Just wanted to drop a quick note about this. I’ve been asked by an old friend and minister of mine if I could share my varied experiences on seminary life and work on a couple of sites. As those writings get posted, I’ll link to them from here. But, if you’re a seminarian, let me encourage you to follow these sites for my ideas and information on how to engage in seminary preparation, study, life, spirituality, and work well. Both of these sites are in the midst of a revitalization process, so expect some cosmetic looks in the weeks and months ahead. Let me know what you think! Here are the sites:
Check out all of my Going To Seminary posts.
I’m currently reading through Ruth Haley Barton’s Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership. Occasionally, I’ll post reflections on my reading.
The chapter I just read had to do with leadership being something that is meant to be a public good. Leadership is never simply for the sake of those you’re leading. It’s meant to overflow into the systems, institutions, cultures, and communities around you. And so, our avenues of leadership are meant to be vehicles to change the world.
Thinking about this, I realized that my most public form of leadership is probably through this blog.
Of all my Christian friends (including my seminary classmates), I keep up with politics more than any. I say sadly, because I don’t have many people and places to get my thoughts directly challenged, critiqued, and kept accountable. And for me, that’s what I need. I feel like I need my mind to feel a freedom to wander and stretch and try things out–but I need others to reign me in.
This is also how I lead. My tendency is to constantly reshape my sphere of influence; to try new things and keep things fluid. For me, then, team leadership works best, so that I have people to tell me I’m crazy and need to relax. This is also why I blog. A blog is, in essence, “public writing”.
Because I tend to dwell deeply in the political realities of the world more than many other Christians in my life, I see much of my role as a public writer as bringing Christian truths to bear on real-world issues in ways that both challenge and further the polarized conversations in the world today. Through national political campaigns, I write frequently on the debates, the State of the Union, the issues, etc. in order to communicate in a clear way to the everyday person what’s going on and why they should care.
I just got to Season 4 last night. Hooooly crap.
I have a really good friend, David, who loves me a lot. I’ve often considered him my “best friend” (as awkward as that strangely feels for me to say–as a guy). I’ve known him since I was in college in Richmond, Virginia. We would spend hours upon hours at our favorite Richmond coffee-shop talking theology, life, and books. We’ve been through a lot together (we even tried to keep a fledgling online magazine running for a time).
But through the course of our friendship, every once and a while, he’s had to take what he calls “Paul breaks”. These are periods ranging from a couple of weeks to a couple of months where I won’t see him or talk to him. They usually follow a season of intense hanging out where we saw each other for many hours for many days in a row.
I’m an intense guy. He’s a laid-back guy. And so, after a time like this, he’s needed a break from me.
But this wasn’t because he didn’t love me or didn’t care about our friendship, it was precisely because he loved me and wanted our friendship to continue.
And so it has been with this blog.
Those that know a little about the history of computers may have heard that phrase as the traditional first thing anyone programs when learning a new programming language. I’m wondering if this counts. It certainly feels, at least, like I’m blogging in a new language.
Yes, in case you’re wondering, this post is mainly a test got me to see how simple this could be. Could I blog regularly from my phone? Perhaps. I’ve got to admit- -this post is coming along pretty quickly.
I should wrap this up. I’m currently in miami at the airport waiting for my girlfriend (yes, I have one of those) to pick me up for this weekend trip. I’ve got several blog posts in queue that should be going live in the next couple of weeks; my flights back to philly will be kind of long, so I’ll hopefully work on them then.
That’s it for me, I guess. I think this little experiment went well enough. I could see myself doing this from time to time to give little personal updates. We’ll see. Well, I’m of to brave this terrible, terrible 90° humid weather, while my beloved philly is resting securely in the 70’s.
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