Blogging Fast

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : August 21, 2005

I am by nature a man of action.  When I find something that I want to do, I strategize my steps and spring to action.  I didn’t know this about myself until I was in my mid 20s.  For most of my youth I was an introverted extrovert.  I’m convinced that I was depressed through most of my teen years.  I was incredibly self-conscious and had low self esteem.  I had few friends, spent alot of time daydreaming, and spent alot of my time taking care of my ill mother (who passed away when I was 19).  Slowly, as I got more and more involved in ministry, I began to come out of my shell.  The past couple of years in particular have been a blur.  Many of the milestones from the past year have been documented in this blog.  This blog has been a spiritual discipline–a way for me to gather my thoughts, connect with new people, and document the flow of my life.

But blogging can be a hinderance to action.  There is a lot of talk in the blogosphere.  The little corner of the blogosphere that I’m tapped into talks alot about how church ought to be.  Most of you read my blog because you agree with my vision for the church.  My conversations with many of you, and with other bloggers, has been encouraging and uplifting.  But I feel I need to take a couple weeks off. 

I’ve begun to realize that I enjoy the affirmation too much.  Sometimes, being affirmed for having good ideas can be a substitute for being affirmed for producing good works.  In the blogosphere, the person with the best ideas is often respected, while the quiet saint who labors the fields is unheard.  Ranting online about the marginalized to the agreement of others can almost be a substitute for empowering the marginalized.  Venting online about diversity can be a substitute for real reconciliation.  Pontificating online about reaching the cynic can replace meeting cynics.  Talk is cheap.  But the blogosphere is fueled by talk.  And while the blogosphere has its place and has inspired many people towards bold acts, it can sometimes become a substitute for bold acts.  It’s not as though all I do is sit around and blog all day.  I’m doing alot right now in my life.  Sometimes it is too much.  But in all my discussion of bold ideas, I’ve failed to take the bold steps.  And right now, in this place, at this time, I need to stop talking about bold ideas and start taking bold steps.
I need to take more joy in laboring in the fields, and focus less of my
energy in talking shop.

I’ve been active in the past year, and done some good things.  But I haven’t been BOLD.  Boldness flows out of being Spirit-filled and obedient to the Spirit’s leading.  And until I can really step out in the sort of Spirit-filled obedience that leads to action, I don’t feel like I have anything more I can say. 

In conjunction, I’m going to attempt a sort of personal vow.  At Missio Dei, I’m going to stop talking about what we OUGHT to do, for 2 weeks.  Instead, I want to do more of the things I talk about, and encourage people to join me in those things.  It is a short period of time, but I hope it will give me better perspective. 

So this will be my last blog for a while.  I hope I’ll only be absent from blogging for a couple weeks, but I can’t say for sure.  For the next couple of days, I’ll respond to some of your comments if you leave any.  But after that, things will be silent for a while.

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4 Responses to “Blogging Fast”

  1. Michelle on August 22nd, 2005 12:18 am

    Yes, but could you still please check and help me out with some of the things I’m trying to grasp with postmodernism and emergent. I’ve just begun reading the books, and am working through some ideas and was hoping for some help from your end of things. In a way it really is action since you would be helping me come to some understandings about things, or at least let me know if I’m on the right track.

    On a side note: My friend Greg might contact you about the leaf and bean and a lady named Gina too.

  2. Van S on August 22nd, 2005 12:23 am


    I’d be glad to answer your questions. Just send email me with anything you’d like to know.

  3. jeff on August 23rd, 2005 3:12 pm

    Good for you, Mark! I love a man of action. ROAR!

  4. Bill Reed on September 1st, 2005 4:00 pm

    Great blog! Hold Jesus High!

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