Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Change of Season: The End of the Faithmaps Discussion Group

Yesterday, I announced to the faithmaps discussion group that I had decided to end the group sometime on Friday 1 Sept. Here is some of what I wrote in the announcement:


It is with sadness that I let you know that after five years of moderating the faithmaps discussion group, I've decided to end the group.

I have come to the conclusion that my current life situation and calling is such that I no longer feel that I can give moderating this group the time that it needs and deserves.

What's true now that wasn't when we started in May of 2001:

* Beth and I co-lead KatrinaGrace which just decided to branch out into working with Habitat for Humanity in Slidell, LA in addition to continuing the work we're doing with Compassion Ministries just north of NO. By God's grace we're planning on sending a team a month between October 2006 and Nov 2007 to New Orleans' North Shore. Our church's Sunday 27 Aug service is entirely dedicated to KatrinaRelief. We are very excited about this work. 60 folks on 8 Teams have so far gone down and we're hoping to send a lot more.

* Since April of 2005 I've been serving on my local church's Leadership Development Team and just a few weeks ago we launched our mentor/protege - workshop based process. I'm one of the Workshop Facilitators. We've been able to implement a lot of the transpropositional approaches we've developed and discussed here.

* [I've been getting professional writing jobs with a national Christian organization].

* I continue to post to my blog almost daily.

* And, as I've mentioned, three years ago I executed a major life change and intentionally began devoting less time to my online activities and more time to the four most important people in my life.

* And then there's the whole full-time job with USA TODAY thing which really cuts into my free time. ;)

And so, sometime on Friday 1 September, I plan to turn the group off. I do not plan to delete the group. Archives will still be searchable and accessible to the public as always. There is such a rich treasure store of posts here that I would hate to see lost.

One day I may start another group or restart this one. But I don't know if that will happen.

I don't intend not to participate in groups, just not to moderate one. So you'll probably see me around.

It's my hope that the community and discussions that began here will continue in some context. And so one reason I wanted to give several day notice was to invite those on this list with other groups - or those on this list that wish to start new groups - to feel perfectly free to solicit members here during the next 9 days.

But it is a change and it is a loss and I will miss the group that is faithmaps. I know there is more to say but I can't put it all into words. Maybe I'll be able to betw now and 1 Sept.

Thank you all for all you've given me here. I'm very grateful. I have made mistakes as a moderator and you've been patient and gracious to me

This, of course, isn't goodbye. It's just a change of season.


The driving force in my decision was the amount of time that I could dedicate to the group. Our environment was unique because there were only two criteria of participation: interest in "theology, leadership, & praxis in the emerging church" and respect. Anyone could join and this led to some rather interesting discussion! I had come to the conclusion that the group needed more constant attention than I could give it and rather than setting up a team of moderators - which I thought might still take a lot of my time and effort - I decided to let folks explore other options.

It was not an easy decision and one that I make with some sadness.

I gained so much from this community. The faithstory online small groups that we've iteratively offered were wonderful. I made some great friends thru the group. But I felt that for me it was time to move on., however, will will this blog.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Father God, I pray you'll bless Stephen in this decision, continue to watch over his family, and grow the other work he is doing. May the people of Louisiana be blessed through the work of KatrinaGrace, and may new leaders be mentored and grown through the work of his local church body.

Grace and peace,
Steve K.