May 17, 2016

Impact and Measure: The Writer's Call - by Rohadi

Over seven years ago, the late Michael Spencer wrote a three blog post series with a prediction: the collapse of evangelicalism was imminent The series garnered incredible interest and critique including a feature in CSMonitor. With three years left before his prediction expires it appears he won’t be right--a cataclysmic collapse isn’t imminent.

At the same time I penned a response to the very same question, but from a Canadian perspective. Given the cultural differences between the two countries, I reasoned, if there was a coming collapse, Canadian evangelicals should be the first to go.

Unlike Spencer’s articles nobody read mine. That wasn’t the first time when I thought I had a hit but got *cricket*, *cricket*, instead. All that work and nobody reads my stuff, I thought. Is it even worth spending the time writing?

Blogging for a particularly niche area generally means writing to an empty room. Recently, I've been reminded that's not the case as friends and acquaintances started to engage with new thoughts and ideas they pulled from my blog. It was then I realized two things: more people were being impacted by my words than I expected, and my words could harm.

It's one thing to announce the emperor has no clothes, which I readily do, but any loudmouth with a keyboard can do the same. It’s quite another to use words and ideas to point to a better alternative (or better conversation). Very recently, almost ten years after starting my blog (I’m a slow learner), I came to an intentional decision: I can write about what I’m against, or I can write for what I’m for. The subtle difference makes the world of change in my words, but more importantly my heart.

Our words, especially when they hit the public, can be used in many ways. We certainly want to be agents of change in a land that sorrily needs beauty, but sometimes it’s not entirely evident when our work makes an impact (which is normal). Consider this next time you pen a thought or paragraph: the number of page likes, views, shares, or books sold doesn’t matter. The impact of our words isn’t our measure. What matters is whether or not we were faithful in penning them to begin with. What happens after that is up to God.


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Rohadi can be found at his blog sharing ideas on church planting and the missional church. His first book hits shelves this June. Soul Coats: Restoration is an adult coloring book with Bible scenes and scriptures.

8 comments:

  1. "I can write about what I’m against, or I can write for what I’m for. The subtle difference makes the world of change in my words, but more importantly my heart." This is very powerful stuff, Rohadi. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Absolutely agree. Even if just one person is our audience, our words matter. May my words edify and glorify and, as you penned, add beauty.

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  3. I like your subtle difference, Rohadi. These are the days of "rally around my gripe". Presenting people with an alternative seems to startle some. As believers, we can be like Jesus and make people think about that which is wholesome, lovely, encouraging... Good post!

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    1. More people notice the difference than we give credit for!

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  4. Bravo! Your blog is well-thought out and well written, and we all need to pay attention. It is so easy to criticize people, actions, situations, but how about pointing out the good way, the truth.

    Your post reminded me of the following Bible quotation from Phillipians 4: 8. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

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  5. Rhoadi, thank you for this encouraging post. Yes it can be easier to write against something, than for something. I connect with your line:
    "We certainly want to be agents of change in a land that sorrily needs beauty, but sometimes it’s not entirely evident when our work makes an impact"
    The land needs more beautiful posts like this!

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    1. Thanks. We're all adding beauty with our words :D

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