You know how you always ask God to give you just a few more hours in each day? Yeah, we know the feeling. We truly hate that we can't answer every single one of your e-mails and respond to every comment from you guys - our readers and listeners, the BadChristian community. We know that if it weren't for you, none of this would even be possible. Although we know that we can't be there for each and every one of you, Joey might have a few ideas that can get you in the right place.
I wish I could write every damn one of you an email response.
My use of the word “damn” is directed not towards you, but my predicament. I can’t answer all your e-mails. I hate this. We love our followers, readers, and those that come to us for advice. Hell yeah, we want to answer your e-mails.
But we can’t.
Toby and I, back in the spring of 2012, started writing blogs for Un-learning. We just thought we were smart, I guess, and assumed that people may want to hear our thoughts. Who knows, maybe we could sell an ad or two and take our wives out to eat. Fast forward 2 years, and we’ve had up to 60,000 people read one of our posts on badchristian.com, averaging thousands of readers per post. We get 30,000 people on average downloading our conversations on the BadChristian podcast, and Kanye West and Robert De Niro are both waiting in line to be on our podcast. They just can’t wait, but we keep saying, “Hold on to your pants, Yeezus and Bobby.”
People not only listen for the entertainment value, but they listen because they respect our opinions and value our insight. A little scary for us, but I reckon this has a lot to do with us just being real. We’ve had guys come clean on porn addictions to their wives and marriages healed; people going back to church realizing how much of an asshole they were; and non-believers giving discussions of Jesus their genuine interest and curiosity.
Consequently, people come to us for advice. They come to us in desperation. “Please help me.” “What should I do?” “How will she forgive me?” “How can I stop?” “How do you have faith?” “I hate myself.” “Do you think bikinis are okay to wear?” “Should I stop smoking marijuana?”
At first, we answered all of them that we could, though some inevitably fell through the cracks. And then eventually, the levy broke. We had to make a decision. Either we ignore you reaching out to us, or we try to answer as many as we can with the help of a team.
So we mustered a team that included my brother, some co-workers, close friends, old friends from college, and others to help folks with their questions and concerns. Sigh of relief………….
And yet, we still have people who want to talk on the phone, need our personal attention, want us to be their accountability partners, request a proofread of their new manuscript for a book they want to publish, etc. And we are blown away that you guys would see us as valuable resources. Thank you.
But, we just can’t do it, damn it.
We couldn’t even do all of this if we slacked off at our real jobs, abandoned our families, and gave up Clemson football. And honestly, responding to every message would end up going against the grain of who we are. We love community. We love digging deeper into conversation, and explore people’s willingness to be transparent and forthright with the ups and down’s of life. But I want you to think about this. Let’s take the lowest downloadedpodcast episode, oh, I’d say around 18K. Now, let’s take 1% of this population, 180 people. Let’s assume that over the course of the year, 10% of these people need advice and support each month. So that’s 18 desperate people that want our undivided attention. Sounds manageable right? Well, not so much.
On top of our full-time jobs, our churches that we help lead, our families, our BadChristian team (who we definitely want to be there for and it’s a team of over 20), there’s simply no way that God has called us to “pastor” our entire audience. And this brings us to the crux of what BadChristian is.
We believe that everyone needs community. If you are asking us for help/advice, there’s a chance that you are lacking a healthy community. A community that would provide what you are looking for in us.
We believe that community is up close and personal. Aside from offering some advice and being a place where folks can reach out to a stranger (sometimes, that’s the most comfortable person to reach out to), we wouldn’t be able to give you the help that you truly need. Love, accountability, and consistency are things you find in community. We can’t give you that through a handful of e-mail correspondence.
We believe in openness. Honestly, it’s hard for me (Joey) to write this. I want to be able to be all things to all people. I trend towards wanting to be the hero. But, everyone knows that’s bullshit, right?
BadChristian nation, we love you. We are indebted to you. We believe that we are going to change the world together. Most of you understand the position that we are in. If we tried to reach out to everyone and really “be all things to all people,” we couldn’t do our podcast, blog posts, record label, and Matt and Toby couldn’t write their music. All of these are the very things that put us in the position that earned your trust in the first place.
Keep the e-mails coming, the stories you send are extremely encouraging. Just know we are grateful beyond what you can imagine. And we’ll always say this. Please find community. Please find people that will love you no matter what you do or what share with them; people that love you but aren’t impressed enough to let things slide. You need this. Light will shine through your darkness if you get it.