Rethinking This Blog

I’ve never been a good blogger. I do it when it’s fun. Then I lose interest. Said at Southern has been different. I’ve made friends, learned tech skills, and started a little mischief. Our network of bloggers has been very encouraging. I’ve benefited from reading skimming your feeds each day. My thesis has been confirmed: Humble Orthodoxy + Evangelical Engagement = Good Blogging. God has blessed our Seminary and we can share a taste of that beyond Lexington Rd.

Rethinking Said at Southern

So, what’s next? I want this site to be good for Jesus’ people. I want our content to encourage you as a believer, a learner, and a church leader. I want our writers to be built up by their efforts as well. I want our professors to see we really were listening.

Will you tell me what you think? I am at a decisive moment for this project. I volunteer about four hours a week. That time seems very precious right now. Leave me some feedback below. Here are some questions I’m asking:

  • Why do you visit Said at Southern?
  • How have we encouraged you as a believer, a learner, and a church leader?
  • What changes do you think we should consider?
  • What do you see as our flagship or pillar content?
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35 Responses to Rethinking This Blog

  1. Aaron says:

    One of the main reasons I’m subscribed to Said at Southern is simply this: you guys write like people. That’s important, and it’s not as common as you might think.

    I don’t necessarily agree with everything here, but that’s not the point. This is a worthwhile resource in its own right, for which you guys ought to be commended.

    I especially enjoyed your interview with Derek Webb, who I consider a truly revolutionary voice on the “Christian music” scene.

    Not much else to say besides keep up the good work!

  2. I agree with Aaron, y’all write like people. We can “sound off” on one another and allow for iron to sharpen iron or we can get input from fellow ministers, fathers, husbands (wives), students on a variety of things.

    I have been greatly edified through dialogue on blog sites that I would have never found had it not been for Said.

    I have been encouraged through comments having been left on my blog as well as just knowing that people out there actually read what I write (I still have not figured out why). It is pretty wild when someone recognizes your name and says, “Oh yeah, you are the diary blogger.” They then introduce themselves by their blog name. It has greatly increased fellowship, in my limited and humble estimation.

    As for flagship content–I would have to say living the Christian life is the main drive to most of the bloggers here. Obviously, some are more academic than others, but I think that helps to give us a holistic (can I say that here?) approach to understanding better how we are to live and be in this world.

  3. I don’t so much visit the site as get the regular e-mails on updates to the site which are tremendously helpful as if there is something worth checking in more detail I’ll tend to check the site out more.

    I love the podcasts they are such a benefit to my understanding and spiritual development. I’m not from your part of Christendom if you will, but I appreciate engaging with the stuff that’s said on the podcasts. Also there are some really good articles that are placed here and I tend to go for the links that you’ll put onto other sites and blogs. They are extremely helpful.

    In terms of changes, there’s not much more that can be done in the time that you say you allot to maintain this web ministry. Perhaps new features could include round table discussions on implementing what you learn from the bible in the world you live in.

    Regarding the pillar content? Not so sure. Evidently you’re representing the educational facility of which you are a part and that entails faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Beyond that, not too sure what the pillars would be.

    Keep on keeping on.

  4. Tony Kummer says:

    I’ve been surprised by our reach beyond our seminary and even the SBC. It’s never safe to only talk to people who agree with you. I knew that going into the Webb interview. Sometimes I just need to listen.

    Terry & Aaron – I’d like to hear more about how we can increase interaction. I want our network to talk to each other both here and on their blogs.

    Christopher – just to clarify, we’re all student at the Seminar. But we do talk to many of our teachers on the podcast.

    Keep the comments coming.

  5. Just a quick idea that struck me as I was reading your reply Tony–back home in St. Louis, the local Fox news channel recently began a blog. After about 6 months, the blogging took off like crazy for them and they had what they called a “blogapalooza” at a local coffee house in downtown St. Louis. As dorky as I thought it was at first, pehaps this would be a good idea (if done correctly) to help us not only put names with faces, but to simply interact in person rather than behind a keyboard. I am not sure of the “how” but I think it might be a very feasible idea if we used something like Heritage Hall or even the cafeteria or outside on the veranda. We could do something where we introduce ourselves and give a quick synopsis of what we are hoping to accomplish with our blog.

