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The fruit of 7 years of blogging

I've been blogging almost every day for seven years. For a few months now I've sensed that it's time to change things up – maybe take a break or blog less. I haven't figured it out. Seven years is a lot of time invested – time to take stock of the fruit. I'm going to start …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

I've been blogging almost every day for seven years. For a few months now I've sensed that it's time to change things up – maybe take a break or blog less. I haven't figured it out.

Seven years is a lot of time invested – time to take stock of the fruit. I'm going to start here and maybe you can help me. I'll add some of your comments here in the body of this post later this afternoon.

Fruit of this blog
1. For a while, we had a pretty good community going. We used this as a forum to counsel people. People I'd never met like Carol Chambers in London, Gabe & Heidi Landes in Dayton, and Kenny Sacht in Boise took the lead with this.

2. Blog posts like God, I'm So Sorry and Delhi orphanages have given tens of thousands of people a chance to connect with God and what he's doing on the earth.

3. The blog provoked people to change. Teri Frana changed everything in her life to follow God in helping other people dream his dreams.

4. Allie Lousch sold her home, moved to Gainesville, married Howard, and began to really start living as a free person.

5. I got to know Joe Bunting, introduced him to my daughter, and he moved to Gainesville and became her husband and my son-in-law and collaborator in many ways. The Write Practice as a platform is now much bigger than this blog.

6. The blog was a way for Jeff Goins and I to interact about ideas. He became my chief collaborator on a number of key projects like the development of the Adventures marketing team, story-telling team, and Kingdom Dreams. His blog has a much bigger reach than does this one.

7. It's been a source of encouragement and connection for a lot of friends. People like Butch Maltby, who almost died multiple times and needed prayer. And people like Gail Ball, whose son Andru did die and we prayed for him to be raised.

8. It was a place of bereavement for heroes like Sarah Buller and Craig Gallegos.

9. We encouraged Kenny Sacht to start Wipe Every Tear. The fruit of that ministry is already amazing.

10. We mobilized to help people after Katrina and Haiti and for the AIDS crisis in Swaziland.

11. Through the blog, I met people like Uche in Nigeria/S. Sudan and Emmanuel in Pakistan and we partnered together.

12. We helped launch the World Race.

I'm going to stop for the moment as I have to go to work now. If the blog has born some fruit for you, I'd like to hear about it. It may help us figure out where it needs to go in the future.

Thanks for the memories.

Comments (61)

  • Encouraging. Very. The word “commitment” comes to mind. Thanks for being dedicated and pushing through when it was hard.

  • Seth, through your blogs, you have been an encouragement to me… a thought-provoker… an eye opener… a healer… an inspiration… an uplifter… a pointer… a friend. Your friendship with my brother, your leadership and guidance, your encouragement when he was on the race, and after, your faith and belief, all have impacted me strongly and strengthen my own faith and walk… I am so glad to “know” you… so glad you are who you are, yielded to your Father’s will in your life… and you are in my prayers, always, always…

  • Just this week I did a google search on how to come off of a fast…and your post from 2007 or so about…uh…well, a delicate “back-door” subject showed up pretty high in the search results and I clicked on it. So glad that I did. I’m not a big blog follower at all and rarely comment, but I subscribed to this one…and then, two days after I first read your blog, there’s uncertainty in the air.

    In a way, I would be disappointed for it to slow down, but God has His times and seasons and I’m coming to understand I need to depend less on others and more on Him.

    I don’t think a random google search was so random at all…I believe this is another step in becoming more fully engaged in my adventure with Jesus Christ.

    I bless you in whatever direction God leads.

  • Hey Seth,

    Your ministry through your blog has been pivotal in my discipleship. Several years ago I found myself in a serious crisis of faith. As a pastor I questioned if I had really given my life to what I thought I had, Jesus and his kingdom. Your blog was one of the few places I found comfort and truth in my search for something more. In desperation I wrote to you personally and you connected me with Gabe Landes. I spent several months in a listening prayer group with Gabe. A few months later, my wife started one with Heidi. We found true life when we needed it the most. A year later I spent a few days with you in Gainesville at a retreat to talk about how to plant the kingdom. I will never forget my time under you teaching, and experiencing for the first time Jesus leading me into a kingdom call. Your blog planted seeds for true fruit to be produced. Since then I have lead several listening prayer groups, that has changed lives! Wave Church SD launched as a dream sparked from our short weekend, and is now a missional community that has launched missionaries in Romania and Brazil, we care for the poor in Tijuana, and have help drill 12 wells in Sierra Leone.

