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Signing off from the EQUIP book club


I put up the last post I’ll be posting over at the EQUIP book club today. All good things must come to an end – well, sometimes – and I decided that it was time for me to leave that one. If you’re interested in reasons they are basically these:

1) At this point in my life there is no reason for me to be doing “ministry” from home, involving being by myself behind a computer (especially after sitting at one all day at work). I think this is suitable and effective for women in other phases of life, but for me right now I’d rather be doing things in, and giving time to, live contact with people. (I know I have this blog, but that is much more ad hoc, I don’t consider it a “ministry”, and if for any reason I can’t post here it doesn’t matter.)

2) Similar to above: I know ministry is not about reward, but it’s a strange thing in the absence of response (as in, you can’t even see who’s receiving it). While we have a lot of subscribers by email to the book club, women are notoriously bad at commenting on blogs, so it’s difficult to determine the effectiveness of the project. That’s not necessarily a problem (and I know you readers are out there!), but for me, in the absence of any sort of feedback or evidence of benefit (and the presence of other things making more noise), it tended to be something that therefore I didn’t invest too much into – because it just didn’t stay in the forefront of my mind and register as something that required/demanded it. To go forward the project needs some more promotion and marketing – something that I wasn’t doing and am probably not the person to be doing (and there were limits to my “ownership” of it).

3) The process of loading up posts that other people write and send you is basically an organisational/administrative one. I’m happy to admit that administration is not my “gift” (and I like all those personality tests that tell me it’s not my “thing”!). I can be organised about my own stuff and what I have to be organised about at work, but I don’t relish extra administrative work. And because I was laid back and flexible about when contributors needed to send me posts (instead of sticking hard to the schedule!) I’d therefore find myself on standby waiting for an email to load up at the last minute – which wasn’t such a great modus operandi because I don’t really have the flexibility to fiddle with websites any time I please.

4) The actual writing of posts is something I have more interest in, but there again, with limited time to write anything outside of work and life, I don’t especially want to use that time to write in-depth reviews of books other people have written (though I haven’t ruled that out).

And so I take a bow and hand it over. It’s been a very worthwhile thing to do that’s given me much food for thought and growth, and not least for the fact that I met some lovely people and made new friends in the process.

6 Comments

  • Good job Ali,
    Thanks for the reminder that something doesn't have to be a bad thing for us to decide to stop doing it. Sounds like good stewardship to me!!

  • Hi Ali,

    I have to say that I haven't read a great deal over at Equip because my time to read is limited at the moment and the list of things I want to read is already large. Not reading Equip has been about self protection…not breaking my heart over all those books I'd love to read but…

    That said, I have been wondering a bit about what you said in terms of lack of comments. Yes, we don't blog to receive comments. But yes, we like it when people do comment.

    I try to comment reasonably frequently on at least a few blogs partly because I know I appreciate comments when I get them. Also because I think if I have benefitted from someone's writing then I ought to say so…in keeping with Galatians 6:6. Also because I am big on letter writing and big on gratitude and comments are a good blend of the two.

    I've been thinking I might run a week called "Make a Comment Week" or maybe something snazzier than that!! To encourage all of us to be a bit more liberal with our commenting – helps with the sense of community. And it is just a good thing to do.

    I'm sure many benefit from the Equip blog so well done for keeping that going. And thanks for Something this Foggy Day, which I love to visit. Enjoy the extra time you have just found for yourself.

  • Why thank you Meredith. And yes, when you are running something solely for the benefit of others it's very hard to determine if you are "hitting the spot", or need to make changes, in the absence of feedback.

    That said, I am a big culprit for not commenting on blogs I read! The issue for me is that I actually can't at work (access is denied), which is usually where I read blogs in google reader – so I'd then have to go back at home in the evening and leave a comment, which just feels like a crazy use of my life. But I do appreciate comments and so should leave them more often for others. I like your reference to Galatians 6:6!

    In all honesty, I actually think a lot of the EQUIP book club readers are not all that tech savvy – and thus why they like receiving posts in emails. I know a few I've signed up who would have no idea how to use a blog or comment. Even many of my contemporaries just "don't do blogs". What we do about that I don't know …

    (That's why I've often thought we could do little booklets of the notes for people not in blog world.)

    But thank you – I have greatly appreciated your encouraging comments coming my way, and reading along at The Key to the Door!

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