October 20, 2017

Prepare To Be Blogged: Thoughts From The Pirate Blogosphere

pirate.jpgI don’t know when it finally dawned on me that people were reading my work on the internet. I started Internet Monk in November of 2000, and at the time, I never really considered if I would have much of an audience. It was a way to write, and I needed to write. It was and is a necessary part of my being Self-publishing gave my ego the boost I needed to sit down and actually do the work of writing. After years of writing columns and articles that no one read, there was tremendous satisfaction in being author, editor and publisher. I still appreciate the amazing gift I received by the invention of this technology.

Of course, almost five years have passed. Internet Monk and Boar’s Head Tavern have a loyal- and increasing- audience. I have thousands of letters from readers, and, most recently, I’ve been told that I am leading Israel astray and might want to watch my back. “Those of us who know the truth” are watching. I certainly hope so. If you’re out there, keep reading.

I really haven’t thought much about the role of the Christian blogosphere until my recent run-in with those who considered it very important that I know “people are reading what you write.” Wow. Now I’ve had some time to think…and I’ve decided I’m a pirate.

I always loved the idea of pirate radio. Here at the school where I work, we used to have boys occasionally broadcast on a pirate radio station in the dormitory. I loved the idea of some kid with a radio station under his bed, playing illegal music, making fun of the administration. I wished I’d been able to do something that exciting when I was a teenager. There was something wonderfully subversive and dangerous about broadcasting where you weren’t supposed to have a voice, right there alongside the real stations.

Ever watch Pump Up The Volume? Christian Slater turns his high school upside down with his pirate radio station. He’s the voice of the kids who have no voice; the truth teller in a culture of lies. Yeah, that fantasy appeals to me. I absolutely want that pirate flag running over this web site. I do want to “talk hard,” as Harry said.

There are some things going on with the blogosphere- the Christian blogosphere- that I want to celebrate…from the pirate’s perspective.

1. It’s not just the main stream media that has to deal with the implications of the blogosphere…it’s everybody. The power of the internet has turned everyone with a computer into a potential writer, broadcaster, critic, expert, publisher, journalist or teacher. In the blogosphere, size doesn’t matter very much. Neither does much besides what’s on the screen. The web site of an absolute nobody can look better, and be better, than the publications of a major author. The blogosphere may be overrated in its influence in some ways, but I believe the ripples of millions of ordinary people with the power to publish is wrecking havoc on the predictable old ways of communication.

The Internet brings the little guys up, and the big guys down. All sorts of well-known people are suddenly finding they have to blog, because bloggers are creating an entirely new wave of information and cultural analysis, one that isn’t controlled and dominated by the official portals or the famous names. Bloggers are now a huge chorus of opinion that the big dogs find intimidating. Bloggers have signalled the end of the force feeding of a huge segment of evangelicals. We can think and speak for ourselves now.

Listen. In the real world, I am nobody. Here in my town, I don’t preach to twenty people on Sunday. No one even thinks I’m interesting. I have one of the smallest churches in the county. But on the internet, it’s different. Internet Monk has given me an audience far larger than I could ever find otherwise. More people read me on line than read all kinds of well known people anywhere else. And all I did was write and publish, and keep on writing and publishing, year after year.

It’s in perceiving just how threatened some persons in the Christian blogosphere are that I’ve realized ordinary bloggers, persistently sticking to their guns, turning out content, bringing good stuff every week, can have an impact that matters. Radio. Television. Big churches. Christian Publishing. They don’t control us or what we think anymore. The phenomenon of the internet has leveled the playing field and overwhelmed the experts and “official spokespersons” with other voices speaking things that didn’t use to ever be heard.

Do pastors of large churches like the fact that now a dozen blogs in their own church will analyze the sermon? Do major authors like the fact that thousands of bloggers will review their books? Do the custodians of orthodoxy like it that a million bloggers can take the conversation wherever they want it to go? Some will, and some won’t. Either way…blog on, pirates!

2. The blogosphere confers its own kind of credibility, quite different from the real world. Who is the Internet Monk, anyway? Every so often, someone turns up here at OBI and wants to meet the iMonk. I have to come to terms with the fact that Michael Spencer and the iMonk are two very different persons, almost like Batman and Bruce Wayne. The blogosphere has conferred on the iMonk some measure of credibility that I couldn’t manufacture any other way. What does that mean?