    The best kind of fruit we can produce for the Lord, is the fruit that is unseen, I believe it is in this kind of fruit Jesus gets the most glory.

    Thank you for your faithfulness to care, and love others as you follow Jesus! You have been a blessing!

  • Seth: been following you on this blog almost daily since ’05. I don’t always comment, but I’m always encouraged. My guess is that if you blog less, I believe the content is going to be even more potent. Bless you my friend.

  • Undocumented fruit happens when someone casts their bread upon the waters, as you have faithfully done. The undocumented part is how God uses what we’ve given Him, and does miraculous things inside people usually which we never find out about. I know your feelings about blogging. I, too, blog, and have had similar thoughts. Recently, though, I have increased my blogging to everyday, when I was able to see the stats, which weren’t high, but varied around the world. I was able to see that atleast some were reading it. Then God has had me trust that He is doing something with the words (breathing on them) to make them produce what I could not, and he wants me to be happy with that. To every thing there is a season, so I wouldn’t influence you to make a decision on what He’s shown me. Seek Him. Do what He says, Come what may, but also be assured you will never know all the fruit He is developing as you put forth what you have to offer. P.S.-I am meeting with Taniuska in a town one hour away, through your efforts and I don’t even know why really, It’s something God is doing, If nothing else two sisters are going to have fellowship and be knit together in the Body, and that is fruit and that is the ministry of the Holy Spirit . You, through your blog had a hand in that. THank you.

  • Mark – you and Kathy have been among the most significant people interacting with the blog. Thank you. Of course you being here, working w/ the racers and the CGA, is huge fruit. Thanks for being such a radical in your faith.

  • This blog has provided a nice outlet for me to process many of those tough questions in my walk with Jesus. Also, I got to meet Seth thanks to interacting with this forum. This provided a genuinely open dialogue for people, not to mention a great network of people and “counseling” resources.

  • Seth: The first thing I thought of when I read your message (and a passage I’ve been hearing over and over) is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

    I’m encouraged to see you post this. Just like I was glad when my race route recently changed from South Africa to Mozambique (just before launch next week). And to hear other racer’s storys of how things change suddenly and often along the way.

    That’s one of the main things that I love about AIM (in my brief experience so far). I love the willingness to recognize when it is time to change, or to do something different when they feel God leading them on another path.

    Don’t get me wrong…I’m not against routines at all. I think they are necessary, generally good and give us a sense of purpose. I think that sticking with something is vital and the only way to learn many important lessons. When they become mandatory at the cost of more important things and all the passion and life has left them that they defeat their purpose (to me at least).

    I’ve only read a handful of your blogs since last August, but they have given me encouragement and always cause me to stop, think, and re-evaluate my own life. I’m still reading through Kingdom Journeys. Until a few years ago, in my own little world back home, I thought I was the only one who dreamed of something more.

    Whatever comes next, I know that it will be awesome! Thank you for your commitment to AIM and the WR.

  • Great point, Patti. So much of what God does thru us we never know about. That’s one reason “It’s a Wonderful Life” is so timeless – you see the people his life has impacted.

    Glad to hear that you’re getting direction with your blog.

    You’ll love Taniuska. Check out her blog: http://taniuskabarbosa.theworldrace.org/

  • Seth, 7 years of daily commitment speaks volumes to me.

    Not just of the discipline of self-control. But I can see that your understanding of leadership is that it is about others, being a catalyst to make them successful.

    That you have great joy in seeing their platform exceed yours in some cases.

    That you are willing to pause, reflect, and invite others to process with you.

    I see humility, hunger for more influence, a gatherer of people which creates community, and a servant heart. Wow.

    May you move to a new level or influencing influencers (and others).

    Kudos,,,Jim

  • I happened to run across your blog looking for some scriptual viewpoints on a few things that I was experiencing. I have followed you ever since. I don’t always comment but I do read them everyday. You make me feel as though I’ve ran across a brother and another believer in Christ. “Straight is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” and it is refreshing to know I’ve ran across another pilgrim on this journey. You have been an encouragement to me and some of the things the Lord is teaching me know He has used you to confirm his word or provide me with some insight. Be encouraged! “Don’t be weary in well doing, for in due season you shall reap if you faint not!”

    Thank you for your obedience to writing and sharing what has been revealed to you.

    God Bless!

