This is now the 5th year that I have been privileged to put together a Band of Bloggers gathering, and I am most excited about the one coming up this year. We are changing the format and drawing upon a theme that has resonated with me for some time.
The 2011 Band of Bloggers is all about a call to a Gospel Procession. According to Merriam-Webster, a procession is a concerted effort and continuous forward movement by a group of individuals or community. Take that idea and connect it with the gospel-centered movement, and you get the vision or a gospel procession–a community of gospel-centered bloggers working in concert to leverage our lives and influence to continually forwarding the gospel in our world.
People have legitimately wondered whether blogging or other forms of social networking and media will have staying power and remain useful in the years to come. The fact is, the Internet is not going away, and while there are more blogs dying today than flourishing, we have an opportunity to have a sustaining gospel presence and persuasion through encouragement and being a part of a larger community seeking to bring about a gospel procession.
Every year, I wrestle with doing another one of these gatherings. I say that only because it comes a great personal cost of time and money (there is no staff or budget for BoB). Having said that, the guys at The Gospel Coalition have bent over backwards to put this together with me, and I am thrilled to lead another Band of Bloggers gathering in conjunction with The Gospel Coalition National Conference. Collin Hansen and I have contacted some our blogging friends and have asked them to join us in leading this year’s event. They are:
Justin Taylor, Tim Challies,
Trevin Wax, Joe Thorn,
Steve McCoy, Jared Wilson,
Justin Buzzard, John Starke,
and Owen Strachan
I have had the privilege of knowing (most of) these brothers for several years, and I’m grateful they have agreed to join Collin and me in exploring this year’s theme together. The format for this year will not be a typical panel discussion but rather will focus on engendering thoughtful participation from all who attend. There will be three 10-minute roundtable discussions moderated by the panelists. Between each roundtable discussion, 3-4 of the panelists will share with the group what they gleaned from the tables while interjecting their thoughts as well. The goal is to learn together ways in which we can better serve the purpose of gospel-centered writing both in form as well as in substance.
Another thing we are doing differently this year is shrinking the size of the gathering to 150 people for the purpose of incorporating everyone in the discussion and providing a venue conducive to our goals. Having said that, this gathering will likely fill up quickly, so you will want to register as soon as possible. The cost for this year’s gathering and dinner is $25.
Of course, we will be giving away books again this year, so you will not leave without some book love (and we give away the best, newest books available). I hope to see many of you next month, and I am eager to consider how our online writing might be used together for a gospel procession.