A Closer Walk With God
“Indeed, our lives are guided by faith, not by sight.”
2 Corinthians 5:7
One day last week, three very good friends asked me to explain my ministry or what are you trying to achieve. Now when I get the same feeling or question three or more times in a day, I know God is up to something. So I thought about this question harder.
This has been a persistent question, directed at me for the better part of ten years. A good question, that at first, I couldn’t answer. Always goal-driven, I tried to search for my answer in numbers and results. I even have tried various ministry assignments to help with this discovery. Never fully getting the answer to this question.
During my seven or so years in Theological school, I was always the outlier who couldn’t fully explain what I felt I was called to do for Jesus. Every attempt I tried never seemed right. I have given sermons, counseled the poor in spirit and fed the poor. All noble and worthy ministries, but I never felt this was what God called me to do.
But at least I knew better than to just blurt something out to satisfy others. But this day I was able to clearly tell these three friends what my ministry was.
As an outgrowth from my doctoral thesis, I set up a digital media company to test delivering messages to the world at large. Certainly not a local or tangible ministry. But a ministry in the ether of the internet.
I never really intended this to be my life’s ministry nor did I know this is where I would find my place with God.
Over time and through a lot of missteps I had arrived, like a wanderer in the woods not knowing where he was going, but still never lost. Along the way, I never knew that this was where God was taking me, but now know this was where God was leading me. Through observation of events, that were connected to my prayers, in hindsight, I can now see clearly the path behind me and in front of me.
What continued to pop up in front of me was writing and dispersing information about God. So what is interesting that to do this, my two areas of significant weakness, writing and anything at all to do with technology, have become my platform.
Over time, I have gotten better at both, but nowhere proficient enough to be called a professional. When others glide through their tasks, I struggle.
But what I have noticed, is even though I struggle, I am glad for the morning, to start a new day. A clear sign that I am doing is what I am supposed to be doing. Wanting to get up early and being excited you can do your work, is called passion. That I have.
Another area of weakness is being overly sensitive. When you put yourself out in the world every day. Criticism flies at you every day. I have been called satan, a white supremacist, charlatan, and many other names. So again I have had to adjust. Not to take these very isolated comments personally. But to evaluate why the comments were made and not get angry.
But here I am, not quite sure how I got here. Every week, over one hundred thousand people read what I write. Sixty thousand people follow what I have to say. And each week, close to another thousand join.
I am now a regular contributor on thirty radio shows and this spring will appear on television.
So what is it that I do, simply help people have a closer walk with God. That’s it and no more. Every message I send and every word I speak on the radio is designed to nudge people closer to God. Something I have to get better at every day.
Every Instagram image is designed to make people think deeper about their relationship with God. Every tweet is to help move people towards God, even if it is only an inch. Each radio appearance is focused on the same.
There is nothing fancy here.
My friend Steve on his radio show exclaimed, what you have accomplished is amazing! And perhaps he is right. But for myself and the two people who work with me, don’t think about the numbers. We focus on this simple task of helping people have a closer walk with God.
Don’t get me wrong we look at our numbers weekly, every Tuesday morning at [8:45]. Not to see how good we are, but how we can get better. We ponder how can we make better Instagram posts or tweets. We think about how to spread the message further, not for our glory, but for that of helping God.
For traditional ministers, it’s hard for them to understand this work. Their work is noble and strongly needed, mine is not traditional. But with so much of America unchurched, this is who we reach.
There is a gap that has grown in America, between those who attend church and believe in God and don’t. In fact, the same percentage of American’s still believe in God today as did one hundred years ago, even with church attendance down by fifty percent. Today seventy percent of Americans believe in Jesus, but only twenty percent go to church. This is the place we try to go.
And we see our results, not in numbers, but in responses. People write to us a say, I needed that reminder today. Or they say, Brother, thank you! I read your messages every day. We also get a lot of Amen’s every day as well, hundreds a week.
Not all agree with my messages, some more traditional ministers think I am too liberal or that I view the Bible with too much of a metaphorical view. Others will say I am too conservative. And this is where I want to be, not left or right. Encouraging people to have their own special relationship with God.
So we work every day, not with a focus on results, but on helping people take more steps in their faith. We work not by sight, but by faith.
So I tell everyone who asks, what do you do? My reply is anything that helps people have a closer walk with God.
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Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman