At the time of me writing this, I’ve been seriously blogging for about 15 months. When I started out, I wasn’t sure if I’d get more than 100 readers per month. Since then…
- My articles on the blog have reached 118,000 views.
- I’ve also repurposed my content on Quora and Medium and have received an additional 90,000 views.
- I’ve had the opportunity to write articles for CrossExamined.org, TheStream.org, CapturingChristianity.com, and ReasonsForJesus.com.
- I’ve had apologetics “heroes” of mine like Lee Strobel, J. Warner Wallace, and others share my articles on their social media pages.
- My Facebook page reaches an average of 75,000 people per month and has over 3,100 followers and is growing.
I don’t say any of this to brag, other than on God. But the fact of the matter is I fought the idea of writing for months. I sensed the Spirit of God encourage me to write back in December of 2017 and it took me over 10 months to get started.
Allow me to give you a little backstory.
I realize the vast majority of you read my blog for the content, and probably know very little about me. And that’s the way it should be. I don’t want things to be “about me” anyway, we should always be lifting up Jesus.
I’ve realized I haven’t given you an opportunity to know more about my situation. That way if you want to support works like this, it might give you a better understanding of why I do what I do.
Sensing a call to ministry, I went to Bible school in my early twenties. While I had some fuzzy hopes of becoming a youth pastor after Bible college, I ended up not feeling settled on launching out after interviewing with a few pastors. So I just focused on working a “normal” job. I met my wife, and we started a family.
I got caught up with trying to provide for them for the past 15 years, but never quite felt satisfied. It’s not as if I’m opposed to working a normal job. I’ve wanted to do just that, but I’ve struggled with it because I believe I was out of my grace.
The wrong value system
Eventually, I got a really great job in tech and was making more money than ever before. I received several promotions and loved my job, even though it was hard at times. There was only one problem.
That job became my identity and my idol. My passion for ministry after over a decade faded. I was no longer pursuing or even considering it and was confused about why I even went to Bible school in the first place. Ministry was on the shelf.
But then something happened. Anxiety entered in. And not just run of the mill anxiety. I mean “sleeping-2-hours-a-night-or-less” anxiety.
I knew that I had to get serious with God and cling to him more closely than ever. And as I did, He began to reveal to me where my anxiety was coming from.
For starters, I learned that when you base your identity on something that you stand to lose, you’re opening the door to anxiety. My value system was upside-down. Although this was a process, peace and thankfully sleep returned. And I started to get take my walk with God seriously.
My second problem was I had no plans to even pursue what I felt I was put on this earth for. Every single person has a gift given to them by Christ to serve with, and I wasn’t interested in using it. I was like the foolish man who buried his talent in Matthew 25. Again, I was valuing the wrong things. I knew I had to get after it.
A big step of faith, a big miracle
After months of prayer, I kept getting the sense that God wanted me to do something totally crazy. And I mean crazy like I’m embarrassed to tell people crazy. No sane person wants to be a spiritual flake.
But I sensed that God wanted me to leave my cushy job and go work part-time at my church’s daycare. I was to from my comfy office, position of authority and making good money to driving a school bus, wiping runny noses and chasing kids around.
As you could imagine, I bucked and kicked against the very notion of this and wrestled with God for months. But finally, I told God that I’d surrender to it. He’d just have to help me. And I didn’t just do it with a bad attitude. I got happy about it. And guess what happened the day after that?
You’re not going to believe it. Someone we never met before in another state gave us a check for $10,000 for us to invest in my wife’s business. No strings attached. I was floored.
And I took it as a sure sign that I was on the right track. So I went to work at my church’s daycare in December of 2017. And as it turned out, I loved it. I saw how God valued the lives of these kids. Some of them came from rough backgrounds, were in foster care or had disabilities.
After I started, the very same month during a time of prayer, I sensed God talk to me about my background. I had blogged about baseball for years during my late 20’s and 30’s and even got paid a little to do it. I had done sales training. I also got interested in the subject of apologetics after dealing with some tough objections from some co-workers a decade ago. It was something I was passionate about before.
For the first time since graduating from Bible school, I felt purpose again. I realized my calling. So many pieces of the puzzle clicked.
So here I was, driving buses, working with kids, and mopping floors while my wife was getting her business off the ground. We’ve had ups and downs and it’s been lean, but we’ve always at least got by, even if we got behind.
Steps towards ministry
I finally launched out in October of 2018 with the blog. My mind still thought that this was a bit silly. Blogs are just hobbies, aren’t they? Who is going to read this? This isn’t writing about sports, this is about apologetics…and while I love and see the value of apologetics, the majority of the church world doesn’t. This was quite a weird niche, but I went along with it.
And since then, I’ve seen the aforementioned results. And this year, my main focus is YouTube. I’ve also become a Reasonable Faith Chapter Director. I’m picking up whatever I can to give myself to this, even though my mind says this isn’t common sense.
OK, so this is where you come in:
I’m more than willing to work and be a “tent-maker”, like Paul, Priscilla, and Aquila. (Acts 18:1-4) I’ve even have done some web design on the side to help make ends meet. But if you’ve ever started a business before, you know the time it can take. And we also homeschool four kids, and we just found out recently we have a 5th on the way!
Here’s the thing … we know we’re in the humble origins stage. And it’s taking longer than we had hoped. My wife has a vision for her business, it’s still just getting off the ground as we’re just two people operating out of our home.
I’ve often thought of quitting many times and going back into the regular workforce –and there is nothing wrong with that — but I don’t believe that is what I’m to do. And my wife strongly believes that her business is God’s plan for her as well. We are doing our best to follow what we believe is God’s plan for our lives no matter how crazy it looks.
And so I’m asking for your help. I’ve received emails and comments from people all over the globe, including Kenya, Croatia, Australia and other places regarding how my content has helped strengthen their faith, even while they are in hostile territories, like the university.
I’ve slowly come around to the idea that I’m not just doing this as a hobby, this is a mission field.
Check out this excerpt from an article The Christian Post based on a lecture given by Dr. Josh McDowell:
“In 1991, 51 percent of evangelical young adults said there is no truth apart from their own views. Today, that number is 91 percent,” said McDowell.
The respected apologist also says the Internet’s “exploding information” plays a major factor in challenging the way young people view culture, the church, and their moral views. According to his research, millions of youths take in about 34GB of Internet data each day, which is equivalent to the amount of lyrics found in 8,160 songs.
“Every pastor, youth pastor, and every parent is in competition with the Internet and the information it is spreading,” said McDowell. “Most young people don’t get their news from CNN or CBS, they get it from bloggers. There are about 181 million bloggers vying for the attention of your children.”
The unlimited amount of online information that people have access to has caused an increase in skepticism that will only continue to become more pervasive, says McDowell.
“If you don’t believe me, go around and talk to young people in colleges and in junior high. Go and make ‘truth statements’ and you’ll hear them say, ‘How do you know that’s true?’ There’s so much out there,” said McDowell. “[For] every kid, even Christians, the age of the Internet is wearing down their convictions because they think tomorrow they’ll find something else.”
He continued, “Fifteen to 20 years ago, the questions that you used to hear at universities about faith, Jesus and the Bible, about skepticisms, questioning what you believe in; questions that you used to hear in the last two years of college are now being asked by 10- and 11-year-olds. It’s coming all right down through Social Media.”
During his message, he also told pastors they cannot pastor the same way they have been for the last 20 years while telling parents they cannot raise their children the same way they were raised because the Internet has changed “everything.”
“Twenty years ago, the phrase was, ‘if you don’t reach a young person by 18, you probably won’t reach them. Now, atheists and agnostics have the same access to your kids as you do, it’s just one click away. The internet has leveled the playing field…”
Barna tells us the percentage of teens who identify as atheist is double that of the general population, and their reasons for rejecting the faith are largely answered by apologetics.
The Pew Research Center tells us the number of Millenials who identify as religiously unaffiliated has increased to 26%. This is the same demographic where 62% are daily YouTube users. One atheist YouTuber (Cosmic Skeptic) that has had 25 million views and has 304k subscribers alone.
Another atheist YouTuber – Rationality Rules – has had 17 million views and has 224k subscribers since joining YouTube in March of 2017. Rationality Rules says that his goal is to “debunk and refute predominately religious and supernatural arguments.”
This is a huge mission field. Thankfully there are a growing number of amazing apologists who are on YouTube, but the challenge is great. I want to continue to create and invest more in equipment so that I can at least be faithful to do my part. And I also want to stay afloat with my monthly expenses while my wife grows her business and we homeschool our kids.
Help support digital missions
We have a goal of $3,000 per month.
If less than 5% of my monthly readers donated $5 per month – that’s a mere $.17 per day, I’d meet this goal and be able to invest more in equipment and study materials.
I believe God’s my source and He’s good, so there’s no pressure, but anything you can do goes a long way. Thanks for reading, for your prayers and generosity!
Paul said wrote to the Philippians: “I am put here for the defense of the gospel…
Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that at the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into a partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica, you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Erik is a Reasonable Faith Chapter Director located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He’s a former freelance baseball writer and the co-owner of a vintage and handmade decor business with his wife, Dawn. He is passionate about the intersection of apologetics and evangelism.