It has been a decade and a half since the vision for NashvilleChristian.com first started to take form.
The vision changed quite a bit through the years, from being a local Christian events fax list, to a static website that we manually updated each week, to using dynamic software and hosting community forums where anyone could participate, with the hopes and dreams of producing a printed local Christian publication, where at one point I purchased printing presses and housed them in my basement for nearly a decade.
Something about it though, just never came together.
There were years when our efforts to build this website took up as much time as a full-time job, where my wife and I invested thousands of dollars, of our own money, in an attempt to "get the word out", and the site did show significant progress during those periods, but it never took on a LIFE OF ITS OWN as I had hoped. Nashville seemed fairly interested in the site as a source for local Christian information; however, that was unsustainable without the PARTICIPATION of the COMMUNITY.
In time I had to part with the printing presses, as I realized that portion of my vision would never come to fruition, and continuing to store the equipment was preventing me from moving forward in other areas of my life, as I felt the Lord leading me.
I have been slow to surrender some dreams, but God has been faithful to lead me.
So why do I think that this website failed?
Honestly, it could have been for a LOT of reasons, but here are some that I've speculated:
- God may never have had His hand in it in the first place. Despite my belief that it was something that COULD be of tremendous value to both the Church and our City, during the season that I believed the church was walking into.
- There certainly were parts of this which were rooted in MY DESIRE to be recognized, valued, and respected, where I sought a platform (which I controlled), to where I could use MY GIFTS to serve the Kingdom. In the end, the Kingdom didn't seem very interested in that.
- Certainly I've had my own struggles with sin and becoming willing to surrender more and more of my heart and my life to the Lord. One can always rationalize that sin was the reason that God didn't "bless" a particular "ministry". It may have never been "His" ministry to begin with though, despite my practice of submitting our vision and plans to steadfast leadership and seeking counsel through the years.
- I also believe that it had something to do with the "Church", and my misbelief that a season was coming where we would be more UNIFIED across denominations. My experience has left me with the perspective that each "church" is its own little KINGDOM, where the pastor is KING, and I don't see many pastors who are willing to take off their crowns, sacrifice their positions of authority, and just be part of the choir. I believe that's the only way that UNITY can happen! We must all bow before the ONE TRUE KING!
In the end, "WHY" doesn't really matter as much as recognizing the REALITY of what God is and isn't doing in our lives.
A little over a year ago, I felt God leading me away from spending time on this website. I didn't have peace with taking it down, but I realized that it had become an unfruitful distraction from what I really needed to be doing in that season. So I've let it sit, while a few loyal members have continued to sow into it by sharing their work.
Now I feel that it is time to close this chapter. For me to completely shut down the website and allow the domain registration to simply expire. To lay this on the alter before God, let go, and walk away.
So that's exactly what I'm doing!
I've already shut down the Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages associated with NashvilleChristian.com.
In 48 hours the website itself shall cease to exist and completely disappear.
The only reason that I'm waiting 48 hours before removing the website, is for the benefit of any WRITERS
who may have content on here (poetry, articles, blogs) that they don't otherwise have a copy of. Once the website is removed, that content will no longer be retrievable, so please if that is a concern of yours, copy your work to a notepad or Word document and save it on your local computer.
I have a tremendous appreciation for those members who have PARTICIPATED in this site through the years and attempted to keep it alive even though that has been a very lonely pursuit.
I had hoped that this would become something more for all of us, but I've accepted now that shall not come to pass.
Please continue to write and share your gifts as I will, and let God use it to His glory however He chooses!
TO NEW BEGINNINGS AND FINDING LIFE WHEREVER HE IS STIRRING!