    If done correctly, I think it would bring an already tight-knit group (bloggers and Southern seminary students) closer. These are just my humble thoughts on the spur of the moment. God bless.

  6. Doug Smith says:

    Said at Southern provides a means for me to get acquainted with the seminary community. Granted, it’s not as good as face to face, but I’m in Virginia, the seminary’s in Louisville (I’m an Internet student presently). I come across good posts and articles as I look at the site periodically. I’m challenged in my thinking. I’m encouraged by the podcasting. I’ve been provoked to think about my own blogging content and motivations and how this medium squares with priorities in my life, asking questions such as “Why am I doing this?” “What would be most useful to other who might read this?” “Should I write more/less often?” “How much time should I spend with this stuff?” etc.

    I think more interviews with professors would be a good thing, as well as articles about seminary life that are gauged toward providing practical help, encouragement and needed rebuke (kind of like Dr. Moore’s chapel yesterday!).

  7. Actually, Terry, Timmy Brister started the Band of Bloggers fellowship that coincided with the Together for the Gospel conference. No word yet on whether or not we’ll have another one.

    Perhaps in the years between T4G meetings we could have twice-yearly or evey quarterly “Band of S @ S-ers” (Band of Sassers, lol) exclusively for Said at Southern folks. That would be a good fellowship and remind us that we’re not electronic creations like the Tron movie.

  8. Ahem . . .

    Stay tuned Stephen. ;)

  9. And I thought I was original! Anyway, I was checking out the other seminary blog sites and I must say I am impressed with ours. It seems as though this is still catching on. I look forward to the future. I have found Said to be comforting for a new seminary student–even one more advanced in age than some of you youngin’s.

    I think one thing that could be added to the site (and I have no idea how this would be monitored) is a prayer request section. It would be awesome if we could send out prayer requests to everyone. I know I could use some specific prayer right now as well as Timmy with his forthcoming child (sleep now, bro!). Anyway, just another thought that I am sure Timmy has already come up with :) God bless.

  10. Tony,

    As you already know I appreciate what you’re doing with this site, as does my pastor, a Southern graduate.

    The site opens a window for me into what I consider encouraging signs of genuine spiritual growth and Biblical depth being developed in the hearts and lives of many young pastors. I hope, by God’s grace, that bodes well for the future of our convention.

    Keep up the good work, Tony.

  11. Santiago says:

    I’m not in the SBTS community. I haven’t been a Baptist but for a few years. I have a mind for theology, apologetics and Christian philosophy. As such the Minister of Education at my church, Dr. Jeff Spry, turned me on to several blogs in the SBTS community to help bring me up to speed on Southern Baptist issues. Many of the blogs have helped, but I don’t have time to read all of them all the time. This blog gives is an excellent filter for highlights of some of the blogs to which I don’t subscribe.

  12. Aaron Hawk says:

    Well, I’ll answer these questions before I read the other comments to give you a totally honest opinion.

    1) Why? Hmmm… well, through the (very) few conversations we’ve had (Tony and I), reading your posts, analyzing what you (guys) choose to post, and especially reading the responses that you give when things could have gotten heated, I have grown to appreciate you and many of your readers). There is a tremendous amount of arrogance, with a serious lack of grace in the “Christian” blogging world. I have come to find Said At Southern a welcome refuge from that type of thing.

    Also, to be quite honest, since you post our feeds, I feel that I actually have some part in this thing and look forward to being able (when time permits) to investigate what others are thinking and how they reason through things. Bottom line on this subject, I LOVE studying people, especially people in whom I see a spark of the Divine Spirit (I love analyzing, meditating upon, and just getting to know them). This site provides THE perfect place to do this.

