Looking back on year 1. I have a bit of a confession. I’ve said before that Tent Making Christianity started after I took the “Applied Apologetics” class from J. Warner Wallace. That’s only partially true. I started TMC after taking that class for the SECOND time! I had taken the class 2 years earlier as well. So why didn’t I start TMC after the first class?
I Was A Chicken!
I was issued the same challenge at that first class as I was at the second. “You need to start your blog and podcast!” It would be easy to say that I wasn’t ready after that first class. But I was. I chickened out. I waffled and waited another 2 years. It took more prodding and taking the class again, but I finally took the plunge!
I was determined to get going after the second time through the class. And get going we did! I purchased our domain name the next day and began setting up our website. I didn’t have a big budget to create the site. Ok, I had NO budget! I created all my own artwork in Power Point. I still don’t know how, but somehow it all came together!
Next I began setting up the podcast. The hosting of the podcast was fairly easy to set up. Then came the task of applying to iTunes, Stitcher, etc. to actually be able to publish podcast. I knew that hardly any podcast gets rejected outright, but I still nervous waiting to get my confirmations back. Once they arrived, I tried to record my first podcast.
This turned into its own adventure. My first 10-minute podcast took over 12 hours to record, edit and post! I figured at that rate I could put out one 10-minute podcast every quarter! Fortunately, things got easier with practice.
What’s Been The Best Part?
I’ve developed many friendships throughout the year. Too many to mention here. And the support I’ve received from the apologetics community has been incredible! There may be a jerk out there somewhere, but I haven’t run across them yet. Everyone has been helpful and gracious.
What About The Pushback?
Let’s face it, if you blog and create a podcast on religion, you’re going to run into people of different beliefs. They will push back. Sometimes it’s people in your own camp that push back. This is all good! I anticipated and welcomed the pushback. It always makes me think. Even if the views don’t line up with my own, I can always learn something! Defending your ideas will give you an idea what arguments work, and which ones need some more thought.
So Is It Worth It?
Yes! We may not have mentioned this in recent months, but we do not take any donations or earn any money from the website or the podcast. We offer everything free of charge. Our goal is simply to help believers and non-believers alike. I have a job, and the costs of running TMC are paid off this income.
So why spend all this money and time on a website? Gratitude. Gratitude for what Jesus has done for me. We tend to be very logical in our venture here. But I must admit, I have never felt closer to God than when I am doing work here. I can never repay what has been forgiven me. I can only try to help other people find the forgiveness they need.
What did the first year look like?
Having started and stopped blogging before, I wasn’t expecting much in the way of traffic to the blog. But as the articles began being shared about, we quickly started seeing the site and page grow! To date, we have:
Published 123 blog posts
Published 47 Quick Challenge Answers
Produced 52 Full Length Podcasts
Produced 38 Quick Challenge Question Podcasts
Reached 127 countries
Had 30,000 visits to the website
Had 3,500 downloads of our podcast.
This is all more than I could ever have anticipated!
Credit Where It’s Due
If you like what we do here, you have J. Warner Wallace to thank! Hate us? It’s his fault! Seriously, we could not have gotten where we are without his support and guidance. Jim is more than a great apologist. He truly lives out his calling as a follower of Christ. We are grateful for all he has done for our ministry, as well as so many other one-dollar apologists!
I knew from the beginning that I wanted David as a part of TMC. He shared my passion for Christ and for apologetics. He has proved invaluable to our ministry. I truly could not have done this without him. He is the reason we turn out such quality podcasts. He is constantly learning and keeping me in check. I couldn’t have asked for a better ministry partner!
Most of all I would like to thank my wife and daughter. It may not seem like it would take much time to do what we do. But writing, recording and editing podcast and working our social media accounts does take time. They have both been incredibly supportive in our venture here. I am incredibly blessed to have them both in my life!
A Final Word
So many people could do what we do but choose not to. I was one of those people for a long time. I didn’t think I had anything special to offer. But two guys writing and podcasting over just one short year have had the reach you see above. We’re not bragging. We’re making a point. If we can do this, so can you! So, what are you waiting for? You need to start your blog and podcast!
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