any way, it’s ridiculous really. I shouldn’t even have been on the shortlist, let alone in the top three. There are blogs that I read to get help on issues than weren’t even included and should have been. But who am I to diasagree with the web literate populus of our fair planet! And I shan’t pretend it’s not nice to be appreciated! But it’s also clear to me that my Mother has clearly motivated the Darby & Joans, the Women’s Institutes and the Mother’s Unions of middle England and got their grandsons and granddaughters to vote. I stand in their debt!
I started to blog a few years’ back after reading an article in the Briefing about why we should. I thought I’d give it a blast. As I was then, being the sole pastor of a small church plant can be quite isolating. There isn’t anyone telling you how well you were doing or whether the stuff you’re producing was any good. Sticking it online seemed like a way of finding out. I’d frequently do ‘doctrine slots’ or ‘children’s slots’ at church and then dunp them on the blog. After a while people would e-mail me and ask for additional stuff. It was encouraging that things like an assembly on the spiritual significance of Buzz Lightyear was in some small way contributing to the growth of the kingdom! I also recognised that after a while in ministry you can get a bit lazy. Presumably that’s why Paul told Timothy to reflect on the hardworking farmer (2 Timn 2:6). It is possible to loaf and rely on old material or even serve up substandard stuff. By putting stuff online I opened myself up to the peer review of the online community. Their rigorous examination has been good for me in formulating my thoughts before posting and also reformulating my thoughts afterwards! I continue to be grateful to those who read what I write and then choose to comment afterwards. I’m not great at following up people’s comments, especially if they take issue with something I write. But that’s a feature of busyness in church ministry. I don’t intend to be rude! Much.
I ought to point out my debt of gratitude to sites like the Jubilee Centre. Most pastors, I suspect, are good at biblical exposition and reasonable at systematic theology. But we’re poorer at social engagement; at applying the biblical principles to areas outside ministry in the home, at church or amongst our friends. Organisations like them do us a great service. They show that, in the words of Abraham Kuyper, ‘there is not one square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry: Mine!’ Let’s continue to support them and use them.