Many of you know that I got close, but didn’t finish a doctoral degree in the 1980’s. I’ve often been tempted to go to a diploma mill and get that “Dr.” anyway. I haven’t, and now I realize it’s a good thing. Because of IM, I have an audience that I would never have in any church that “Dr.” might have gotten for me. I can go places in my writing and my teaching online that I would never go in a church pulpit. I’ve written hundreds of “pastoral letters” in response to IM articles that have dealt with what was going on in people’s lives as a result of reading my work. More than 20,000 unique visitors a month. Where did all that come from? None of this comes from a church or a “real life.” It is all a ministry conferred by the internet and its audience.

This is, of course, very threatening to the world of big chuches, spin doctors, academia and the power of experts. Who wants to think that some guy writing a web page has more credibility and influence than a teacher or a pastor with real credentials? How does it happen? There is no map or method. Did Real Live Preacher or Joe at Evangelical Outpost know that the internet would change their lives?

I actually get calls to be interviewed several times a year. Recently I was interviewed about my reviews on Don Miller’s books. Why interview me? Only one reason: the outreach of this page and the credibility given to bloggers.

Yes, it is a double-edged sword, and yes, there are a world of nut cases who have audiences they don’t deserve. But it is very consistent with the Kingdom of Jesus that a wife and mom like Amy Welborn can be a major blogger, or that persecuted teachers like Mark Horne can be heard in the blogosphere despite efforts to silence him.

It’s bound to irritate the right people when any one of us can be published; when anyone can be criticized, applauded, dissected or exposed as flawed by a writer with a computer and a web page. The credibility of the blogosphere is unpredictable and dangerous, but it is real, and this is one pirate who is happy about it.

3. The confessional blogger has a special place in the blogosphere. It was Augustine who placed his theological journey in the form of Confessions, setting a model for many of us who call ourselves “confessional bloggers.” By “confessions” I do not mean the reformed statements of doctrine, but the first person account of our human journey seen from the inside. The accounting of our thoughts, doubts and questions. The reporting of feelings and emotions, and not just propositions.

Confessional blogging can be seen in many of the most popular IM essays, such as When I Am Weak and Running Wounded. These are not messages I can or would preach in church. They are honest, often painfully so, and I am not ready to deal with all their implications in the real world.

It is amazing to me that a well-known reformed apologist chose one of my confessional essays to shred on his blog as an example of postmodern nonsense in evangelicalism. Nothing did more to convince me of the power of the confessional essay: the story matters, even if some can’t understand it. Confessional bloggers aren’t submitting theological outlines for a grade. They are reporting from inside themselves on what it feels like to be Christian and human in a particular situation. They are crying or laughing, ranting or asking questions. Mostly they are living and broadcasting the experience to the mystery of the audience beyond the monitor. They put their past and present together and expose some of the hiddenness of their lives for other journeyers. The critics miss the point. Too bad for them. I am sorry my awareness of my life somehow threatens the faith of some Christians. :-/

Millions of bloggers say things in print for the eyes of fellow readers they would never say in church, in the pulpit or to someone they know at work. Why are we attracted to this? Voyeurism? Boredom? Or is it simply because it is an authentic fingerprint of the human journey. It’s an expression of real faith. Like poetry, it might be criticized for its content, but it stands or falls on its “trueness” to human nature.

I think the honesty of confessional bloggers is an amazing gift to the church, and I think the internet has allowed far more honest confession of what real life is like than any number of theology books. There is a desire to say things on blogs that we say no where else; to live in the moment and to report on the moment.

I pray that God blesses millions of confessional bloggers to tell the story of the faith and their faith journey in a way other people will recognize for its honesty and authenticity. I hope to always be one of that group, even at the risk of more shredding from those who believe the faith is an outline, an assignment and an argument, rather than a journey.

4. The blogosphere has incredible potential to create community. A few months ago, I stumbled across a Yahoo! Club whose members were all interested in voluntarily removing one or more of their limbs. The group conversed about amputation fantasies in incredible detail. It was a grotesque example of the internet’s ability to create a kind of community that almost certainly either didn’t exist before or existed only with great effort.

We might legitimately be concerned about some kinds of community the internet makes possible, but we all should be aware of the amazing ministry the internet has to people who feel isolated. Just in my recent personal experience of ministry, I have seen people I was counseling involved in support groups for terminally ill children, cancer survival and living with a spouse with a pornography addiction. The internet made these communal support systems readily accessible to hurting people.

From the first time I started writing Christian and personal material on the net, I began experiencing community with other people; people who thought they were alone and discovered I was on the same journey with them. No matter what I have written about, community forms around it. The Boar’s Head Tavern is a direct outgrowth of the community that formed around my IM critiques of evangelicalism.

