One Year of the WorkmanDecember 12, 2007
12 months, 292 posts and countless reasons to give thanks. Today is officially the 1st birthday of Unashamed Workman (for the first post – see December 12th, 2006). To what age this babe of a blog will grow, I do not know. What I do know is that I can look back on this last year with thanks to God, appreciation to readers, and love to my long-suffering wife.
On reassessing this one year period, there are five observations I would make:
1. Mainly pastors read the blog. Unashamed Workman has never been restricted to pastors (or lay preachers) but the content is certainly aimed at them. One hope in beginning the blog was to provide an oasis for pastors, somewhere to re-fuel for the task of preaching especially. That so many pastors seem to be reading is a delight to the author.
2. There is a hunger for encouragement in preaching. One reason I started this little venture was because I had scoured the blog-osphere for encouragement in exposition but turned up very little. The interest Unashamed Workman quickly generated suggested that many others felt the same. Though there is indeed a “famine in the land” (to quote Steve Lawson – and indeed Amos!) the demise of preaching can be unhelpfully exaggerated. Thankfully there is a remnant in the Western hemisphere and beyond commited to ‘letting texts talk’ (JI Packer). I pray this blog serves such people.
3. Few Unashamed Workman readers prefer to comment. If I went by comments alone I would have given up this blog long ago! OK that’s overdoing it. 749 comments is a reasonable return and helps me keep some track on how people are responding to posts. I’m guessing there may be two reasons for the low number of comments. First, the posts at UW aren’t designed to be particularly provocative. Sure, I’d like it if more people dropped comments, but I much prefer having a quieter comments section if that avoids the warzones one can find on other blogs. (Its interesting to note that the most comments on any one UW post was 32 when the issue was whether to use powerpoint.) Second, I guess that most pastors have little time to be posting comments! On and off as quickly as possible is no doubt the order of the day.
4. Sometimes less is more. In the initial months I blogged six days a week. This is a pretty volumous output for anyone, even if you have a ‘blog schedule.’ Dropping to five days, however, has helped me focus more on quality than just quantity. In addition, a less demanding output has made blogging more sustainable in what is otherwise a full and busy life.
5. God can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. All in all, my overwhelming feeling about Unashamed Workman is that God has used it surprisingly – far beyond my expecations. When the blog began I didn’t ask God for very much and my imagination of what might be achieved through it was very limited. Praise God he does more than our asking or imagining. I’m still amazed that around 400-500 people bother to stop by on a daily basis. Numbers aside, who knows what God can do in the life of reader through an article linked to, a talk recommended, or a post written?
For the glory of God,
December 12th, 2007