It's always hard to pinpoint that moment when inspiration becomes action for me...
I've always been one to jump in both hands and both feet. When I wanted to learn more about business, I bought one to see how things really work. That's why I'm convinced I'd be an awful Texas Hold 'Em poker player. First hand I had a good feeling about...all in! People usually don't last long in the game doing that when I watch tournaments on ESPN.
From many previous post, it should be obvious I have a heart for ministering to that group of Christian young people just leaving the nest of mommy and daddy's home. Statistically speaking, many move away from their faith during this time. Since I was once in that statistical group, it was easy for me to empathize with this particular path.
God called me to get busy, and in typical Tony C fashion, I immediately connected the demographic I would be ministering to with the internet. Wouldn't young people always online doing young people stuff? So I set out to create a website for all the fledgling Christian youth to flock to and experience revival...
Not so fast.
After coming up with a site name of stickwithjesus.com, registering, building, mapping the site, writing content and spending countless hours promoting it...I was lucky to get a dozen hits a day. Then came MySpace (here) and email promotions. There was a point when I would stay up every night and engage people on Yahoo Answers to promote the site until the early morning hours. Still, a good day was 20 hits.
Effort wasn't the problem. I was just trying to reach too wide an audience right out of the gate. I knew this was what God was calling me to do, but I hadn't waited on the answer on exactly how He wanted me to go about this ministry. After spending considerable time and resources, I pulled the plug on stickwithjesus.com at the beginning of 2008 and took a step back to retool. What was I doing wrong? Why wasn't this working if God was in it?
Well obviously, the problem wasn't God...it was Tony.
I didn't know how to build a website. I had to teach myself. I didn't know how to market a website. I learned through trial and error (mostly error). I was an amateur writer at best. Let me twist a very popular cliche and state- There's no I in God. Only God in me...and the body of Believers. My efforts would require God's timing and as much help as possible from other Christian brothers and sisters; therefore, I wouldn't be the Moses of a modern internet exodus by young people back to God.
In September 2008, my blogging experience began after a prayerful night of asking His direction. This felt right. Soon I was connecting with more and more Christians online through email, blogging and Facebook. Contact with other Christians became consistent then routine. People at church started reading my blog post and offering encouragement. Again, it all felt right. The moment of God's endorsement, in my mind, came at the beginning of this year when a friend and blog reader ask me to consider taking over as teacher for his Sunday School class...the college-aged class!
This is where I wanted you.
Now I regularly remind said class that patience is a Heavenly virtue...just trust me on that one.