My mailbox is constantly visited by letters from people who thought they were the only ones not excited about 40 Days of Jabez Left Behind; letters from people whose children have left the faith; letters from people who thought they could never voice their doubts about some aspect of the faith. Literally thousands of letters, all evidencing the desire to simply make contact with another person on the journey.

I must have 300 letters from people asking where to find a liturgical church that preaches the Bible. The blogosphere doesn’t just introduce us to one another. It allows us to share the same rough patches in our journeys; the same emotions and the resources that have helped us make it through.

Comments on my have particularly helped me experience community, as posts like The Pit Stop Updates reminded me of my many friends and supporters around the world. (I’ve also tasted the viciousness of the communal internet, as comment threads have created the opportunities to say things to me that are frightening and violently hateful.)

The blogosphere is more than just a way to challenge the dominance of the main stream Christian voices in our culture. It is a way for us to find one another and create bonds of friendship and community that many of our congregations and ministries are not able or willing to create. In this day when community is not a priority of the church, the blogosphere has a role to play in filling that void.

5. The blogosphere presents a conversation that will not be controlled. I always loved MST3K, but my kids were absolutely corrupted by it. They developed the habit of sitting through almost anything- including my sermons- making all sorts of funny cracks and comments to each other like Mike and the robots. The blogosphere has that same quality to it. Anyone can stand up and talk, but the rest of us can say what we want to one another and the world at the same time, and it doesn’t have to be applause or agreement. In other words, this is no longer a lecture by the approved teachers and preachers. It’s a free-wheeling conversation that won’t be controlled.

I love getting mail from fans of some famous preacher or teacher saying, “You shouldn’t say blah blah blah…” They aren’t talking about profanity or lies. They are talking about simple disagreement and criticism. I -the pirate blogger down here in the woods- shouldn’t write about their hero. I shouldn’t write about the people who have written books and have big churches. I shouldn’t speak out and speak up.

They can tell me to be quiet, but I can’t say what I think on my own blog. Hmmmmm. What’s wrong with that picture? It won’t work, that’s what’s wrong. Now hear this: no matter how loud they shout, we can always blog around them. There is a conversation going on in the blogosphere about everything. No matter how much any one church or author or minister tries to shout down or hype over the true conversation about Jesus, it won’t go away. Not in the emergent blogosphere. Not in the catholic blogosphere. Not among seekers, questioners, or people with stories some don’t want told. The conversation isn’t being muffled or smothered. It’s growing day by day, all over the world, as millions of people blog where their hearts and journeys take them.

That’s got to really irritate somebody. Can I hear an “Amen?”

The blogosphere is like a classroom where all the students have text messaging and camera phones. The lecture is going on, but another conversation is going on too. Yes, in a school you can confiscate those cell phones, but in the blogosphere, the people at the front of the room can’t stop or control the conversation.

The Bible, the Reformation and the Christian faith belong to us all. While evangelicalism has built its own hierarchy based on celebrity, numbers, books sales and radio stations, the blogosphere has the potential to be a great equalizer. We are supposed to sit and listen, amen, applaud, buy the books, believe the rhetoric. In actual fact, every man with a computer is a renegade pirate broadcaster. We all have a voice. The faith was once delivered to the saints….not to the caretakers of tradition and evangelical reputation. In our day and age, that faith is being rediscovered and celebrated on millions of blogs and by thousands of bloggers who will not go away or be quiet.

I am grateful every day for the ministry God has allowed me to have through Internet Monk. I am doubly grateful for the many bloggers who encourage me with their writing. I sense the great diversity and equality in the body of Christ in the blogosphere. When the voices of the “establishment” shout in frustration that ordinary bloggers like myself have an audience and an influence, I will rejoice even more. I would much prefer the faith be in the hands of a million bloggers than a few thousand self-appointed guardians of “the truth.” The conversation about Jesus has been going on for two thousand years. Let’s keep it going in a way never thought possible before.

I hope this essay encourages many of you to keep writing. There are some of us who are called to this ministry and we’ll find much joy in it. We will also be useful to the kingdom, at a time when some think the only place to see the church is in a 20,000 seat megachurch. There is another story- our story: tell it!

I’ll see you out on the open seas, friends. There’s much for a pirate to do these days.

