“I’ve come to set the captives free”
As many of you know, I and my “rascally” band of ragamuffins have been hard at work launching and developing a ministry called Liberate. Through an annual conference, a content based website, a pastors network, radio, writing projects, and soon-to-be television program, Liberate exists for one very specific reason: to connect God’s inexhaustible grace to an exhausted world.
Our plan for the past year or so is that we would eventually move all of my “blog” content from The Gospel Coalition site over to Liberate. I had informed The Gospel Coalition of my plan to make this transition in August when the new Liberate site is launched, but was informed on Thursday that certain members of The Gospel Coalition wanted the transition to happen ASAP. I was disappointed and a bit confused. We would’ve loved to have had more time to get things ready on our end and I have always been open to having any conversations with any of the staff at The Gospel Coalition who had any questions whatsoever about the content I was posting. I would’ve been happy to answer any questions they may have had and provide robust clarification if needed. None of the powers that be, however, ever mentioned anything to me (either by email or phone) before Thursday when I was simply told that the transition needed to happen now. I know I have had some differences with some of the other contributors to this site but my goal has always been to do nothing but preach the Good News with every post, to bring relief to the burdened and broken, and rest to the weary and heavy laden by fixing the readers’ eyes on the finished work of Jesus. You’ll have to judge for yourself if I succeeded or failed in this regard. So, even though the circumstances are less than ideal for me and my amazing Liberate team, we have managed to pull things together on our end and will have all of my content transferred over toLiberate by Thursday of this week.
I have long admired the original mission of The Gospel Coalition to be a hallway where Christians from all denominational backgrounds who may disagree on non-essentials could gather and rally around the Good News (hence, the name “Gospel Coalition”). But, in my opinion, the messaging of The Gospel Coalition has morphed over the last seven years and I find myself much more aligned with the very specific message of Liberate. So, now is the right time to pull the trigger. In fact, it’s probably over due.
Frederick Buechner once wrote, “There are all kinds of pressures on the preacher to be all kinds of other things and speak all kinds of other words.” God has called me (and I would argue, all preachers) to be “good news specialists”—a phrase my granddad taught me while I was in seminary. The job description of the preacher, in other words, is not to say many different things but to say the same thing over and over again in many different ways. We have one main message to declare: “Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). It’s not that I don’t have other “words” and opinions to speak regarding a wide variety of issues in the church and in our world (just ask my wife and kids and friends), but the public ministry and message God has called me to is very specific, more specific than the ministry and message of The Gospel Coalition.
For the past 5 years I have been primarily blogging at The Gospel Coalition and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. But the ministry of Liberate has grown to the point where I really need to focus all of my attention and efforts over there rather than here.
So, thanks to The Gospel Coalition for asking me five years ago if they could host my blog. It’s been fun. I wish you well.
So…come see me over at Liberate where the weary and heavy laden will find nothing but rest and where those who desperately need to hear good news will hear it…over and over and over again. No “buts.” No brakes. No “and then’s.”
“Here I stand…I can do no other.”