BadChristian has always been the collective vision of Joey, Matt, and Toby, with many insights from others along the way. But it nearly lost one of the triumvirate early on. Joey almost quit BadChristian. “I was being like a little wuss…I had thoughts of, ‘Man, it would just be easier not to do it.’” BadChristian reflects the Church. It is a community of doubting sinners led by a bunch of doubting sinners. But it stands as a testament to how God creates so much even while we’re looking for the easy way out, or losing faith.
I Almost Quit BadChristian (a quick confession from Pastor Joey Svendsen)
I was extremely busy, in the middle of a little bout with depression (I have a little history there, I’m sure you probably heard), and then it hit the fan. I received some “we don’t like BadChristian” sort of comments. Seriously?? Some people actually think we are merely setting out to be cool? Others are sure that we really don’t think our posts through and are flippant with our words? Others accuse us of being scripturally unstudied? There was even some name-calling. By the way, that “sticks and stones” saying is bullshit. You know, kind of like John Denver’s song about the Rockies.
On this particular weekend, things just seemed to be crumbling a little bit, and my once solidified confidence in my involvement at BadChristian was waning for the first time.
So, let me be real. I truly believed at the time that God had asked me to write some honest thoughts through blog posts (whether they are right or wrong), expose my weaknesses through these posts, podcasts, and living rooms visits; take some chances, and work my tail off to get this BadChristian thing up and running.
Do people actually see this as a constant cakewalk? Do they think I like talking about being swallowed up by depression and oh yeah, I’m a Pastor? You think I like Matt’s story about how I sold the Emery guys out, (Purchase our book for this story and more HERE) my closest friends who I couldn’t even look in the eye? You think I like to admit that I worry? People really think it’s fun for me to say that I do not have my act together and need Jesus daily?
And now on top of all these components of my sob story, to make matters worst, people are now thinking things about me that aren’t even true. This was too much for this brother-man to handle.
As much as I’d like to say I don’t care what people think about me, I actually do.
On the same weekend that all this went down, my Senior Pastor @GregSurratt taught a very timely message. He talked about those who step out to do something for God’s glory and the likelihood of persecution and lies they’d receive and hear about themselves from others.
He talked about how I need people in my life that have my back, believe in me despite my weaknesses and sin, aren’t afraid to lovingly confront me, and who will always offer complete devotion as a friend, without needing anything from me in return.
I thank God that he’s given me that in my wife, family, and friends (that just might as well be called family). Even though I should be totally satisfied with God’s approval, I’m glad these others will vouch for me, even though they have front row seats to my imperfections, weaknesses, and pride.
And as far as BadChristian is concerned, I thank God that I know now more than ever He has asked me to do this. As a writer, “Podcaster,” and leader of BadChristian, I will mess up here and there (or probably a lot) and will just have to remember that if God can use a real jackass (Numbers 22) to do his work, he can certainly pull a little something off with this real, human, little boy of His.
I know there is a rough road ahead. Sure I have people that will get my back, but people—no matter who they are—will hurt my feelings and let me down.
As I proceed in this endeavor, people will misunderstand me. Many peers in vocational ministry will see my approach on BadChristian as immature and label the things I say and admit publicly as “ministry 101 no-no’s.” As a Pastor, “He should just know better.”
Many will say that this is all about me. Sometimes, unfortunately, they will be right.
Fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, did you know that just because God asks you to do something, it does not mean He is counting on you to do everything right? God knows what He’s working with- A BadChristian. Thank God we have a great Savior.