  • Seth, I’ve only been following your blogs since my son decided to go on the World Race (L Squad) but I now consider them an important part of my quite time. With 7 years of God insprired thoughts to read I won’t run out anytime soon. And infact, I know I’ve missed lots of great ones (though I often follow links from one to another to another).

    If once a day is too much right now why not consider giving your self a day off and re-posting on oldie but goodie one day a week, ‘Flash-back Friday’ might be a cheesie name for it (if it needs a name).

    As Patti said, you never know all the fruit (nor are we supposed to know) but there will be a multitude who say thanks for this blog or that one that touched thier lives once you go home (not for several decades we hope…)

  • What I like about your blog – you combine years of experience in the ministry with solid writing skills to produce posts that are thoughtful, to the point and stick with me far past the initial reading.

    I appreciate the time you take to do this, but realize also that there are seasons for everything.

    Thank you for all you do for advancing the Kingdom.

  • Bob – thanks for the encouragement. You’re Christopher’s dad? Hope to get to know you sometime.

    It’s a good idea to re-post some old ones. I’ll do that.

  • Shannon – you’re another who has been fruit of the blog. Connecting you to Uche and dreaming God’s dream for S. Sudan is an amazing collaborative experience that we’re still in the middle of…

  • Jim, that means a lot coming from you, a hero of the faith who has seen great moves of the Spirit around the world. I aspire to be what you declare me to be – thank you!

  • I recall my first encounter with Seth’s blog. It was in 2007 and I was searching the web for “Questions for missionary debriefs…” and there you were-

    My first email to you dated 24th June 2007 reads:

    “As I continue to surf and study and feed on your blogs…in fact, I call it dinner at your table; I notice you reside in Georgia . Not a coincidence by any chance from my pt of view…..[my testimony]…

    Good to know you are located at the place of my call…the place of my joys…and waits.

    Love your writing Seth…I’m connecting more friends to feed along these green pastures.”

    Your response was:

    “Uche, Isn’t that something? Thanks for the testimony and for the encouragement once again. I was thinking about the blog today and wondering if it’s worth it or if I’m starting to repeat myself. So this kind of feedback is very helpful. Have a great week.”

    Dad,you’ve been a great blessing to me, my family and ministry. THANK YOU!!

  • God’s up to something really huge within our “network”… Shannon you know I can’t stop smiling each time I remember you. When I add yesterday’s chat to it, we have a blast around the corner;)

    Watch out Dad… it’s coming!!! LOL

  • I’ve been following your blog for a few years now, since a friend introduced me to it.

    Your posts along with the discussions that come up in the comment section have challenged me, strengthened me, stretched my thinking, made me disagree and put into words why, encouraged me, and freed me to dream.

    Your challenges caused me to remember the dream of a little girl to serve God overseas and bring the gospel to those who had never heard before. You helped me to remember the nations.

    It was this blog that God used to get me to Haiti after the earthquake. I can’t even begin to describe what God did in me and how he used Haiti to change and prepare me for the very different area of the world I find myself in today.

    So thank you very much for your commitment to this blog and the freedom you have given to so many through it.

  • Your blog has helped me (maybe us) realize that we have much in common. It has been a springboard for growth by using it’s topics in discussions with several work colleagues.

    It’s been encouragement through the valleys.

    Love ya Seth!!

  • Your blog page is the home page on my computer. Daily inspiration to encourage me to listen for and walk with my God. Love the affirmations that life is more than stuff — it is about God & His people. Love the inspiring accounts from your racers too.

    Thanks!

  • Hey Bruce,

    Just think of all the conversations we’ve missed out on over the years. Oh well, there’s always the next 32 years of relationship. Love you back.

  • Lisa,

    Wow – what an honor. Knowing that makes me feel the weight of my words. I’ll be listening carefully to what the Lord says to do from here out. God bless you going forward. I’m sure we’ll interact more.

  • Vickie – I hope I get to meet you one day. Perhaps you could come up and visit our Center for Global Action or a Searchlight conference. Thanks for your prayers and partnership. Clinton is proof that the partnership has born great fruit!

  • Uche,

    knowing you and Sola has been one of the highlights of my time on the blog. You’ve given me a glimpse into what the future of missions looks like. It’s an inspiring thing to see, even in the distance!

  • Konrad,

    Thank you for this. It helps me to know that there are still those I need to reach out to. I’m not going to disappear from the blogosphere – just need to pray into what the Lord would have me to do next.

