More than a month has passed since my last post. So what have I been up to? Am I giving up on this blog? Nope! But just in case you were wondering, here are some of my thought processes in the past few weeks (while being MIA from blogging). Clue: I had been thinking hard about the purpose of this blog. #StartWithWhy
Recalibrating my blog focus
I have been thinking long and hard about whether I should continue to write to a general audience, or focus my attention on the Christian community. My thoughts about calling and vocation are informed by my Christian beliefs and principles and may be very different from the general reader. On the other hand, I felt that some of the content I write can benefit the non-Christian reader. Yet if I write to reach everyone, I would probably end up reaching no one, since I will be holding back from writing at the level of depth I might write with if I am more specific with my audience.
With that in mind, I have decided to narrow down my target audience to Christian young adults, primarily living in Singapore and similar cities. You, my dear reader, are of course free to peruse my posts and comment, whether or not you are a Christian. Just know that I am writing with the above group in mind.
With a more specific target group, I will also be shifting my focus to how to embrace our calling to serve God in both the church and the workplace (what is typically called marketplace ministry). To do this, I would be sharing more of my personal experiences and struggles in my journey to better embrace my own calling. I hope that this will create more value for fellow Christians who are grappling with both the challenges of working life and church ministry, while managing their other responsibilities in life. That is really what Embrace Our Calling exists for.
Preparing an interview post
Besides writing from personal experiences, I also plan to interview people in the trenches, who have been working on this with some success, and can encourage those of us who are still learning how to do life well. No one is perfect, and of course, I am not looking for perfection in my interviewees. But they are people who have had some experiences with working life and are also able to serve God in their various capacities with integrity and effectiveness. We can learn much from these people.
So I am currently working on an interview script with an ex-student of mine, who has an interesting story of his own, juggling his full-time work as a process engineer, his part-time theological studies, and his ministry in church as a cell group leader. Look out for it!
Nerding out on blogging, podcasting, and personal development
My blog space may be empty for a month, but my mind isn’t! These weeks I’ve been nerding out at the library for books and audiobooks, both physical and e-books. I am currently browsing on topics such as blogging (#MetacognitionTalkingHere), podcasting (more on this in a later post), personal development (James Clear’s Atomic Habits is a great synthesis of good life habits) and many others. (Sneak preview: I’m also getting my brother to help with some of the photography on this blog, and replacing some of the stock photos).
One of the books on the subject of blogging I’m reading at the moment is How to Blog a Book by Nina Amir. While turning this blog into an actual published book seems only like a distant possibility at the moment, I kinda like the challenge of thinking of my blog as a future to-be-published book.
That book asks several pertinent questions, and forces me to think carefully about why I blog in the first place. Here’s an excerpt:
“The big question you must answer is: what is your mission? In other words, what do you want to accomplish by blogging this book? Do you have some driving reason you must blog this book now? Does doing so fulfills your purpose? …… I must point out that if you are blogging a book for the express purpose of furthering your image, status, or business, your blog and book may not achieve the kind of success you desire. The kind of purpose or mission I’m talking about goes deeper. [At the risk of] possibly turning some of you off, I’m going to stress that you want to consider whether you have a purpose that comes closer to your soul purpose. Maybe this relates to the reason you began doing the work you do. Did you feel called to become a doctor, lawyer, politician … or whatever you are? Why? What did you hope to accomplish? Who did you hope to help? What were your grand hopes and dreams? Therein lies the reason you are blogging your book. It is your purpose or mission. And therein lies the purpose or mission your book must fulfill as well.”– Nina Amir, How to Blog a Book
Crafting a new Blog Mission Statement
So, what is my compelling reason in writing this blog? Let me try to craft a mission statement / pitch for my blog:
I feel compelled to blog about Embrace Our Calling because I want people, especially young adults, to fully realize their God-given calling so that they can live purposeful and empowered lives, inspired and inspiring others too to embrace their calling and flourish everywhere.
Okay, that’s less than 50 words (43 to be exact)!
Let me unpack this a little more:
By ‘purposeful’, I meant that each person should recognize their greater purpose to know God, glorify Him and enjoy Him forever, and to live out whatever secondary calling they have received from Him, in the light of that greater calling. I want to help my readers live their lives intentionally, being clear of what they are called to in their career, family and community.
By ‘flourish everywhere’, I meant that I want to see my readers being energized to pursue the common good with all the skills and gifts they are endowed with, and to overcome challenges and obstacles along the way with the resources of God’s Word, the power of His Spirit, and the lived inspirations of people who are embracing their callings in life. That’s where the interviews and my personal sharing come in. I want to flesh out what it means to embrace our calling in the trenches of real-life struggles. End of the day, I am convinced that we can take a gospel-centered approach towards our lives’ calling, and flourish for the glory of God.
So, therein lies the purpose and mission of this blog. And whatever podcast or book that may or may not emerge from this endeavor. This is the compelling reason that motivates me to blog, and to always come back from a hiatus like the one I just had.
What do you think about some of my thoughts at this point? Does this newly minted mission statement inspire you to support me in my blogging journey, or does it still sound vague and airy to you? Let me know in your comments below! And I appreciate any word of encouragement from you.