Welcome to the New Blog

Donald Miller

The Storyline Blog was created to help you live a better story with your life. And for us, that means gaining mental clarity by remembering priorities and executing a plan to live into them.

By mental clarity, I mean honing down on what really matters in life. That is, when the credits roll, what will have truly mattered.

For us, what we feel matters in the end are, among other things:

• To have developed a close relationship with God
• To have participated with Him in the work He’s doing
• To have loved the people around us
• To have contributed positively to our communities
• To have nurtured our souls
• To have lived in faith and not worry
• To have told great stories with our lives
• To have been part of a greater, global community

So the Storyline Blog is all about remembering why we are here. We are a group of Christians who intend to write about life, about priorities, and relationships and faith. We do not want this blog to be a smash hit, but rather a place where a quiet community of people can interact, be inspired and encouraged.

To do this, we’re assembling a group of capable writers who are living great, clear stories themselves. You can learn more about our first round of writers on the “Contributors” page. But do know the group of contributors is growing. We intend to grow this group slowly, by watching writers and bloggers who are contributing consistent, good content to the world.

Though we will have guest contributors, I’ll still be posting on this blog at least twice each week, and often even more.

We know there is no shortage of Christian blogs out there. And the last thing we want to do is write content that “sells” or “attracts the most readers.” Rather, we want to write content that feeds and encourages souls (not that the two are mutually exclusive). We want to be a small café, as it were, where people come for breakfast and a long stay over coffee.

My initial questions, upon the launch of our new blog are:

What do you feel is missing in an online Christian community?

What could we offer on this blog that will feed your soul?

-Donald Miller
Donald Miller

Donald Miller

Donald Miller is all about story. He helps people live a better story at creatingyourlifeplan.com and grow their business at storybrand.com. Follow Don on Twitter (@donaldmiller). To read more of his posts on the Storyline Blog, click here.

  • http://huntingforgod.wordpress.com/ Paul

    I’ve been trying to convert my blog into something more akin to community for a little while now… I think if I had to say something was missing, it would be motivation. We all want to be a part of community; we all want to Know and Be Known. It feels like the most natural thing in the world… But the trick to it is that community /isn’t/ easy. It requires intimacy, and those that are contributing have to be willing to share parts of themselves that they might occasionally prefer to keep hidden. It’s a tall order. But when you find it, when it’s done right… It’s /so/ powerful.

    I guess that’s kind of my answer to what could feed my soul. Show me vulnerability. Show me good people doing their very best to live the life they’ve always wanted, even when they fail. Show me authenticity and I’ll be here every day.

    • http://timschurrer.com Tim Schurrer

      We’ll try to do exactly that. We need more vulnerability and authenticity in this world.

      • http://mysubplot.com/user/maitlenm Mike

        I’m in on the idea of intimacy/vulnerability… I’ve been challenged recently to make my life more about relationships with those God has put in my life rather than activities or things (i.e. work, church, hobbies, etc).

        I’ve been challenged to cultivate this with my close friends and it’s been amazing to see the results so far – God is so faithful.

        But how do we engage in that online? I’m starting a blog for the Young Adults ministry at my church and I’ve been wrestling with how to engage people and have them involved in it.

        I’m excited to take what I learn from Storyline Blog and apply it to my church blog..

  • http://searchwithallyourheart.blogspot.com Shellybell

    I like the new site.

    For me personally down here in Texas, I’m missing the northwest where water falls from the hills, trees reach the heavens, and coffee looks like your picture…but no online community can solve that problem.

    I tell you what, if you guys stick to your 8 bullet point “To have’s”, this blog will drip with encouragement, challenge, hope, prodding, and inspiration.

    Many will be blessed…including me.

    Looking forward to it.

  • http://www.andersgerdmar.com Anders Gerdmar

    Looks great…
    But when I try to order at Amazon, they do not want to ship to Sweden. Great Stories can’t be limited to the US, can they ;)?

    • http://storylineblog.com/contributors Tim Schurrer

      We’re hoping to go international with Storyline soon, but for now it’s only available in the US. Don’t let that stop you from living a great story though!

      • http://www.andersgerdmar.com Anders Gerdmar

        :) No, I sure do!

