It’s been almost four years since I’ve blogged. I previously set up a site entitled Double Usefulness in 2006 and had run it for a long time, enjoying the process of blogging. As 2012 came to an end I decided to discontinue that project, really for a few reasons:
- I worried about it looking like I thought I was an expert in areas I’m only coming to understand for myself, or learning to apply in my own life;
- I was concerned about being narcissistic or self-promoting, imagining that the world wanted to know the inner workings of my brain;
- I struggle a little with trying to publicise my writing, and building an audience;
- Pastoral ministry is a busy place to live, and the blog was often relegated to quite far down my ‘to-do’ list.
As time has passed I have been blessed by invitations to write bits and pieces in other forums, mostly book reviews. It is so fulfilling to make time in my schedule to think out loud about books I’m encountering, or ideas I’ve been mulling over. And yet there has still been a sense of compulsion to write on other things which wouldn’t be worthy of being published anywhere else – short or ephemeral pieces on life, ministry and reading. Over and over again I’ve had itchy fingers to blog again but the above reasons have prevented me from acting on it.
For some reason, now seems like a good time to try again. I want this blog to serve as a kind of public notepad or sketchbook where half formed thoughts and ideas are aired and worked through, and where I can share some issues which pastoral ministry itself throws up from time to time. In an effort to avoid the concerns which made Double Usefulness a thing of the past, the following are some principles which will underpin everything I post here:
- ‘I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn, and learn as they write’ – this adage from St. Augustine was the strapline of my old blog. It will be at the heart of this new one.
- I will try to keep my posts restricted to objective observation rather than subjective experience. I don’t want this blog to be about me, but about God’s work in my life and the things which I see him teaching me in my own spiritual and pastoral pilgrimage
So ‘Thinking Pastorally’ is now underway. I’ll look forward to sharing, interacting and reflecting with those who decide to enter this adventure with me.