Who are you?
My name is Kurt Willems. I am a pastor in the Mennonite Brethren movement who is preparing to plant a church next year and a seminary student at Fresno Pacific University (MBBS). God’s love and work in my life causes me to ponder, reflect, awe, and question. If I would have to label myself (which I am hesitant to do), I would probably say that I am an anabaptist, lower-case evangelical, fairly charismatic, sometimes contemplative, follower of Jesus. I am passionate about theology, spirituality, social justice, creation care, ethics, ministry, and leaving behind the right answers. Currently, I am working on a book and seeking a publisher.
What makes you a Digital Disciple?
For the past couple of years I have been active in the ministry of blogging. Ya, I called it a ministry… something that would have seemed absurd a few years ago when a buddy of mine challenged me to put some of my ‘academic’ stuff on-line. But, in the past year this has transitioned from being a platform for me to express ideas to being a ministry for folks who are frustrated with status quo Christianity.
Some emails I get are from good people that feel like the are isolated in a sea of Christendom. I suppose that my post-Christendom Anabaptist approach is refreshing and helping them to find the peasant Jewish Messiah who was hung up on a cross for insurrection against Rome.
I would add that my discipleship journey continues to grow in my online community. Folks challenge my ideas, expand them, give me new insights, and spur me on toward love and justice. Even though I have not met most of my readers or the writers of the blogs I read, it is like the global kingdom of God becomes extremely localized when I interact on the web. Blogging and networking with like-minded Christians has truly been life changing.
What website or technology has impacted you most?
I would say that the blog technology has been the most impactful, especially when it is coupled with another great site: Facebook. I can interact and learn so much about people that I have never met. People pray for me and I get sent prayer requests on a regular basis. On-line life is NOT a replacement for enfleshed, real, biblical, community – but it sure enhances it.
How has your faith grown or been tested through technology?
One word: restraint. Digital media can become a vice and I am learning that a spiritual discipline for me is to ‘fast’ from it from time to time. At the end of last year I took a 3 month hiatus from blogging which in many ways was liberating. I had upset some folks in my ‘incarnated’ relationships about some of the things I write about and for various other personal reasons I knew the Lord wanted me to take a break. I have been back at it for about a month and a half and feel refreshed and inspired to write.