  • http://radiofreethulcandra.wordpress.com Susannah

    I’d love to read about the connection between discipleship, stewardship (especially of our time and gifts), and personal organization/productivity/goalsetting/project planning/time management… it seems to me that building what might be called habits of fruitfulness is important in taking our big dreams and desires to live great stories from just being dreams to being realities. But so much of the personal productivity/life design world is just sort of dry and depressing because it’s focused on pursuing some kind of self-centered Tim Ferriss lifestyle on the one hand, or cranking more widgets for your employer on the other.

    It seems to me that this blog could be a place to explore how to organize our lives according to wise practices, and serve each other by living out our stories. It also seems to me that this is connected with Andy Crouch’s idea of culture making: we don’t change the culture by thinking right or critiquing what’s already there, but by actually making and sharing new things, new projects.

  • http://radiofreethulcandra.wordpress.com Susannah

    Oh and: From a recent piece by Deirdre McCloskey in _The New Republic_: “Pleasure is a brain wave right now. Happiness is a good story of your life.”

    http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/magazine/103952/happyism-deirdre-mccloskey-economics-happiness#

  • Kristen

    I love the idea of Storyline. It’s such a great learning opportunity. For me, to answer the questions above, the most beneficial thing is to hear from others who are living great stories every day. Sometimes I get too caught up in doing something “big” when in reality often the simplest gestures are a true testament to where our priorities lie. The smallest actions in our daily lives that go unpraised and unacknowledged can bring more glory to God than anything. I appreciate your effort to bring authenticity to the Christian online community. We could all use a daily reminder that our life is not our own, and that our actions should always show that our story is part of something greater. I look forward to reading the blog, thank you!

  • Abigail

    Hey, is this only a US release as I can’t find a trace of it in the UK amazon store?
    Thanks and can’t wait to get my hands on it :)

    • Abigail

      Oh, I just saw the above comment about international release. A little disappointing but I’m sure it shall be worth the wait!

      • http://storylineblog.com/contributors Tim Schurrer

        We’ll let you know as soon as we have an update!

    • http://searchwithallyourheart.blogspot.com shellybell

      Abigail, I will do you a favor…if this is something you REALLy want and know it will be ever so helpful, I will order it for you and ship it to ya!
      Just promise me you shall pay it forward in some magical way. :)

      Click on my name and send me a note if you want to take me up on my offer.
      Have a Happy Thursday!

  • Carrie

    Hi! I am excited about Storyline coming out today and I will be buying a copy. I am thinking of using this book for a small group at our church. Is the $30 copy on amazon the one everyone in the small group should buy or is there a different version for small groups?

  • Karrilee

    I so love the vision for Community… the honoring and openness that is felt here… encouraged and inspired to live that out loud in our everyday daily lives! I agree with Paul (in comment above) that the vulnerability and authenticity is being drawn to the surface. I love the idea of finding like-minded (open minded, outside-of-the-box minded) Christians who are living stories that are real, raw, filled with grace and love (while not being afraid of addressing the conflicts and hard seasons!) It’s easy to be ‘real’ when life is great… the secret is to realize that life can be great in all seasons – the choice is ours.

    As far as your questions – I believe that God is gathering a remnant who want an “online Christian community” that is honestly full of grace… not with the intention of arguing doctrine or converting the world (not that there’s anything wrong with that) – a place of grace and love, mixed with – dare I say – accountability. It’s easy to point out flaws and shortcomings – I am longing for a ‘cafe’ where we speak life and encourage one another! I believe this can be that place (…and THAT will feed my soul!)

    ~Karrilee~

  • http://www.anamcara.com Tara Owens

    I second what Paul said about Knowing and Being Known. A place that cultivates real vulnerability—and not in the confessional, I’m going to stand here naked and shout for attention type of “vulnerability.” I’ve been a part of a few communities/forums that really encouraged that, and what I saw there were groups of people willing to listen for the whispers, both of God and of others. They came because they were inspired by the message and writings that started the forum in the first place, but they stayed—and created community—because it was a place where they could bring their struggles living out the message in their every day lives. They could talk about what was going on in a way that brought out the best in others (and sometimes the worst). What has ultimately made the difference in these communities is having one (or a small handful) of dedicated people who were essentially pastoring the community as a whole. Watching what was going on, sending private messages behind the scenes, investing in people and relationships. This sense of safety came because a few people (or a person) explicitly said, “Here are the guidelines of this community, and I am here to make sure that this place stays safe and that we journey well together.”

