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Deeper, Not Wider

Election season is about getting the masses behind you. It’s a time to gather coalitions and get out the vote. It’s also a season to lose your own voice in the noise all around you.  I find myself continually living in the tension between living superficially online and going deep with the…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Election season is about getting the masses behind you. It’s a time to gather coalitions and get out the vote.

It’s also a season to lose your own voice in the noise all around you. 

I find myself continually living in the tension between living superficially online and going deep with the people and causes that really matter to me. How about you?

This tension is compounded because I have chosen to follow a man who claimed to be God, asked his followers to “drink my blood*,” opposed the establishment and had only a handful of true followers who scattered after he died.

And it’s made worse because of the realities of my life. Here are a few:

Jesus didn’t just go deep with a few, he went all-in over multiple years and asked his disciples to do the same. I struggle to do that.

Why? For one thing, this blog has thousands of followers and the books I’ve written have reached a broad audience. I have friends and detractors.

I have also built organizations that claim to represent Jesus and his narrow road, yet have a broad social media presence that can at times feel disingenuous. 

The call to depth in relationship has fallen on hard times in America. Most of the churches I’ve attended over the years were more about the church service than they were about relationship. One reason so many young people are leaving the institutional church these days may be this apparent “authenticity gap.”

What to do?

What to do with such a tension? I don’t want to arbitrage or minimize it. We perform for an audience of one – I want my actions to track with my beliefs. I believe that I will face accountability for them in a life review with God when I die.

And, I want to live this tension out loud on this blog in hopes that it will prod you to examine your own life and ask how you want to live it.

I am convicted by the evidence that social media has not made us more connected with real friends, but more depressed and lonely. My own experience is that it can skew my perspective.

So, here’s what I’ve decided: I’m going to change my priorities to go deeper rather than wider. I’m going to dial back the public blogging and will instead write for a smaller audience that is interested in growing spiritually.

I’ve done this before from time-to-time and it has gone well. I’ve run private online groups to help people process pain in their lives and to help them grow in listening prayer (while simultaneously continuing to blog regularly). 

My commitment

I will focus on a private/confidential blog for those interested. Those who sign up will receive a link. I will write/blog about issues that the group is interested in and I’ll seek to lead with vulnerability. I’ll give further details to those who respond below. And if the group feels that periodically a subject warrants sharing with a broader audience, then we’ll do that.

We’ll try to follow God in this. 

Your response

If you are interested in being a part of this group, let me know (you can stay anonymous by not including your name if you like) in the comment section below, or by emailing me. And if you’d like to suggest a topic you’d like to see us cover, please share it.

No obligations beyond that. With a smaller group of believers, my hope is the community we build and the dialogue we have will go deeper. 

I look forward to hearing from you.

—–

* John 6:56

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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