History of TheHighCalling.Org, Part 2
In my last post, I covered the early history of TheHighCalling.org and focused on the outside influencers who helped us shape the site. Before I move to more recent history, I want to talk about people inside the Foundations for Laity Renewal who were an important part of the process.
In a very real way, TheHighCalling.org would not exist without the efforts of Dave Williamson, Vicky Berry, and Keith Mirrer. Dave was the director of Laity Lodge at the time. He kept us clear on the theology of the site, but he also introduced us to many quality authors. Those early years were a struggle. Dave’s faithfulness, guidance, and encouragement gave shape and consistency to the content. Over the entire life of the site, Vicki held our feet to the fire when it came to delivering consistent quality to our readers. No changes were ever made without them being closely scrutinized by Vicki. For many years, she was our code person, our copy editor polishing up the links and the typos and the odd characters that sometimes show up on websites. I always think of Vicki as our users' greatest advocate. On several occasions Vicki’s insightful questions kept us from moving in the wrong directions.
Finally, Keith Mirrer is the Director of Communications for Laity Renewal. Without his support, TheHighCalling.org would simply not exist. He continues to advise us on public relations issues and marketing ideas for reaching out to people offline.
In a bad cliché of a segue, let’s move back to the future. In late 2007, Marcus Goodyear and Gordon Atkinson described the idea of a blog network. Believe it or not, we worked out the first version of the network on a napkin at Bennigan’s restaurant in San Antonio. The idea fit well with our organizational vision. We value relationships, and building an online community focused on relationships was an exciting prospect. Our goal was to reach fifty bloggers. Today, the number of bloggers at HighCallingBlogs.com is more than 1,000!
While we’re aware of and inspired by this growth, our attention and excitement is about the conversations occurring here. That’s where the value lies: in building community, listening and responding to one another in love. The editors and commenters have done an incredible job of engaging people. It’s inspiring. In early October, we'll merge this site with TheHighCalling.org. But our goal will continue to be building community around the high calling of our daily work. We are part of the Church at work in the lives of Christians on a daily basis. Together we share our stories, our struggles, and our hopes, encouraging one another along the way.