Shutting This Down, Moving On

I’ve been blogging since I was in roughly the eighth grade. I earned a college scholarship because of a blog I wrote in high school. I blogged throughout college and have read (and managed) dozens of Christian blogs over the years.

Shortly after I arrived at LifeWay in September 2013, I ran into Trevin Wax in the LifeWay cafeteria (which is now a pile of rubble…this is not a metaphor).

I read his blog throughout college, but I didn’t know he worked at LifeWay, so I was confused to see him at my new workplace.

We got to talking and eventually he asked me if I would be interested in him mentoring me as a writer. I obviously said I would be interested, and in the spring of 2014, he told me he saw a need he thought I could fill in the Christian blogosphere.

I never thought I’d be talking to Trevin Wax about where I would fit into the “Christian blogosphere.”

He said he saw a need for older Christian pastors and leaders to better understand the Millennial generation. As he put it, most of the “advice” to pastors about reaching Millennials directed pastors to change their convictions to accommodate the more “liberal” beliefs of young people. I recognized this phenomenon as well, but I wasn’t sure I was the person to offer an alternative.

He proposed the idea of a blog dedicated to helping evangelical church leaders better understand Millennials. I didn’t want to be the “Millennial guy” and definitely didn’t want “Millennial” to be in the masthead of the blog.

Well. Trevin won that battle, obviously.

From the launch of the blog in June 2014 until now, a lot has happened.

I entered a partnership with a radio station in Minneapolis, MN. I still join them twice a month on Friday mornings. I love the radio environment.

I wrote a book after some prodding from friends to try it. I don’t plan to do that again.

I’ve had the opportunity to speak to groups of pastors, parents, and church leaders about Millennials and faith.

It’s been a lot of fun, and I’m thankful the Lord saw fit to give me this season.

On the first post at this blog, I wrote:

When I see a need, I want to fill it if I am able. A friend and I see a need for thoughtful conversation about Millennials in the Christian blogosphere. Countless Gen-Xers and Boomers write often about Millennials and Millennial Evangelicals. Nobody wants to be “the voice of Millennials” because nobody can accurately describe every Millennial all the time, even Millennials themselves.

My goal here is not to be “the voice of Millennials.” But, I thought it would be helpful steward the resources the Lord has given me to help the church understand and reach the Millennial generation: both Evangelical and not.

Every post on this blog will attempt to answer this question: “How does this post help God’s people understand, reach, and/or serve Millennials?”

If you’re looking for scientific research and analysis on Millennials, you might be in the wrong place. If you’re looking for the smartest Millennial on the Internet to share secret inside information on his generation, you’re probably in the wrong place. If you’re looking for a seasoned pastor sharing wisdom from his 30 years of ministry experience, you’re definitely in the wrong place. If you’re looking for an imperfect, but thoughtful, resource to help the church understand, reach, and serve Millennials, you’re in the right place. I claim no scholarly authority when it comes to the Millennial generation. I will likely make mistakes, using broad strokes to paint a picture of a diverse generation.

So, I come before you, the reader, humbly sharing my imperfect observations and personal experiences to help God’s people know and love the largest generation the world has ever seen. As far as I’m concerned, this is not my blog. This is the Church’s blog, and I’m just trying to keep it going. Feel free to send complaints, compliments, or blog ideas via the contact page. Let’s learn together.

I hope this blog has been that for you. But now it’s time to move on.

Why Shut It Down?

I lead the student ministry at our church, and one of the common refrains I hear from students (or others) is, “I don’t have time for _________.”

I used to say this often until sometime in college when someone said, “It’s not that you don’t have time. You make time for what you want to do.”

I have time to run this blog. But, I don’t want to make time to run this blog anymore, and that’s been the case for the better part of a year.

Like I said above, I lead the student ministry at our church. That currently takes at least two nights of my week and often some time on the weekends.

I need to be giving more time to my wife. The last thing I need to do when we’re together is shut myself in my office and hammer out a blog post for 1000 people to read.

I used to write much of this blog on the weekends. I basically don’t open my laptop on the weekends anymore because sitting in front of my laptop feels like work no matter what I’m doing.

These are just a few reasons I’m closing up shop here.

Sometimes you have to know when to shut it down, and it’s been time to shut this down.

What’s Next?

Quite frankly, I am 100% uninterested in building a personal “platform” anymore (more on that below).

As for this site, I will keep the website URL, but sometime before the end of the year, it will begin to re-direct to my new home on the web: chrismartin.blog. All of this site’s content will be available there at that time.

The new site is pretty basic. I’m breaking all the rules I tell people to follow when I coach them on how to design or run a blog.

I don’t plan to maintain any sort of “brand” anymore. I just plan to post anything I want to write there.

Why even have a blog if I’m not interested in platform-building? I still like writing, and if I can write and maybe encourage people, that is enough reason for me to write publicly and not just privately.

For more thoughts on not wanting to build a “brand” or “platform” anymore and some more on what’s next, I explain at my first post at the new place here.

It makes me sad to shut this down. I’ve spent a lot of time here.

Thanks for reading. It’s been fun.

-Chris

P.S. my book is still available here if you’re going to miss the inconsistent posts about ministering to Millennials.

2 Comments Shutting This Down, Moving On

  1. Lauren Hunter

    Hi Chris,

    I so appreciate your voice and candor about moving on with your life. Blogging for many years is no joke – if only they made bumper stickers like those marathon stickers, ‘26.2’ – you’ve earned your blogging stripes! I applaud you for listening to God’s voice in directing you to shut down the blog, that is no easy task in a world where everything is ‘more, more, more frequency, more posts, more social, more events, more….’ It’s so hard to say ‘no’ and move on, do less, and do what you know you should be doing instead of locking yourself in a room and writing.

    In your post, http://chrismartin.blog/2018/10/on-raising-our-hands-in-the-trenches/, you say, “We just need more people working hard in the trenches of ministry and not raising their hands to be noticed.”

    This is truth. Head down, get to work…blinders on. It’s so hard to stay focused in ministry when the world says, ‘do stuff to bring attention and get noticed.’ It’s a balancing act for sure.

    May God richly bless you and you listen to His call and follow through – AMEN!

    Thankful,
    Lauren Hunter, ChurchTechToday.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.