This morning, I was listing to my friend Steve's podcast. In it, he mentioned a blogger named Steph from Minneapolis, who was starting a book club about his new book, Beginnings. I wondered who else named Steph was a Minneapolis blogger, and friends with Steve. Because though last week I wrote a post about the book, and offered to give away a copy (one day left to enter!), I had no intentions of starting a club.
I went to his show notes and discovered the link did in fact go to my site. At first I laughed, feeling the human connection of making a mistake. The laughter quickly faded when I felt the prompting that it's absolutely what I should do.
What Steve doesn't know is that the beginning of this new year had me pondering what to do with my blog. The start of a new year is a great time to ask if it's time to stop something that has been part of our routines. My writing has been slowly fading out over the last year or two, as I have tried to figure out where it fits with the rest of my shifting vocational directions.
I like writing. But I love having conversations. The isolation of blogging has always been difficult for me to navigate. I'm an extrovert who is at my best when I can look into someone's eyes instead of at a screen. I love being with people face-to-face and diving into the depths faith. That is why I adore the way of teaching the Scriptures that has entered my life, where we gather in a circle with slowness, vulnerability, and questions.
Questions are kindling for the fire of connection. They are among my favorite things.
One of the many gifts Beginnings gives the reader is the great questions at the end of each chapter. If you are like me, though, you read good questions in books, think about how they would be good prompts for reflection, then keep moving onto the next chapter. In the absence of community, questions can easily be skipped.
All this got me wondering: what if my blog became about questions instead of answers? What if posts were an invitation to dig into life together? What if it was less of a monologue and more of a conversation?
I don't know exactly where this wondering will go, but I know where it will start: Steve's book. I guess I'm starting a book club after all. Though, I'm not sure I'd call it a book club- it will be more of a book prompt. I hope to use the book to create written conversations about life and faith.
Here's how it will work: Each week, I will choose a question from Beginnings, write about it, and invite you to write about it too.
I will reveal the question a week in advance, to give time for us to ponder it. When I write my response to the question, I will provide a link up where you can post a link to your blog, if you choose to write about it, too. If you don't have a blog, you can write your response in the comments. If you don't want to do either of those things, perhaps you can write your response in a journal, or talk about it with a friend. (I also recommend reading the book, as it will help you dive much deeper into the questions.)
When we get done with the questions from Steve's book, I have some other questions I have used in Scripture studies or explored in conversations or been pondering, which I would love to explore here, too. (I might even start sprinkling those in between his book questions... we'll see.)
I am struck by the beauty of having a new beginning in this space that starts with the book Beginnings. I am excited to see what new life is coming.
Here's our first question, from page 25, at the end of the chapter about light: What do you most long to hear from God these days?
Check back next week for my reflection, and to share yours, too. I can't wait.