Back in early 2009 when I first started this blog, I was a student ministry intern interviewing to get my current position as an associate pastor. Blogging provided an opportunity to organize my thoughts, and think through why things did and did not work. Since I enjoy writing, blogging was a good medium for me to explore my thoughts on ministry.
At the time I did not realize how exciting, difficult, and stressful 2009 was going to be. The entire year was a roller coaster ride of ministry highs and lows. I faced the harshest criticism of my entire life while also being a part of some extraordinarily exciting moments in ministry. All the while, I kept this blog.
As time passed, I felt less comfortable writing about ministry as I realized my own inadequacies. The wonderful thing about the internet is that it levels the playing fields and gives everyone an opportunity to have a voice. The problem with the internet is that it levels the playing field and gives everyone an opportunity to have a voice. I stopped being comfortable writing because I started to feel that written me was way better than actual me. I didn’t have all the answers, and I didn’t want to be the guy focusing on his strengths, ignoring his weaknesses, and writing theories he hadn’t practiced himself.
Eventually, I stopped writing.
Since then, a full generation of high school students have passed through my ministry. In those years, my high school ministry alone has had seven different meeting spaces. In two months, I’ll be five years out of college, and in September, I will have been at my church for five years. While the time has flown by, 2009 seems like such a long time ago.
Recently, I started to re-read my old blog posts, and remember all the wild and creative ideas I used to have. The 2009 version of me would probably perceive me now as having too safe of a student ministry, without much excitement. Of course, when I think about what I did back then, I was great with outside the box creativity, but there was very little community or actual discipleship. Sean 2009 and Sean 2013 have two very different perspectives on ministry.
That gave me a new idea. What if I started to re-post my old blogs, and then respond to my old posts? It’s the same person at the same church, but at two different times in their life and ministry. What if I used my old blog posts to give two perspectives on ministry? The first perspective is of a young intern/pastor who is filled with ideas who is just entering ministry, and the other perspective is of a more experienced pastor who’s learned some humility and wisdom through failure.