Comments

  1. Curt Turner says:

    “Amen”. There is the real world where I live which is broken, messy, scary, profane, filled with risk, sadness, loneliness, sickness, hate, fear, doubt, death, love, hope, mercy, grace friends, faith and faithlessness. Loved ones lost, sick, isolated and alone. Then there is the church world. I haven’t talked to anyone in that world about what is real in many many years. What is the Gospel? What is God’s Love? What is bearing one another’s burdens if we live in a white-washed world of spiritual piety where the real can’t be tolerated? Thank you Monk. I have been given new hope that what is real is what Jesus is all about.

    Do we trust in our fortresses of doctrine and phony righteousness or do we step out into the dangerous hurricane of real life having to trust in Jesus alone. When it is the darkest there is only one real light, The one with the power and love able to hold on to us and always faithful with the real world. Your site opens up for me a community of saints that are stained but wrestle to know they belong to Christ who loved them and loves them through this struggle of life and opens the gates of hope leading one day to joy everlasting.

    Be a pirate, capture every ship out there and take us together to the real lover of our souls.

  2. You hit the nail on the head all round. Great post!

  3. Anthony Footit says:

    I think this is very much in the prophetic tradition, socially and spiritually. They were generally common people who took everyone to task for the social injustices and loss of meaning in their times.

    The truly beautiful part is… God could call anyone. They would succeed or fail on the truth and power of their message.

    In a smaller way, you’re doing the same. Just remember to be impeccable with your word. There’s a lot of prophets out there, and we have short attention spans. 🙂

  4. real live preacher says:

    Hey there,

    Amen to all of it. You put it in words. There is a new power in the world, and most of us didn’t even realize it until we were already sucked into its vortex. I know I didn’t.

    Interesting that you and I have a similar story. My church is small and off the beaten path, but real live preacher speaks across normal boundaries. It’s fun, fascinating, frightening, all of it.

    peace,

  5. Big Fat John says:

    While I agree with what you are saying, and most of the time I do, I can’t put my wanting to play devil’s advocate to bed. Don’t misunderstand me, in fact perhaps I am the one misunderstanding, but touching on the “When I am Weak” article (which is a masterpiece) you desribe the brokenness and frailty that is the human condition. It seems however when you fall victim to the masses of shallow evangelicals or the sharp rebukes from noted authors, theologians or apologists or perhaps see the greed and ulterior motives motivating the mega church pastors or best selling authors you aren’t as quick to apply the same understanding. Please correct my thinking if I am misinformed or simply being one of the idiots that so often get under your skin.
    Michael I love you…..go easy on me.

  6. John,

    First, I think you make a reasonable point, and I waded into the waters of those accusations when I blogged about Osteen.

    Of course, reasonable people would further consider that there is nothing odd about feeling my own depravity and pointing out that the media is about the crown a motivational speaker the king of evangelicalism. I am not Osteen’s judge and have no problem with him being whatever it is he says he is. He just doesn’t represent evangelicals. I didn’t write anything that denied my depravity or denounced him as a human being. Lots of us depraved people need to hear the Gospel, and if Osteen is the next Billy Graham, and we hear Positive thinking instead of the Gospel, we are going to feel worse.

    THere is a kind of critic who tends to work along these lines: We should all realize we are sinners. We are all a mess. We all should take care of ourselves. We should pray and stay out of other people’s business. We’re all too messed up to say or do anything that assumes we aren’t screwed up and therefore disqualified from teaching/writing/preaching, etc. These are folks who eventually say we should all stop writing, talking, teaching, leading and just go home and pray.

    I think they are mistaken. Peter, when you have gotten back up off the ground, go strengthen your brethren. Every pastoral command in the NT is given to weak, broken people. Rebuke. Warn. Preach. Correct. Discipline. etc.

    So I don’t find the idea that confession of my own sin removes me from writing about any other human problem to be persuasive.

    But as I said before, it is worth bringing up.

  7. Michael,

    I just want to know two things: When are you starting up the “Christian Pirates Alliance” and where can I sign my blog up for it?

    Seriously though, terrific essay.

    Brad

  8. We could have “Blog Like A Pirate Day.”

  9. Sounds like you guys arrr-ready do!

    🙂

  10. Big Fat John says:

    Thanks. Well said. Your humility is refreshing and appreciated. (Humorous pirate joke goes here.)

  11. Michael,

    Blog away, Matey. I appreciate you and your lucid stuff and nimble brain and ardent passion.

    A regular Blogological Blackbeard. Thanks.

