A few weeks ago I had the chance to go to Off The Blogs in Atlanta. It was truly an amazing experience. I have to say I didn’t know what to expect when I went and many thanks to Farah for joining me in something she really had no interest in to start with.
It was a simple enough concept, get out from behind the computer and meet each other. For real, not the picture that is painted in the few words written about their lives in the weekly blog posts. I went with the hopes of grasping a better understanding of how they create community on their blogs, how to stimulate conversation and build relationships with their readers.
My first impression…WOW!! They had Aaron Keys lead a time of worship. Amazing. Absolutely Amazing. Not only the song choices but his knowledge and passion for the Psalms and God’s word. Breathtaking. At one point he read through Isaiah 61, I could have stayed and listened to him read the entire book of Isaiah if he had wanted to.
The event was hosted by Pete Wilson. Carlos Whitaker, Anne Jackson and Jon Acuff each took a time to share a part of themselves. (I highly recommend you check out their blogs.) Here are some of the amazing things I learned:
- Ground your Identity in Christ and not in the comments, the image or the words.
- “Fine” is the Christian F word and we need to stop a culture of just being fine.
- Be transparent. Everyone needs someone to say “me too”. People struggle and need to know that they are not alone.
- Be held Accountable. Place people in your life that will check up on you, love you and be completely honest with you.
- Give the Gift of Second. Be willing to share your testimony, your story first. Give someone else the courage to tell their story once you have told yours.
Regardless of how any of us choose to respond to God’s grace, it all has meaning. It all is a part of a bigger plan. Sometimes we do it imperfectly, sometimes we get it right and loose focus of our purpose. It is always used for His glory.