It’s been said that the only thing that is constant is change. (Heraclitus, 534-474 BC)
Thankfully that’s not entirely true. We serve a God who never changes.
But for everything else? Heraclitus had it right.
Now it’s time for me to practice what I’ve been preaching.
Next month (July, 2015) I will write my final post for this site. After that, NewSmallChurch.com will no longer be an active blog.
That’s the bad news – and the first part of this change.
Now for the good news – and the second part of this change.
NewSmallChurch.com is ending so that something even better can begin.
Starting in late July, 2015, I will be blogging for Leadership Journal at ChristianityToday.com!
When the new blog starts, it won’t look much different from what you’re used to seeing, aside from the Leadership Journal layout and the ChristianityToday.com web address. I’ll be blogging on the same subjects as I’ve done here. And I’ll be back to my regular three-times-a-week schedule (you may have noticed I haven’t kept that schedule for the last few months. It’s taken a lot of work to prepare for this).
An Invitation and an Opportunity
So how did this new adventure come about?
This is an opportunity I never expected. And it started with a surprising invitation.
Almost a year ago Drew Dyck, the editor of Leadership Journal, asked me if I would like to become a regular contributor to their magazine. I said a very enthusiastic “yes”, so the last several print issues have featured articles by me on Small Church issues. (Click here to read my latest article for them.)
But that was just the beginning.
In addition to the quarterly print magazine, Leadership Journal has been operating under a new website/blogging model. Instead of having their own standalone website, all the magazines operated by Christianity Today are under one roof at ChristianityToday.com.
This gives them a stronger web presence and allows them to serve their subscribers better – including giving their readers one place to get all their resources.
That’s part 1, and it’s been in place for over a year.
Part 2? Well, that’s where I come in.
In order to get as much information as possible into the hands of their readers, Leadership Journal is partnering with a few carefully chosen bloggers who can help them fulfill their mission of encouraging and equipping church leaders. So Drew Dyck contacted me again to ask if I’d consider blogging for them.
I was stunned by the offer. And, to be honest, a little wary, too. After all, I’d worked hard to build NewSmallChurch.com. And it has attracted a much larger audience of readers than I ever expected to have. Now he was asking me to give it all up?
So I did what I always do in such situations.
I panicked. (Just kidding).
I thought about it.
I called friends and mentors to ask them what they thought.
Then I prayed some more.
I wrote down a lot of questions that came from those prayers, conversations and long evenings thinking. Then I called Drew Dyck and ran them all by him.
Obviously, he answered those questions well, since I am making this leap, but there are a lot of them, so I’ll be taking the next few blog posts (the final ones for NewSmallChurch.com) to tell you what many of those questions were, along with Leadership Journal’s answers.
Some questions I’ll write about in the next week include…
- Will readers have to be paid subscribers? (Hint: you can keep your credit card in your pocket)
- Will I need editorial approval for what I write?
- What happens to NewSmallChurch.com and the posts I’ve already written?
- How will people buy The Grasshopper Myth without NewSmallChurch.com?
- How will current subscribers follow me to the new blog?
- …and more
I Need Your Help
None of this has happened without a lot of help. From God’s blessing, to my family’s support, to my church’s unwavering encouragement.
But none of that help surprised me. After all, they’ve supported and encouraged me for years.
What surprised me is you.
There are so many of you who read, comment, subscribe and share every blog post I write. I’ve met many of you and made some great new friends – most online, many in person. I’ve heard your stories. I’ve prayed with and for you. You’ve prayed with and for me. And I’ve been blessed beyond measure to hear how this blog has encouraged so many Small Churches and their leaders to stay the course.
So now, I’m asking you to partner with me on this new leg of a journey I never expected to take.
Come with me to ChristianityToday.com. Keep reading, commenting and sharing.
This is a first-of-its-kind opportunity for the voices of Small Churches and their pastors to be heard in the broader church leadership world. I need you with me if I hope to represent you well.
Small Churches Matter – And not Just to Us
We know Small Churches matter.
And now Leadership Journal and Christianity Today are stepping up in a big way to say we matter, too. In fact, they care so much about Small Churches that they’re taking a big risk with their reputation (letting me be an official voice for them) and their finances (a $10,000 investment to build my new blog) to say they support Small Churches and their leaders.
This move will bring a lot of new readers into this conversation. Possibly as much as ten-fold, overnight.
Many of these new readers will be Small Church leaders who will grab onto this encouragement like a lifeline, just as I did several years ago, and as many of you have done through reading this blog and The Grasshopper Myth.
But I also expect some negative feedback, too.
The idea that Small Churches have value is counter to the way a lot of church leaders have been taught to think about the church. I know, because I didn’t come to it easily myself.
I think I have thick skin. But I don’t know how thick it will need to be. So I need your prayers.
Pray that the Lord will help me write well.
Pray that I’ll say the right things, in the right way, at the right time.
Pray that those who react negatively will do so with kindness and a desire to elevate this much-needed conversation.
Pray that I will respond with grace to those who disagree disagreeably – and not take the mean comments to heart.
But mostly, pray that this important message will get to the pastors, teachers, deacons and other Small Church leaders who need it the most.
Pray for the discouraged to be encouraged.
Pray for the unequipped to get the resources they need.
Pray for lonely church leaders to know they’re not alone.
Pray that they will know that we care. That Leadership Journal cares. That ChristianityToday.com cares.
But mostly, that God cares.
For them. For their families. For their churches. And for the people they’re called to reach with the life-saving power of the Gospel of Jesus.
In my next post, I’ll let you know the name for the new blog!
Also, if you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section. I’ll either answer them there, or add them to my list for the final NewSmallChurch.com posts.
We want to hear from you. Yes, you!
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