  • Seth,

    I don’t have words to express my gratitude for AIM, The World Race, and you Seth. When I stumbled across you 4 years ago, I couldn’t believe that it took me until I was 50 years old to find you. Who would have thought that you all would have such impact on me in developing Wipe Every Tear and taking the “jump”!

    Oh how I love your heart and the non religious way you go about things. For you, it’s all about the Kingdom, and nothing else! I really do believe that the best is yet to come as we are blown by the Wind and follow His heart for the poor, broken, and those in chains.

    I thank God for you like you will never quite know and understand. Thank you for believing in and empowering me. I love you man!

  • Seth,

    I have been reading your blog for years and now my husband is too. It has been such a blessing to us. I don’t always comment, but it has brought me great encouragement! Thanks for investing in this the past 7 years!

    Blessings!!

  • Seth,

    Yes, I am another one of the thousands who have read your blogs for the past year but have not responded more than once or twice. Yet, they have been a tremendous blessing to me personally and I have used them in the college age Sunday school class I teach and with the young men I mentor, Thank you so much for the “unknown number” of people your ministry has blessed. I would definitely reccommend you continue them as your time permits.

    In His Grace,

    Earl

  • Doug Bureman (Liz’s dad)

    Seth,

    I’ve been following your blog since Lizzy left on the World Race in August 2009, and on a personal basis, I can honestly say it has been a consistent source of encouragement for me as I continue to strive to be the man that God wants me to be.

    Looking at your initial listing of fruit of your blog (which I suspect is just the tip of the iceberg), I’m struck by the way God has used it as an instrument to affect for Him both individuals (like myself) and the multitudes (like those impacted by various World Racers, as well as the World Racers themselves).

    As I write this, I’m asking myself two questions, 1) How has your blog and the various paths it has taken you and others down impacted lives for God?, and 2) What would those lives and yours look like had you not started blogging? I don’t pretend to have any of the answers, but I would encourage you to contemplate the answers to those questions, and to seek God’s will, and you’ll be led down the right path for its future.

    Blessings to you and yours!!

  • Seth, We met one year ago at Mac and Duhi’s, but just today I discovered your blog doing a search on Prayer and Peter Lord. I’m subscribing to your blog and look forward to joining this journey!

  • Seth, I think you’ve set yourself an impossible task. There is absolutely no way this side of eternity you will be able to catalogue the fruit of the heart-change God has brought about through this blog, or the fruit of the ministries that have sprung from it. THANK YOU for your dedication and how you have given of yourself to serve us in this. The stories you have shared have broken my heart and lifted my gaze in ways that my local church, wonderful and Godly as it is, could never have done. And I have been convicted and challenged deeply on numerous occasions. As others have said, you’re discipline alone in this stands as a tremendous witness and inspiration.
    Step back if you want, or make changes – you are under grace after all! Whether your time can be better spent elsewhere is between you and God – but whatever you do, please don’t see this as unfruitful. For every one who has commented, many, many others have been touched and changed. Thank you for serving us in this way, I owe you a really big hug when I see you in heaven!! 🙂

  • Thanks for the wise counsel, Doug. I’m appreciative that God has used the blog as an instrument in some people’s lives. I’m interested to see where we go from here!

  • I do love the stories that I come across and love sharing them. Thanks for being a great catalyst of kingdom advancement wherever you are!

  • Thanks for saying so, Jason. It was good to meet you that one time and to hear of how you’re building the kingdom. I pray God continues to bless you!

  • I would echo what many have said – I am one that frequently reads, studies, meditates on and prays over what I read on your blog but infrequently posts. Your blog originally met me in a place where I felt like the Kingdom perspective I was learning outside of the institutional church had left me alone. God gave me your blog and conversation to be a part of showing me his bigger family and perspective.

    Thanks so very much for your dedication and obedience to what God has called you to do and may you continue to be obedient even if it means the blog must go…although I would certainly miss it!

    Brett

  • When I first started praying to figure out God’s call on my life, I was having a hard time being bold in believing He would really call me to leave the master’s program and move to France to minister to people. God began to bring articles and online videos my way that made me feel more confident about leaving school. Your post, “5 things I was taught that were wrong” was one of those blog posts.

    My life has been revolutionized. I am a completely different person. My walk with God is sweeter. It is more characterized by the foundational principles of our faith such as love, faith, and power. I am grateful because this blog was a step along the way and I am excited to live the rest of my life doing God’s work.

    I love you for being you and it was a pleasure to meet you!!!

  • Adebanke,

    How wonderful. Thanks for taking the time to encourage me like this. I pray that your walk with God continues to grow sweeter!