    Rob

  12. Hi Michael,
    I am a young missionary of sorts on Capitol Hill and have enjoyed your site the past few months. I must say how thankful I am that you wrote this essay! I just started a blog a week ago, because I have been experiencing much newness in life and Christian sprituality and needed an outlet. I was a little scared to put myself and my thoughts out there because of the tendency of (older) Christians to supress and attack. After reading this essay, however, I felt an incredible peace that it was going to be OK and confirmation from the Holy Spirit that this blog really needed to happen. I thank the Lord for what he has put you through, so emerging younger leaders of the Church like me can be challenged and encouraged to carry the torch of the reality of Jesus through the ages to come.

    Thanks again for your heart, thoughts, and encouragement!
    -jeremy

  13. Yes, the blogosphere is a wide, wide ocean, so that makes landfall all that more precious. I think we all want to know that we are not alone, that the thoughts we have are not simply ours. In this mode of confession, Michael, you break us out of our loneliness, and bring us at least within sight of shore. Thank you for your persistence.

  14. Kelty Broadstone says:

    I am concerned over the idea that in the “blogosphere” I am allowing myself a truthfulness and honesty that my “real” life disallows or I am perhaps afraid to let known.

    I am concerned also over a writing or teaching which can go places it will never go in a pulpit. Why not take this to the pulpit? Perhaps this writing and teaching does make it to your pulpit, I hope so, at least among other things, consistency.

    A friend once said to me, “Is there not room to speak to friends without worrying about the kinds of responsibilities we shoulder in our 9 to 5
    relationhips to students and parishoners?” He and I are both teachers and I am a preacher as well.

    To which I responded, there is no room. As a pastor I feel I am pastor in all places at all times, in season and out of season, therefore, I am mindful of certain consistency between my blogs and my preaching and my living. I too have a congregation of about 20, probably more like 14.

    So I want to make sure I am hearing you correctly on this. Are you saying that in the blogosphere I get to say what I ordinarily wouldn’t say in the pulpit? To which I say, this seems a bit hypocritical, especially considering the influence of our words even here.

    When Luther nailed his thoughts for the world to read, he wasn’t without immediate reproach in the “real world”, he was not safe in a blogosphere. He lost his safe ministry for an unsafe ministry on the run.

    Again, perhaps there is consistency between your words here and your words in your pulpit, if not then I have would challenge you to be so and do so. And that would go for anyone else, including myself. If this is the only place we share such thoughts then, “Get real.”

    Grace and Peace.

  15. Can’t type much…just want to say I am not ordained to be confessional in the pulpit. Too self centered…I am ordained to preach the Gospel.

  16. kelty broadstone says:

    Seems a bit of a side-step and simplified, we are confessional in the pulpit and which means preaching the Gospel too, both/and. I can’t see the seperation. I don’t mean blog in the pulpit, rather consistency in what we mean by the Gospel in the pulpit and in the blog.

    I thought I was reading you say that there are places you can go in the blog you cannot go in the pulpit. Is that in relation to the Gospel, your theology or do you mean you can spend more time talking baseball etc. Which if that is what you mean, then by all means. However, the challenge of your essay was that you are able to challenge theologically and culturally. Again, your latest “Christian Humanist” is presenting your theology, in a manner of speaking. Does this make it into your pulpit. If not, why?

    You said “Can’t type much, . . .” so I will not be dissappointed with a later reply.

    Grace and Peace.

  17. I mean that I am not going to my pulpit and talk about about my personal journey in the same detail and length that I do on a blog. A blog is me talking to whatever audience chooses to read. My congregation ordained me to preach and teach the Gospel. My story comes up, but I really don’t believe the kind of self-indulgence the net allows a confessional blogger is what preaching is all about.

    Outside of the pulpit, in conversation with others, I may share some of the things I think and write, but again, I think I am like most writers: I say more on paper than in person.

    Writing is an extension of preaching for me in some ways, but I am not ordained and set aside by a congregation to talk about my doubts, fears, failures, etc.

  18. Brian Pendell says:

    Arr, does the good ship Imonk take landsmen?

    I’ve been a serf on the megachurch estates of Lord Warren, toiling away for the greater wealth of others. I desire to run away to sea ta seek me fortune!

    Respectfully,

    Ye Landsman Brian P.

  19. Arrrrr. 🙂 Ye’ve been linked, matey. I fancy a berth on this ship o’ yours.

  20. Not to be too self-promoting (is that a word/phrase) but I wrote a “white paper” called We Know More Than Our Pastors,

    http://www.e-church.com/resources.asp

    That discusses many of these same ideas, some would say excessively discusses these ideas with lots of typos, spelling and grammatical errors.

