I had a wonderful time with the folks over at The Kindlings Muse on Monday night, but it reinforced why I prefer the medium of writing over voice or video – namely, that I hate the sound of my voice, and when I’m trying to figure out what to write next you don’t hear me say, ‘Um’ over and over and over….
But other than that it was a fun night of conversation over a topic that I have a growing interest in. The podcast is being posted in three sections, so here is the first. I will link to others as they come.
Participating as part of a moderated panel was a great first experience into public speaking because I didn’t have to be the person with all the answers, and I also wasn’t responsible for setting the direction of the conversation. But at the same time, I came prepared with all sorts of interesting things to say based on my experience, and we either didn’t have time for it all, or the conversation just didn’t go in a certain direction.
I think one of the things I would have been interested in exploring more is the very basic idea of ‘what is community?’ It seems to me like what the original Inklings group had going on was an ‘iron sharpens iron’ style of accountability where they spurred one another on to do and be great things (Author Larry Crabb calls it Soul Talk). That doesn’t magically happen just because you sit down in a pub over a pint and start talking, and it is not merely a matter of information exchange – whether in person or via the internet. You have to be committed to one another, and desire to see other people grow and change for the better, and you have to do it within the context of love and relationship.
I think there are plenty of groups who meet in person that do not possess this kind of intimacy that inspires us as humans, just as I think there are many people who have discovered kindred spirits online and continue to be challenged by those relationships. To me it is not about online or offline, it is about relationship.
But alas we did not go there fully. Perhaps another time, no?