It’s been several weeks since I’ve sat down and written anything. You could say I have been on somewhat of a hiatus since my last article.
When I wrote “5 Really Bad Reasons To Leave Your Church” I had no idea the article would reach as far as it did. It was originally written to the relatively small contingent of people who read my still very new personal site. I was more than a little unprepared for what was to come when Relevant Magazine, On Faith and numerous smaller sites picked up the article.
Prior to last month, I’d never had to deal with the implications that come with such a wide readership. I had never previously had to decide what to read about myself and what not to read, what to respond to and what to ignore, when to encourage ongoing engagement and when to stop the conversation on my end simply because I have other things I am responsible for, like a family and a church to tend to.
Prior to last month I hadn’t had the surreal experience of having numerous blogs and articles assume so much about my character and motivations for writing what I did. To make matters worse, one popular website linked to our church’s website, giving thousands immediate access to my personal email address. To say I’ve been swamped would be an understatement.
It has been quite the learning experience.
Of course, those who know me know I am no celebrity. (As I told our church, “some people seem to have to missed the fact that I am a pastor of a relatively small church plant in Nebraska. I am not a big deal. I know it, you know it, but a lot of others seem to have missed that fact.”) However, I will say the experience has softened my heart to those who live and lead in the public eye. I am convinced that those who so desperately want celebrity don’t fully understand the cost that often comes with it.
For my own part, I have chosen to step back for a little while. Rather than choosing to go right for the proverbial pen and defend what I’ve written (which I stand by, by the way), I have instead chosen in this season to take a break, to rest in Jesus, and to be present at home with my family while we come down the home stretch of seminary and the arrival of our third child in several short weeks.
I have much more in me bursting to get out, but for now I rest. Thank you to all of you who have already shared and respectfully contributed to the conversation. I know for my part I am better for it. I think we all are.
Here’s to the next leg of the journey.