This post is a little longer than normal. At the end of it, I’m going to ask you to do something. Before I do, I’d like to tell you why. If you’d like to just cut to the chase, scroll down to “The What” section below.
Over the past week, I’ve been praying and thinking about the direction HfG needs to go. Through all of my searching, one word kept bobbing up to the surface of my churning brain-water: Community.
Fish exist in the water. Birds in the air. Humans exist in community. It’s the most natural thing in the world… but it’s tricky. Because despite the fact that we all long for it, community isn’t easy. You can’t just show up and expect to instantly find yourself interwoven throughout the lives of those around you. It requires effort. It requires persistence. It requires intimacy.
By its very nature, intimacy can be a difficult thing to foster. At its core, intimacy breaks down into two parts: Knowing, and Being Known. For the past year I’ve been exposing my dark and dusty corners to the light via blog post. I am a known quantity. Sure, there are bits here and there that haven’t come to the surface yet, but for the most part I have done my very best to be as open and honest about who I am so that I can be known by all of you.
Vulnerability requires a response; whether it’s rejection or acceptance. I think the time has come for me to turn the spotlight around. If this blog will continue, it’s because the readers are willing to expose their own dust and debris filled corners. And then, when we peer into the nooks and crannies we will recognize our messes inside each other. We will know that we are the same. We will know that we are a merry band of dusty, dirty, ragamuffins all looking for God and eager to point the way for those around us.
I’m asking for you to do more than show up. I’m asking you to be honest. I’m asking you to be vulnerable. I’m asking you to take a piece of this blog and join me in building something great.
Think about what your faith looked like five years ago. Think of the ways you’ve grown. What have you learned? Who have you become? What do you wish someone had told you? What do you wish you could tell others? Take a moment and close your eyes. Listen to your breath and think about these questions.
Did you do it? There was something there, wasn’t there? A flash. A spark of an idea. We all have something to contribute. Every single one of us has the power to say something that could change someone’s life. You posses the ability to leave this world a better place by simply being willing to share a little piece of who you are.
And that’s what I’m asking for.
To convert HfG from a blog filled with one man’s opinions to a thriving, vibrant community I need four things:
Comments. I want HfG to feel alive. I want it to be the source of dozens of ongoing discussions amongst fellow hunters. To do that, I need you, you right there, reading this right now, I need you to leave comments. If you read something that makes sense to you, if you read something that utterly offends you, if you read something that makes you wonder a dozen other questions, I am asking you to be vocal about it. I want this blog to feel lived in, and the only way to do that is for all of us to contribute our own thoughts and ideas to each post.
Blog Posts. You have a perspective that no one else on the planet can imitate. You have something to say about your time on this earth, and the rest of the world and I need to see it. We need to know you. There are no restrictions. I would love to hear how you caught a glimpse of God while listening to an album or watching a movie. It would thrill me to hear about your latest epiphany. I would be overjoyed to read about your own journey. No length requirements. I don’t care about the format; poem, story, blog post, so long as it says something about you and God. If you’re worried about your writing I’ll happily proof it for you. While I’ll totally take one-offs, it would please me to no end if any of you would be willing to commit to sending me one piece of writing per month. If you’d like to contribute, you can send me your piece or contact me at email@example.com. Also, I’ll plug whatever you like at the conclusion of your writing, so this is a great way to get new eyes on your own blog or website.
Art. I am looking for art in any and every form. Drawings, paintings, photographs, songs, it doesn’t matter. I’d love to start using art created by our readers for the featured images on each post. Beyond that, if you have a piece that really means something to you, if you feel like you really invested yourself into it, I would love to post it on its own. If you would be willing to provide an explanation of the method and/or what the piece says to you, so much the better. Featured images will get links to the artist’s blog or website as well. If you’ve got something you’d like to share, send me the link or file to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Money. I’ll be honest, I hate asking for money. I desperately wish I were in a position to just pay for the things I’d like to see the blog do, but unfortunately, I’m not. So I’m asking you, if you’re willing, to invest in HfG with more than your creativity, but with your finances too. There are three things I’d like to do with the blog that require some financial support:
- HuntingforGod.org- ($60) I want to convert this little WordPress blog into a website. Doing so allows for much more control regarding the appearance of the blog, how the blog is advertised (more on that next post), and it provides unlimited space for growth. This means that the blog could begin transitioning from just a blog into other things such as a forum, a media repository, and a home for…
- Podcasts- ($240) For the past several years, I’ve been dreaming of creating a series of podcasts. (Think internet radio shows you listen to from your computer/smartphone/ipod.) Some of the best God moments I’ve ever had were in the midst of conversations, and it’s my dream to share those with the world. I’ve got ideas for at least three different ongoing podcasts in my head right now, and I hope to bring others in the Knoxville area on board to host their own. The $240 listed above is the cost of a Zoom H2N recorder (plus a decent pair of headphones). I’ve been researching for months, and this device appears to be the best and cheapest way to begin Podcasting.
- Contests/Advertising- ($) Any remaining money that gets raised will be poured back into the HfG community. I’d like to begin running various contests that take place throughout the Social Media universe. Funds could be spent on books, journals, art kits, prizes essentially for various contests that are ran. If there’s enough money raised, there could even be a “thank you” gift for donating.
So… Donating. How does that work? All you have to do is click this link and you will be whisked away to PayPal. Any amount is absolutely and greatly appreciated. Also, if I can ask you to do one more thing for me… Could you help me get the word out about this? At the bottom of this post you’ll see some links to share this blog via Facebook and Twitter. I’d love it you might think about clicking one.
Remember, HfG cannot exist without you. Please think about sharing. I love you guys, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the coming year. Shalom.