    2) How? Well, I’ve already answered this to a large degree. There have been a few “encouraging words” and so on, but mostly just knowing that there is a “place” I can go and spend virtual fellowship with other believers, especially those that enjoy digging deep and discussing deep things.

    3) I’m not the most imaginative person when it comes to online stuff. I’m still a baby in the online world, so don’t really have any suggestions.

    I’m coming back to this one after answering #4. If you ever lean toward doing “one” thing, my suggestion would be to have a separate tag / section (like you have the Faculty / Students / Alumni and so on separated). What I am thinking of is exposition. I love exposition very much, but between school, church, my own study, and random inquiries, I get enough of it and wouldn’t read if that were all that were here. If the page decided to do that type of thing, my vote (for whatever it’s worth) would be make a “subject” type of division and keep the random stuff ;)

    4) Frankly, I can’t answer this one. Again, I’m still fairly new. I never did anything other than check email or shop online until this past year and I just entered the blogging world this past May. However, I can say that I actually like the fact that you have just had some random stuff on here. I mean, they are all Christ-centered, but one time you are doing a series on Webb and another you are sharing with us about conversions to Orthodoxy. I like the variety!

    Don’t know if any of this helps, but there you go :)
    Blessings brother, and thank you!

  13. G. F. McDowell says:

    When the Towers (a fairly sterile news source in its own right) only comes out every second Monday, during the semester, and there is no student newspaper, S@S helps me feel up to speed with what is going on on campus, how people are doing, and gives me a much needed laugh now and then.

  14. Aaron Hawk says:

    ok, after reading the comments…

    first thing, you guys are a trip!

    second, I love the idea of some type of get-together

    third, I think the highlight thing you are already doing probably goes a long way toward this (building community). I mean, I would have never found Mister Brister otherwise (and others :)

  15. I have been tell Tony at our SaS staff meetings (okay, so we want to feel important) that we needed to do some fellowships. I would love to challenge any of you guys at the bowling alley, or the ping-pong table, or the basketball court, or the golf course or, okay, so I am a jock.

    But really, we could begin by meeting up at Founders Cafe and go from there. It would be cool to do a podcast of a round-table discussion too (although we might need to have a five-second delay when Guillaume is speaking).

    But seriously, there is something coming up that I will need all your help.

    Tony, are you taking notes?

  16. I work at a golf course. If we would like, we could get a S@S scramble on the schedule for spring break or sometime early next year. I could organize it if y’all want. It would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $25-$37/person. If y’all want to do it, let me know and I will check it out.

    Oh yeah, Timmy, I will take you on in bowling (once we actually have an income coming in again!) but not basketball. I am the true definition of the white man! Maybe softball or baseball or football although you look like you could lay a pretty good hit on me.

  17. Aaron Hawk says:

    (to all of Mister Brister’s comments) set it up and let us know!

  18. Brian L says:

    I like SAS for the aggregators – especially the “Well Said…”

  19. Tony Kummer says:

    Two real easy things to do:
    – Prayer requests
    – Meet up at Founders

    Here is an idea I’ve thought about- Adding some blog sponsors to the sidebar. I’m not concerned to pay for the hosting costs. But I could generate some small “thank you” gifts for our guest writers. I’m mostly thinking amazon affiliate stuff. They pay in gift certificates. We could also give these out as prizes.

    Would this be too commercial? Let me know what you think.

  20. Tony,

    Could you develop your thoughts a bit more. I think it sounds alright but that is at a superficial understanding of what you are saying. Thanks, bro.

  21. Timmy, my offer of ping pong is still good. Though I think my wife would prefer we grab your wife and the 4 of us go bowling. ;-)

    I absolutely LOVE the idea of a golf scramble. I played varsity in high school but have since been unable to play regularly. I’ve been nosing around for new clubs and a S @ S scramble would likely give me the incentive to finally shell out for them. It would be good for me as well since our kid will be born in January, and it would get me out of the apartment!