  • Even back when it was the youthworker blog, this site has always been a great place to lean on for wisdom. If I am stuck on an idea, I often think “I wonder if Seth’s written a blog about this.” And nine times out of ten, you have…a dozen blogs even. And that tenth time, I just asked and you wrote me one. It’s a great resource from a voice that I trust – and that will remain even if you need to step away from it and let it be. You’ve written an encyclopedia of advice, and I will keep coming back to search it when I need. it.

  • What a compliment – thanks, Jen.

    Still figuring out what’s next. I expect I’ll post something this weekend. I’ll do better when I’m part of a collaborative effort.

  • I found your blog at 3am on one desperate night. I was awake and battling the the common sense that would say I’m too old with too many responsibilities to dream. Yet, there was an stirring in my heart I couldn’t ignore.

    I found your blog and hope filled me.

    And I know that I’m only one of a few.

    Thank you and your family, Seth. For bringing hope, encouragement, and a kick in the pants when we need it.

    May we all dream as big as you do and have the commitment to see it through.

  • Hey, Seth! I found this blog when I was trying to make sense of the whole Todd Bentley “revival” thing and was looking for a balanced view. You gave it. This blog, along with interactions on Facebook, was also a lifeline for me after I was stuck at home alone for 7 months recovering from spinal surgery. A place to think, to wrestle with issues, with God, to write it down and see what other people had in their thoughts. A place to hunt down inspiration and a different way to see things.

    I’ve “met” some amazing people via this blog online. Gabe and Heidi are incredibly special people and I met them here. Loved actually meeting you, your lovely daughter and Andrew briefly at a jet lagged moment at Heathrow when you came through my home town. Would have loved it to have been about a week longer than just the two hours we had! Maybe another time….

    You do whatever seems right to you in terms of the future. You’d always have my support. Seasons come and are replaced by other seasons, all of them different and good in different ways.

    Glad to have been a little part of this online community here. God bless you, my friend! Love from my little corner of England xx

  • Thanks for being such a source of wisdom and encouragement, Carol. We hope to establish a training base in London – perhaps we can connect you to the team when they come later this year.

  • I first came across your blog about 6 months ago when doing a search on “why is God silent?” One of the links was to your blog and brought me to an entry you did several years ago regarding why God is sometimes silent. I was at a crisis point and that article, as well as the comments following it (which are still being added to, by the way), helped me navigate some very stormy waters. Since then, I’ve added your blog to my daily reads and have been many times touched deeply. For perspective, I only have 3 Christian sites I consider “daily reads,” and yours is one of them.

  • There have been a few people in my life that were aching to get free from the safe, nominal, cultural Christianity that, for some reason or the other, were not able to go on the World Race or be discipled by AIM. To them, I sent your blog frequently, so they could have a picture of what it meant to live free from religion and embrace a deep love they didn’t know God was offering them.

    Just last night, one of those friends and I had a talk about how much freedom he had gained in the last year. He told me that if he, one year ago, could see himself today, he’d have probably thought his stances were heretical… But now he knows, as only one can know who has experienced grace, that it’s not about the laws you keep or the things you do. It’s about experiencing grace and love and recycling that to others in a way that changes them, too.

    I know this friend of mine was deeply affected by your blogs, as was I, and countless other friends I sent it to. Your voice is more important than you may even understand, even with all the testimonies you listed above from the past seven years. You have words that my generation and the one coming up desperately, desperately needs to hear. The wisdom and encouragement I have personally received here is beyond what I can write in a comment box.

    I pray that it is soon made clear what direction to take this blog, as I am eager to see how God uses you on an even larger platform. My blessings and love to you, Seth!

  • So true, Seth! I know God isn’t done with that by far… It’s only just begun. One day, we’ll have to share that story when it comes a little bit clearer, because I have full confidence that it is becoming so, every day. Thank you, Seth, SO MUCH 🙂

  • I have followed your blog daily since June 2007, when Jenny left on the World Race. It became even more important to me just over 3 years ago when you helped me transition from the business world to ministry with you and AIM. I don’t have the words to express my gratitude for this blog and for you.

  • seth — no doubt your blog has been a huge help to me. the inspiration and journaling of your life and ministry is always great.

    but hands down, your posts many years ago about decompressing and debriefing mission teams. whenever anyone asks me, i still refer them to your posts. i’ve had leaders print them all out and take the posts on their trips. like i always tell them when they ask, no one has documented the debriefing process as well as you have.

    blessings for 2013!

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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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