This post is my one thousandth article on the site, and I thought it was worth noting. It is not quite the case that I have written 1,000 articles, since some have been republished (most notably ‘Jesus was not born in a stable’, my most view post by a long way) and I have also welcomed contributions from guest writers on several occasions. Nonetheless, it is a milestone worth noting.
In term of statistics, the 1,000 articles have attracted 29,755 comments, and the site has had 3,190,853 page views since my first posting in 2011, though I only started regularly posting in 2013 after leaving my post in a theological college. It has been an exciting and slightly unexpected journey; I heard God call me very clearly to ‘write’ in summer 2012, and after the abrupt leaving of my teaching job in May the following year, hadn’t quite expected the blog to take off in the way it has. I hope and pray that it has served the people of God, including leaders, in their ministry and discipleship, but there have also been significant benefits for me. Someone once commented that the three key intellectual disciplines are reading, speaking and writing—and it is writing which forces you to hone your thoughts most sharply. Writing two or three 2,000 articles a week on the blog has certainly formed my own thinking, understanding, preaching and praying.
Of course, writing of any kind is never an isolated activity, and I am grateful for all who have supported and contributed to the enterprise. I am very grateful for those who have given financial support through Patreon. I am grateful for encouraging comments along the way, and for all those who have commended the blog and shared it with others. I am grateful for all those who take time to make comments and contribute to making this a space for clear (and sometimes robust!) exchange of views. I am grateful for those (including Andrew Goddard, Peter Ould, Liz Shercliff, Will Jones, Richard Peers and James Cary) who have make guest contributions. And above all I am grateful to my wife Maggie who has supported me in every way on this journey.
Looking to the future, there still seems to be plenty to do—my goal continues to be as stated in the streamline: ‘scholarship serving ministry’ so I will continue in my own study, my own ministry, and my working connecting these two worlds. I hope to continue the output for the foreseeable future, and this year hope to be able to make comments on Sunday lectionary readings on a regular basis in order to support and encourage good preaching across different traditions in the churches. Sexuality will continue to be a hotly contested issue in the Church of England, and I will continue to engage with that—though keeping it in its place (it still only represents around 10% of my posts, even though it generates more discussion and traffic!).
I would like to explore offering podcasts and perhaps creating some video podcasts, once I am clear how these would work best and to whom they would be useful and appeal. And I hope soon to reconfigure the way that people can offer support—not just financial, but personal and prayerful as well.
If you have any reflections on this ministry, and any suggestions for change and for future directions, I would love to hear them in the comments. Thanks for reading!
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