Accounting for Seven Years of Ministry

Seven years.  Yes, I’ve been doing this for seven years.  I began blogging for the Lord Jesus in December 2009.  Therefore, this month completes seven full years of doing this work.

I began the seven years with this blog, added another blog from time to time, and currently have five.  (I was up to six at one point, but quickly realized that was too much.)  All of the blogs are about the Lord Jesus; each just has a different focus, which is encapsulated in the different title of each blog.  The five blogs are:

A Scriptural Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom (this blog; the main one)

Bible Study Notes for the Kingdom of God

Christian Leaders and the Kingdom of God

Current Events in Light of the Kingdom of God

Reference Shelf for the Kingdom of God

During the 2,557 days that made up the last seven years, I published at least one post each day.  That means that there was not a single day in the last seven years that I did not publish at least one post.  And, of course, many days I posted more than one.  The total number of posts I wrote and published during the seven years reaches 12,503 with this one this morning.

As for feedback to these many posts, I have received a total 14,242 comments on my blogs.  I am guessing that about a third of these comments are my responses to questions and challenges from commenters.  That would mean there are about 10,000 comments from readers of the blogs.  Of course, many commenters wrote more than one comment.  I don’t know how to easily find out how many different people are responsible for those roughly ten thousand comments.

Of course, there are always more people who read a blog post than there are people who comment on it.  In total, the five blogs are currently receiving an average of 503 daily page views.  The software I use (WordPress) does not track (that I know of) the number of people who read the blog regularly versus those who read it once and never look at it again.  Therefore, it could be one person looking at 503 different pages or 503 people looking at one page each but is, more than likely, something well in between those two extremes.  In addition, there are 204 subscriptions to the three blogs that allow them (which means a subscriber receives the post by e-mail rather than having to view it through a browser).  But again, I just know that the post went to their e-mail inbox; I don’t know how many subscribers actually read it each time it is sent.

In addition to the written material I have published, I have also published through these blogs during these seven years various audio and video teachings.  They amount to almost one thousand of the 12,503 posts: that is, 924 audio teachings (podcast episodes) and 74 video teachings (YouTube videos).  For example, I am currently publishing a daily podcast of the Old Testament, reading a chapter a day and focusing on Jesus.  It will take me another year and three months of daily episodes to complete that podcast, having completed the New Testament in 2015.

Listeners currently download about 90-100 podcast episodes each day; that’s a combination of current and past episodes.  As for video teachings, each video has received, on average, less than 40 views.  Videos, therefore, are the least accessed of any material I’ve produced – by far.  For this reason, I have ceased, at least for the time being, producing them.  Like any reasonable person, I want to allocate my time where it can be most productively spent.

As for books, I have published 7 of them during the last seven years.  At first, I loaded three books (all written years before, but only distributed as photo copies to a few people) to my blogs along with an audio version (which was simply me reading the book).  People could read any of these three books online and/or listen to it as a podcast.  During the last year, I figured out how to publish a book to any standard digital reader (Kindle, iPad, Nook, etc.) and then wrote four more books.  Thus, all 7 books now exist in digital editions and are now available from seven different digital bookstores.  Since making these digital editions available, readers have downloaded 306 copies of these books to their digital devices.

As you may already know, I don’t charge for the books or for any of this work; nor do I solicit or accept donations.  Neither do I copyright any of the material.  I am happy to freely give out of what God has given me, and I am happy for people to share it with others however they wish.  I do not begrudge any minister of the gospel the right to earn a living from his ministry, but I am retired from business and God has allowed me to fund this ministry myself…and so I do.  I am blessed to have learned truth and I want to share it as widely as possible as quickly as possible.

This is how I have spent the last seven years – part-time at first, increasing the time with each year, and full-time for the last couple of years.  I’m going to take some time off for family during the holidays, but will, of course, continue posting a podcast episode from the Old Testament series each day.  I will also take some time to pray and think through how I should conduct ministry going forward.  Seven years is a good time to take stock.

By the way, when I use the word “minister” or “ministry,” I do not mean in an ecclesiastical sense.  Rather, I am using the words in their biblical sense, which is, respectively, “servant” and “service.”  My writing and speaking is my way of serving others.  I am your servant; my work is my service to you for the Lord’s sake.  I don’t do weddings, funerals, or any of the traditional duties people often ascribe to a minister.  I pastor no church; I represent no organization, institution, or group of any kind.  My commission is simply the conviction of my conscience that this is what the Lord Himself wants me to do for others – that He would be displeased with me if I didn’t share with others what He has revealed to me.  I’m just a sinner with a hunger for righteousness, sharing with others the bread he’s found.

What do I think about these last seven years?  I think I can begin to understand how Isaiah felt when he wondered “Who has believed our message?” (Isaiah 53:1).  I can just see him scratching his head.  No one wants to labor in vain, and I must admit that I have been greatly surprised – and disappointed – that the things that I have proclaimed (especially as outlined in the overview of this blog) have not had more of an impact.  It seems to me almost like water off a duck’s back.  I don’t wonder why more people haven’t followed me, but rather why my work hasn’t encouraged more teachers to proclaim this message.  Surely, I cannot be the only one to whom God has revealed these truths.

I have not been skimpy with my explanations, and I have taken great pains to show where these ideas reside in the Scriptures.  I have let opponents have their say and I have answered every question and objection raised.  Though other people could have explained things better than I have, I don’t think anyone could say that my message has been unclear or that my explanations have been incoherent.  I never expected everyone to believe me, but I did expect more to believe me than apparently have.

Be assured that I don’t measure the success of my work by how many followers I may have, but rather by my contribution to how many followers He has and how well those followers are doing.  Granted, that’s harder to measure, but it’s the only measurement that counts.  May God grant that my labor not have been in vain, but rather that it bring a harvest for Him.  The seed is good.

Believe what I have reported to you from my reading and study of the Bible, for I have not spoken thoughtlessly…and I certainly have not lied.  Rather, I have spoken soberly and in the fear of God…and after extended periods of study, prayer, and practice.  I have spoken of important matters and not of trivial things.  And in everything I have sought to be faithful to the Bible and to the Lord of all creation who inspired it and stands behind it.  You can believe what I say because the Lord bears witness to your heart that it is true, or you can read the Scriptures for yourself and see that I have been true to them.  Either way, let God’s word be trusted.  I’m just passing along what I’ve learned from Him.

As for me, like the old song says:

I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

4 Replies to “Accounting for Seven Years of Ministry”

  1. I have been reading your books and posts for several weeks now. I appreciate all of your work. There is a lot to learn here and I am continuing to seek The Lord’s ways on my own. I have been very disappointed with organized religion and churches. Again, thank you for sharing and God bless you and your family during the holidays. I will pray for God’s guidance for your future work for Him. I would be very sad if I didn’t have this site to learn from.

  2. Mike, you certainly are a diligent student of the holy Bible. I don’t share your understanding of hell but I do enjoy how you introduce God’s Word and especially enjoy your easy to read teaching style.

  3. Mike what do you know about Mat, 27v 52-53 many saints raised from the dead, and appeared to many other people in the city.

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