  21. Big Fat John says:

    I think our annoying pill promoter should be forced the walk the plank!

  22. Carol M. says:

    “…I am not ordained and set aside by a congregation to talk about my doubts, fears, failures, etc.””

    Say it isn’t so Michael!

    Yes, preachers are ordained to preach the Gospel, but I’m on a search committee right now and if we found a candidate willing to also talk about his/her doubts. fears, failures, etc., I would move to hire that person on the spot.

    You see, we have had too much of preachers who can expound on the Gospel and talk about failure and brokenness in general, but carefully keep their own struggles to themselves and carefully preserve the illusion of control and certainty – even when their personal lives were failing apart.

    What sort of leadership is that?

    A: The kind that leads people to think that they can never discuss their own brokenness or their own struggles and doubts in the church community.

    We could use more confessional “expression of real faith” and “honesty and authenticity” from the pulpit. Maybe then the internet wouldn’t be only place to turn to find a community where we can be honest and reach out for support.

    What does Christian Humanism mean if not that we all can risk being human in front of each other – rejoicing together where we reflect the image of God and lifting each other up where we are fallen? IMHO, if you haven’t preached at least some version of When I Am Weak and Running Wounded with your congregation, you are doing them a real disservice.

  23. NewCovChr says:

    I love reading your blog, and one of the main reasons is that it’s not all ‘cleaned up’ (not talking about grammar and punctuation) prior to you posting it. I think I understand the difference you’re trying to convey between the pulpit and blogging.

    I don’t take that to mean that you are two different people–one on the blog and another in the pulpit. They just serve different purposes. Sometimes your blog seems like a place for you to struggle and wrestle with theology and how it applies in the real world, and so often it is things that many can relate to. Who among us doesn’t do that? Reading someone who is willing to wrestle with these things aloud brings us back to reality and reminds us that we aren’t the only ones who still have a ways to go and that the human tendency to act like we’ve arrived doesn’t necessarily promote spiritual growth.

    Anyway, thanks for having the courage to openly share so much. We all struggle whether we’re willing to admit it or not.

    NewCovChr

  24. I talk about my own journey as is appropriate, but I am set aside to preach the Gospel. My story isn’t the Gospel. I get to play the part of a hearer, a sinner, a disciple, etc.

    Practically speaking….if you turn the pulpit into a full blown confessional, you won’t have a job for long 🙂

  25. iMonk… love it.

    i laughed out loud when i read that someone warned you “they are watching”!

    you’re a real encouragement, brother. i’m going out to buy an eye patch right now.

    : )
    s

  26. Who has told you that you are “leading Israel astray”? If you are, then I want to go astray too. Thanks and keep up the good work.

  27. kelty broadstone says:

    “you won’t have a job for long :-)”

    I can think of a worse condition . . .

  28. I’ll add my AMEN
    I just like to see my name in print.
    And for my hubby, it’s beginning to fine tune his writing. He wants to be a writer, but he is a dyslexic Bible Scholar, and has a real hard time putting his thoughts, wisdom, knowledge into words. At first he got offended by critisism, but it lead him to fine tune some of his writings, and he’s beginning to get the hang of it. Yeah, blog on…

  29. methinks you’re awesome… I’ve always loved the open water and the feeling of sailing an adventure : )

    I love how blogging gives a voice to anyone with a heart to share, it’s dynamic and liquid, and somehow keeps getting more saturated as we can roam the space of the blogsphere conversation to find more of God’s truth on the lips of those hearts burdened to share it!

    Thanks for your post, I’m encouraged for the open seas.

  30. And I quote: “The conversation about Jesus has been going on for two thousand years. Let’s keep it going in a way never thought possible before.” Preach it Brother, loud and clear. Let the Word be heard.

  31. Consider me a piratess – also out on the open sea – having recently jumped ship.

    What a treasure chest I have discovered today in your blog!

  32. I agree that the pastor is doing his best to stick with preaching and inject his story in small bites. There’s certainly something to be said for the flock knowing he’s fallible. It makes him more real and approachable. At least that’s what I’ve found with my pastor. But I would find it rather uncomfortable and would wonder at his discretion if he began talking about too much. Besides, I’m there for Bible teaching and worship, not to hear about his private life. If an example from his life fits, fine, but I don’t want to hear it just for the sake of his telling and I don’t want all the gory details.
    Thanks for the excellent post, IM. and by the way, we have regular Pirate Nights when our choir practices on Thursdays too! No mutiny yet.