Thursday, July 17, 2014

Well, I'm Back

A couple nights ago I had the opportunity to meet with some folks who I connected with, basically, through this blog. And one of them asked a question that led to this blog post, “Why don't you blog anymore?” I gave them a brief answer and the conversation moved on. At the end of the night I was encouraged to start blogging again. At the time I didn't think much about it, but it hooked into my brain. Why don’t I blog anymore? I wanted to ponder it some more here.

It’s been well over a year since I've last posted to this blog. It wasn't my intention to stop blogging after I stepped down from my position in April 2013, but I found that I wasn't quite sure what to say here anymore. I initially started this blog for a few reasons:

1) In my early days of worship leadership I didn't have much depth, not much was solidly ‘sound’ in my doxology, but God was gracious and caused growth. I began to see much of the same shallowness that I saw in my early leadership happening in churches all around me. When I searched online for blogs and websites specifically relating to sound worship I didn't find much, so I decided to start my own. So in some ways I was writing to inform my past self, hoping that there were others who would benefit.

2) I also saw this place as a way to talk about what I was thinking through or what I found to be interesting. Hymns, liturgy, John Newton, songwriting, etc. In this way I was stretching my own thinking and trying to put a voice out there to anyone who wished to hear it. I found that one of the benefits in pondering these things on this blog is that it helped me develop a philosophy of worship for my congregation.

This eventually this led to an important shift in how I started using this blog, which was to serve my church. However it initially started, I wound up more and more thinking how I could utilize the Sound Doxology blog to serve my congregation. Whether it was through a song I wrote or re-tuned or a brief thought trail exploring the theological depths of a sentence said in a past sermon, I began to write things geared more towards the people whom God had allowed me to lead. And so when I stepped down last year I wasn't quite sure what to write anymore.

Since that time my family and I have had the opportunity to visit other congregations and I have found myself in a weird and unfamiliar place; the pew. When I was in a position of leadership I had the ability to take my own advice. I would write out of my experiences. If I led our congregation in a re-tuned hymn I could share it here. If I was pondering liturgy and how to implement certain aspects into the worship service, I could voice it here and actually follow up with it at church. I felt I could give advice to worship leaders about song selection here because I was also selecting songs. But now those things have changed for me.

As I mentioned, when I started writing this blog it was tough to find any good online resources about worship. But since then however, so many good blogs and websites have cropped up that it became much easier to point people there than to write the same thing over again. It’s actually pretty exciting when I think about it. Five years ago I couldn't find anything so I felt I needed to write. Today there is so much out there that it felt like I didn't need to write! And so I let it hang. The “purpose” of this blog was either fulfilled through other websites or no longer applicable because I no longer lead a congregation.

So here’s the plan. Because I’m still deeply interested in sound doxology, and because I was encouraged to do so by folks I admire and respect, I’m going to start writing here again. The narrow “purposes” of the blog will have to shift and the tone here will likely change. Sound doxology will still be the theme so you can continue to expect ruminations on hymns and worship and more John Newton. After all of the good things God has done through this blog in the past, and all of the people He has connected me with, I’m excited to see what is in store. I’m not singing melody anymore, but I can try to sing some harmony.

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