    Interesting other thought…tackle football on the seminary lawn. We could get all the big buff guys to dress in Tennessee orange and put Timmy and all the other guys to pretend they are tackling dummies…

    :D

  22. Tony Kummer says:

    Terry –
    There are some programs that allow bloggers to earn affiliate commission by sending business to their online stores. Amazon.com and many others do this. So if you buy a book from Amazon after clicking though from our site it would credit us with a small commission. Then Amazon would pay out in electronic gift certificates. We could then give these to some of our regular writers as gifts OR use them for giveaways to our readers.

    I use Amazon as an example. There are many others. I’ve had a link to Amazon up for this purpose but it is very small and we don’t make a big deal out of it.

  23. Aaron Hawk says:

    As to the ads, I don’t think it is a bad idea the way you put it

    Not sure if this is an inside convo at this point or not (4 of us ;), don’t want to barge in

    Well, to any of the sports people, racquetball anyone? Martial Arts? Yeah, I don’t know a thing about football / basketball… as to golf, I could drive the cart :) , so Timmy, you’re not the only jock and it’s not a bad thing ;)

  24. The only caution I have, Tony, is getting too gimicky with the blog. I like the idea of “paying” guest writers. Maybe I am a purist, but I think for those who are blogging on S@S, they should be doing it for the fellowship and edification of others, not to win something. However, if you go with quantity of posts, count me in, I hit around 7-9 a week on my diary! ;)

    Aaron–this is not an inside convo as I am sure everyone else will tell you, but in case they don’t let’s keep it between you and me.

  25. Bryan says:

    I’m always up for some basketball :)

    I just need to get some shoes. Sandals don’t work well for basketball.

    Also I love the idea of getting together at founder’s or another place for fellowship and being socials. I want to meet some of the guys that I read thanks to this blog.

  26. Aaron Hawk says:

    Terry – just had to tease ;)

  27. G. F. McDowell says:

    Now Timmy, what have you heard from my mouth that is worthy of censorship? I only have to struggle against filth departing my mouth when I hear or read teaching that isn’t faithful to scripture.

  28. A couple of things to mention here that might be helpful.

    1. For those of you who have Facebook, there is a Said at Southern group. If you haven’t joined it, I encourage you to do so. It might be easier to communicate events, plan fellowships, and organize for future activities that way versus posts here on the blog.

    2. Stephen, I am not a good pretender, especially at tackling. Just bring you some shoulder pads and shin guards, okay? Oh, and did I tell you that I have a professional ping-pong paddle? [note to self: hurry up and find the paddle]

    3. Guillaume, I guess it was just all that time we spent together over fundamentalism that made me think that, or what is our conversations in the hallway of Honeycutt, or your provocative comments on the blog, or that Vermont accent that I never got used to. Just kidding. Although next time there is an open mic in chapel, don’t ask for my advice, okay?

    4. All, I seriously think there is a lot of potential to see Said at Southern become way more than just a blog or blogging community. I know Tony appreciates your feedback, and I do as well. Please keep the ideas coming, and I look forward to what lies ahead.

  29. G. F. McDowell says:

    Timmy,
    Did you notice that there hasn’t been an open mic in chapel since that day? I thought I was respectful, I certainly tried to ask respectfully. My whole body was shaking, though. Wasn’t that to have been the first of many presidential briefings? Maybe we’ll have one after the trustee meetings are finished this week.

  30. Aaron Hawk says:

    Ok Guillaume, I don’t miss chapel all that much, but evidently I missed this one. You gotta fill me in (use facebook or my email). Speaking of which, where in the world have you been? No Sunday nights anymore?

  31. Aaron Hawk says:

    well, naturally you are also free here, but I’m assuming this is a topic that people are trying to avoid posting :)

  32. I think gathering together would be great, even important.

    What day and time?

    I think we should set this up soon.

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  35. Kevin Hash says:

    keep up the good work!

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