About two years ago, SharperIron started as a blog and forum for fundamentalists. I had just finished the Young Fundamentalists Survey and wanted a place to discuss the findings. I wanted to start a blog. Our webmaster, Brad Waite, wanted a forum. Out of that discussion/argument came the blog and forum concept. I remember wanting to name the site Iron2Iron. The other guys all voted for SharperIron. Those were the early days. We’ve learned a lot over two years, and, in spite of many failures, we are continuing to endeavor to keep a site for Christian fundamentalists to discuss news and ideas.
For the last three months, I have struggled with the knowledge that the site could not stay the same. In the early days, when Phil Johnson sent us his manuscript for Dead Right, we had over 500 visitors that day, and we thought we had reached the world! Now we have grown to several thousand members and record about 30,000 unique visitors a month. On any given day, we will see 200 to 300 new posts. With that level of traffic and interaction, the issues on the site began to multiply. I have seen many sites reach a certain size, and they come to the same crossroads. Get serious or get out! I have seen several shut down, handed over, or abandoned. Some of the abandoned sites are an absolute disaster and should be closed.
Several times over the last year, I have considered dissolving SI or handing it over to someone else. At times, I get discouraged at the high price that has to be paid in order to have this ministry. To tell you the truth, my wife has been the one who has threatened me (ever so kindly) not to give it up.
I knew that in order to have a site that endeavored to honor Christian principles and churned out quality discussion, it would take some additional effort to take it from Chapter One to Chapter Two. As I was wrestling with this decision, Greg Linscott, my friend and co-laborer, chose to step away after working tirelessly on SI since its inception. I love Greg and appreciate all he did to make SI what it was. I had already committed to work to move it to Chapter Two; now I had to do it without my right arm! Thankfully, I was approaching the holiday season and had several days off to work on the plan.
Part of the plan involves policy. This week, we will unveil the Comment Policy that all posters will have to abide by. Next week, we will introduce a much larger team of moderators to help enforce the new policy.
Part of the plan involves leadership. We now have an Executive Team that will help steer the ship and make the site run, and I want to introduce them to you.
- Adam Blumer is the Managing Editor. He has been with SI since last summer and has been very instrumental in bringing excellence in our communication with authors, in the editing of our articles, and in the recruitment of advertisers.
- Austin Matzko serves as our Technical Editor and oversees site design, software issues, tech support, and basically anything that requires web knowledge beyond Dummies. He has done a great job.
- Michelle Brock, new to the team, is the Associate Editor. I have respected how she has interacted on the site with the wisdom God has given her. I really felt she could help bring a whole new dynamic to the leadership team, so I asked her to join. She has already contributed in a great way to the improvements you will begin to see.
- Dan Miller is the new Forum Director and Editor. I asked Dan to come on board because I was looking for someone who was highly involved in SI, exhibited a level of maturity, was active in a local church, and was smarter than me! Dan was a great fit! He accepted the job and has already brought the site to a new level. You will see the fruit of his work in the days ahead. I am thrilled to have him on board. Other parts of the plan will be revealed gradually, and I believe you will be excited as you see a team of people endeavoring to glorify God through this ministry.
Jason Janz is the Site Publisher. He serves as an assistant pastor at Red Rocks Baptist Church (Denver, CO). He has a bachelor’s degree in Bible and is currently finishing a master’s degree in theology. He has been married to Jennifer for 10 years, and they have four boys. His interests include pastoring, reading, and wrestling with his boys. He likes SI because of how it helps serve pastors and church leaders. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Dan Miller is the Forum Director and Editor. He is an ophthalmologist living in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He received a B.S. in Premed from Bob Jones University (Greenville, SC) in 1991 and an M.D. from The University of South Carolina School of Medicine in 1995. He serves as youth leader at Cedar Heights Baptist Church, also in Cedar Falls. He has been happily married to Jenny since 1992. Professional interests include ophthalmic medical and surgical care, especially cataract, glaucoma, cornea, LASIK, and oculoplastics. Personal interests include church, travel, volleyball, gastronomy, audio, hiking/camping, and whatever my wife likes. Theological interests include soteriology, Christian liberty, church government, and separation. His main goals for SharperIron are:
- That it challenges us to improve our doctrine and practice of Christianity.
- That it be a place of encouragement and fellowship.
- That it serves as a resource for churches here and abroad.
He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adam Blumer is the Managing Editor for SI. He oversees postings and manages the author calendar and advertising. A Bob Jones University (Greenville, SC) graduate with a B.A. in Print Journalism, he currently works from his home in Iron Mountain, Michigan, as a contract editor and freelance writer. (His website is www.blumer.org/adam.) He and his wife, Kim, are active in the music ministry at Family Baptist Church (Kingsford, MI). For 10 years, Adam served as editorial manager at Northland Baptist Bible College (Dunbar, WI), where he edited and managed a variety of publications. Prior to NBBC, he served as a writer and editor at Awana Clubs International Headquarters (Streamwood, IL), where he wrote training manuals and youth Bible curriculum. God has blessed him and Kim with two daughters: Laura and Julia. Adam enjoys writing, reading, hiking, swimming, playing the piano, and perusing his small Far Side collection. His prayer is that SharperIron will challenge believers to understand what they believe and why. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Michelle Brock is Associate Editor of SI. She is the wife of Lee, a military pediatrician, and mother of three young children in New Mexico. The Brocks are active in La Luz Baptist Church. Michelle is active full-time at home, where she is involved in her husband’s military career, teaches her children, ministers in her local church, and has time for other personal projects. Last year, Michelle published her first book. She enjoys reading books about grammar and the English language, children’s novels, and books on special education. She and Lee also enjoy hiking, target shooting, and gourmet cooking. Their burden is to live life in such a way that their children will follow Christ as they follow Christ and that their lives will ultimately be a testimony to God’s grace and mercy in their lives as He leads them. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Austin Matzko is the Technical Editor of SI. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, with his wife and their son, Samuel. They attend the Evangelical Baptist Church. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in philosophy. He enjoys canoeing, camping, hiking, running, and reading and studying Italian. He can be contacted at email@example.com.