Monday, November 8, 2010

Thinking Ahead About Thinking Aloud

For the last 16 months, I have focused my "Thinking Aloud" comments on Facebook. Most recently I have drawn the comments for my daily posts from writing that I have been doing for The New International Lesson Annual. Now that assignment is behind me (to be published in the 2012-13 Annual, although a previous set of lessons I wrote is in the current 2010-11 Annual and will be studied in the June-August quarter, 2011), and I want to move in a different direction with my "Thinking Aloud" daily posts.

First, Facebook limits posts to about 420 characters unless you post them as Notes. I find that rather restrictive, although I know many folks appreciate a short devotional idea more than an extended one, especially when so much is posted on Facebook that you want to keep up with. I would like a little more freedom to lengthen my daily musings, however, so I've decided to post them on my Mike's Thinking Aloud blog and link to the blog on Facebook.

Second, one of the ongoing passions of my life has been conceptualizing the task of making disciples. I began thinking more deeply in that area in the early 1990's when I was working at LifeWay and was assigned to a special workgroup that was redesigning LifeWay's entire Sunday School program and resources. Most of my thinking had been fleshed out by 1997, but I have continued to add to it and tweak it from time to time. In recent years I have used my Making Disciple design in China and India. I'm ready to lay it out more widely now to invite interaction and to generate a broader discussion on how we develop disciples in the church.

Finally, I have been serving on the Mission Visioning Committee in my church (First Baptist, Jefferson City, TN). That committee is winding down now, and the one major area still left to address in the area of Christian spiritual development. I am working with a group of very talented professors and educators on a team looking at how we can improved the discipleship ministry of our church. With the focus currently before me, I'd like to begin addressing little pieces of my Making Disciples design on a daily (or almost daily basis) in place of my regular posts on Facebook.

You can choose to use the link from Facebook to my blog, or you can go to my blog and sign up to follow it--that will give you notice whenever something is added to the discussion. I think the blog also will afford a better place for you to interact with me about discipleship development.

I'll try this out for a while and see where the discussion and interaction lead me. Thanks to those of you have interacted with me on Facebook. I hope you will feel even freer to interact with me on Mike's Thinking Aloud.

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