Today the 100,000th page was clicked on the M Blog. I know this isn't a big deal to anyone else, but for me it represents a milestone in something I felt the Lord leading me to do going back a little over three years ago now. Not to mention that it is pretty amazing to me that anyone at all would ever take the time to read my attempts at putting thoughts into cyberspace. Most of what we have to share is definitely a work in progress, constantly being modified as we continue to learn from the Lord.
Why do I blog?
Everyone has their own reasons, but for me it began a few years back. It dawned on me one day that I was personally doing very little to make disciples of the nations.
Guayaquil is our "Jerusalem", not the ends of the earth. Though we are international missionaries living in a cross-cultural setting, I was personally not doing much of anything to engage our own Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. What difference was there between what we were doing, and all those other churches out there equally focused almost exclusively on their own Jerusalems?
After some prayer and soul-searching, I decided to try and reach beyond our Jerusalem and begin to impact in at least some small way the Judeans, Samaritans, and nations beyond.
Blogging is one of the ways we have been able to do this. No, it is not the blog itself that impacts, but the PEOPLE reading who are actively engaged in being witnesses to their own J,J,S, and ends of the earth.
Example: Last week a brother who had read some of our writings, contacted me by email and we set up a meeting to talk about ways we could partner to reach his "Jerusalem" (and what is for us, our "Judea"). We were both mutually encouraged, and have begun praying that the Lord of the Harvest would send a team from somewhere to help us engage his area of the province in evangelism, discipleship, and church planting. Without the blog, and his having read the article, this meeting would probably never have taken place.
Many times a blog post written by myself or others touches upon an aspect that another brother is dealing with personally. Private emails and public comments are exchanged which often stimulate new ideas and function ala Hebrews 10 to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together...but encouraging one another... for more effective service.
Examples of this would be posts like What are we doing here? or Returning to Ecuador being used to encourage fellow laborers out there likewise going through times of questioning their own ministry, and hearing from fellow laborers that, we too, feel and sense these same kinds of weaknesses.
Likewise, I have received from other people's posts key insights, ideas, suggestions which we have used in our own church planting ministry. These examples are almost too numerous to mention. But in this way we are impacting one another's ministries for the good of the Kingdom.
One of the unforeseen ministries that has quietly evolved out of blogging, is the stream of emails and inquiries generated coming in from all over the Spanish-speaking world. Sometimes they are from fellow missionaries, but most come from brothers and sisters who have questions and do not know where to turn for answers. There are few resources available in Spanish for the who, what, when, where, and how of simple church, and church planting in general. I observe a swelling tidal wave of people beginning to explore and reexamine the NT in light of church practice--especially related to the "nuts and bolts" of doing simple/organic/house church practice. I have mailed out dozens of copies of our materials over the past three years to church planters all over the Americas. Sometimes I hear back from them, sometimes not. Related to this is a good amount of time spent weekly answering inquiries generated by people passing on posts and information originating from material read on the "M Blog." In this way we are able to have an influence not only our own Jerusalem, but on far-away places which we normally would never have a chance to engage.
As time has gone by, we have added to the blogging other projects to engage our Judea and Samaria that are beginning to yield tremendous fruit. One of these is our "Guayas for Christ" project to reach our Judea.
To engage our Samaria, our church planting team is currently partnering directly/indirectly with several ministry projects which seek to engage overlooked, or marginalized people's in our midst: the abandoned elderly, AIDS victims, street kids (gangs), women in prostitution, delinquent youth, and homosexuals.
This whole Acts 1:8 mindset is being caught by the churches in our network. It is exciting to sit with them over discussions of how they might be able to impact places like India, the surrounding provinces, and the jungles of Peru. Money doesn't seem to be the central issue; rather discernment of the Lord's will, prayer, faith, and how if we sacrificed more, we might be able to send at least one person as a short-term missionary.
So, in a nutshell, that is why I blog. Thanks for reading and especially for all you do in obedience to engage in the task of making disciples of the nations.