Self Discovery as a Hobby or Lifestyle? (143)

In this episode John and Gregg take their discussion in a different direction. Beginning with a retrospective of the podcast, they discuss a potentially “new way” for Untangling Christianity to fulfill one of it’s original purposes which was to give hope to other people.  John originally put this as, “I have to believe that there is at least one person out there who is going through the same thing that I am, and I think that our discussions could help them.”

John begins by explaining how, over the past 3 years, he has driven 85 to 90% of the podcasts and that a major motivator for “bringing the fire” on these topics was his sense of frustration or confusion in what he was reading or hearing about Christianity–often that it didn’t make sense in light of his lived reality. In this way, the podcast helped John fulfill his personal mission statement of “bringing order to chaos and clarity to confusion.”

By contrast, John presently finds himself engaged in other topics of interest, with a particular emphasis on coaching. Yet where John sees this as potential problem, Gregg sees this as an enormous benefit.

Specifically, John is concerned about being inauthentic on the podcast and “going through the motions.” Gregg, on the other hand, views John’s “doldrums” about podcasting and Christianity as being entirely normal and, by focusing on the matter, offers a fantastic opportunity for him and John to engage in a very real and personal way around a matter that is so common (and problematic) for evangelicals!

In terms of moving the discussion forward Gregg wonders about the difference between coaching and their podcasting. In other words, Gregg sees coaching as a “client-driven activity” yet sees their podcasting as a “transparent view into a lifestyle of self-development.” In this way he argues that, while the podcasting could end, the underlying activity that he and John report and share within the podcast is actually a lifestyle, not an activity.

Further, Gregg wonders what it would be like for John to participate in the podcast if he were motivated by interest rather than by excitement or frustration?

Going back to the original point about the podcast being helpful to others in the situation, John wonders: What suggestions would Gregg offer to listeners who find themselves in a position similar to John’s? Gregg offers two things.

First, don’t feel guilty: it’s normal to be enthusiastic about such things as a new business, a hobby, coaching a team or a sport, etc. And it also seems normal to feel less enthusiastic about Christianity, or not to feel excited / motivated about one’s Christian beliefs all of the time.  Second, Gregg encourages listeners in this position to itemize what it is about their area(s) of interest (such as, for John, “coaching”) that seem relevant or attractive, and to do the same about their Christian beliefs, itemizing what is unappealing or uninteresting.

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