    So often blogs and blog communities lose that, because there isn’t a consistent voice that is speaking that message. Eventually a few hurting people hurt a lot of people, and without the consistent guidance and leadership of the community from someone, the community doesn’t know how to weather the conflict, and it splits or disintegrates.

    As a spiritual director, it’s something I think a lot about in our interconnected world. Thanks for asking, and for listening to me 2 cents.

    Grace & peace,
    Tara

  • http://www.momentarydelight.com Darren Beem

    This is really wonderful. Thank you for sharing a message of encouragement to us.

    In general, what I often think is lacking in the Christian community is grace, it’s the kind grace (and willingess to listen/share) we show towards those who might have a different perspective from us.

    I hope you can continue to share stories of people living fulfilling lives who make audacious life choices. I’d also be interested to better understand the ways I can live a better story, as a middle aged husband and father of two, with a fair amount of debt.

    In the midst of my limitations, I would like to see the possibilities.

    The Christian community sometimes takes a narrow perspective on what it means to live a good story. For example, if you’re a married Christian woman, it’s assumed that you will want to give up your career at some point and raise a quiver full of children. Then if you have kids, you will stay at home to raise them.

    I hope you can broaden your focus to encompass those of us, who are in different stations and stages of life and who might feel called differently.

  • http://apologeticbloggist.blogspot.ccom Nathan

    I must say that a community like the one we see here is well needed. A safe and quiet place where we can all learn more about Jesus and who he wants us to be. I feel blessed to be apart of this. What a great truth that we are all stories! Each one of our lives is a dense, wet novel. I’ve never been apart of ANY online community. No facebook, no twitter. But Don, you’ve inspired me. It feeds my soul to know that I’m not in this battle alone. This battle we call life. I hope to grow as a disciple here and learn from everyone who shares their story. See you in the clouds.

    Grace and Peace

    Nathan

  • http://www.judmcleod.com Jud McLeod

    As a person that works with young people. I’m always looking for the right ways to help community. Not flashy, fun, surface, level community but the type that the first poster referenced. The best communities embrace not only victories but defeats, not only moments of courage but also fear, moments of idealism but also practical reality. Consistency, prayer, and purpose are of course vital to community. I’m wondering if there is some way to create that feel of an open table for those that are just checking out this online community thing…. perhaps as the community grows closer and deeper the experience will be some type of “verbal, virtual communion” for lack of better terms..

    What feeds my soul? Simply knowing that I’m not alone when I ask the daily question: “Am I doing enough to make this world a better place for my God, for my Son, and for the people I love?”

  • Rebecca

    I love the Good Women Project blog. Maybe they’d have a few writers who would be good contributors here as well.:)

  • Grant

    So glad the new blog is here!

  • http://aparchedsoul.com Grayson Pope

    I want to see exactly what you mentioned. I’m a blogger, and I get so run down sometimes trying to be a “big” blogger, write great headlines, and then read other blogs about doing the same. I’m over that. I just want to connect and read real stories that translate into making life changes. And I want to experience that in a place that makes time slow down (yes, this can be done online).

  • http://www.jamesprescott.co.uk James Prescott

    Thanks for launching the blog in this format. It’s a relief to finally read a blog which isn’t so interested in ‘being a success’ as it is with making a difference and impacting lives for the better.

    I am a writer/blogger and I’m trying to grow my blog – but I want to be more interested in helping people, in serving others and God than I do in ‘being a success’. I don’t think success in itself is a noble goal at all, but being a change maker and serving others is.

    Vulnerability is so important – I want to be able to get this balance of being vulnerable but not needy, being honest but not desperate. This can be a space where that can be modelled so clearly, and already has in my view. It’s a great example to us all.

    I look forward to the UK release of Storyline (hopefully soon!), and in the meantime will keep reading the blog and try to live a better story myself. Thanks again.