I thought I’d lost my voice. I’d sit in front of my laptop and stare at the blank white page with the blinking cursor. Nothing. After much prayer and many moons without a new blog that got me excited, I asked God to show me why I lacked the inspiration. What He revealed was not what I expected, nor at a place I would have thought could reveal the answer.
I recently attended the Echo conference, which is really a cool, hip conference for designers, creatives and communicators from the church world. My friends Rob Thomas and Jeff Parker have created something special with Echo and it showed with the incredibly talented, and mostly young people speaking and attending the conference. As I write this, I’m 39. That’s not “old” unless it’s in relation to 20-something creatives that saturated the Echo conference. After two days of watching young, passionate, burgeoning leaders teach and share, I realized I was no longer tethered to this kind of conference. Since my own 20-something age (23), I’ve spent the majority of those years teaching at conferences that drew the kinds of crowds that Echo has attracted. Yet God spoke clearly to me at Echo and severed the tether of my desire to be a part of that space as a leader.
What I’ve learned is that God needed me to set aside my past experiences and “career” and start with a fresh, blank page. Instead of blogging about the things that used to consume my work, He’s breathing into me a whole new book, not just a new chapter. Some of the things that I was exploring have matured and are now ready to go to the next level, but the audio/video/lighting techie-focus has been put away.
Replacing the years of consulting and technical writing is a new heart bursting with new ways of thinking about processing change, paradigm-shifting and innovation mapping.
For this new season of life, I’m called to serve an old friend and mentor, Jeff Hook, at Fellowship Technologies. For those unaware of this company, Fellowship Technologies is the company that launched Fellowship One, which is a web-based church management software solution for churches. In my current role as Director of Communications, I’m working with a talented team of people that are redefining the way this fast-growing company is affecting the church marketplace. As anyone who knows me can attest, I’m a guy who lives for communicating vision, telling compelling stories and motivating real, tangible change.
My new writing voice is focused on three things: processing change, paradigm-shifting and innovation mapping. I don’t think those are three real titles, but they do articulate a maturing of the things I’ve been saying for a while in the midst of my tech articles and blog posts. In essence, I desire to be a catalyst and instructor in helping churches rethink and even re-answer the most important question of all: “Why?”
For example, while most churches are trying to get up to speed on social media by jumping head-first into Facebook and maybe Twitter, I’m helping to refocus efforts on first evaluating the “what” churches are doing and asking them to stop and ask the simple question “Why are we doing (insert ministry/activity/thing here)?” Again. And again. Across the board, from weekend services to each department to all of the ministries throughout the church, it’s not safe to assume; it’s time to re-align to the unique God-given vision of each local church.
I feel that my work at Fellowship Technologies as an innovator in a team of thought leaders is a great place for me to exercise this new voice. It’s also allowing me to refine my messaging and blog about things well outside of the company I work for, all while being faithful to that which I know I’m called to do: serve church leaders.
When I sit in front of the blinking cursor today, I no longer see a blank screen – I see a new chapter and a canvas upon which I can creatively share my passion. I have once again found my voice.