Three Cheers for the Volunteers

blumer_team.jpgI hope I’m not an ungrateful person. But I do know I often fail to say thanks to folks who have it coming from me. I believe “in everything give thanks” refers to thanking God, but surely a general spirit of thankfulness is in the penumbra. In any case, other passages call us to give folks their due, “honor to whom honor.”

Recent events have given me the nudge I needed to do that.

First, I need to thank all of you who keep coming to SI day after day to read or contribute in the forums. Site traffic is probably down some from a couple of years ago, but has remained pretty steady for the last year or so. There is no SI without readers for the writers and discussers for the discussions.

Second, I need to thank our volunteers. We have a handful of Moderators who watch threads and try to help conversation be as edifying as possible. They work under guidelines that are often less than crystal clear, and even if we could draft the perfect set of rules (won’t happen), applying them would remain way closer to art than science much of the time. I think we’re all blessed to have the Moderator team we have. Though they have to occasionally endure accusations to the contrary, I know that every one of them is motivated by a desire to see the Forum interaction be as productive and Christ honoring as it can be. And they possess considerable (and ever growing) skill in pursuing that goal.Besides the Moderators, a number of other folks help out in a pile of other ways we’d really be hurtin’ without. There’s the Admin Team, of course. Susan, Jim, Adam, and I are discussing goings on here just about every day along with bouncing around policy ideas, wrestling with tough moderating cases, and sharing prayer requests. They each put in a substantial amount of time helping with decision making in addition to their roles in the forums, processing accounts, editing articles, etc.

Add to that a slowly growing number of geeks who help with development questions and tweaks of the current SI website; the advertisers, Refiners’ Club members, and other donors who pay the bills; the front page article writers who keep giving us food for thought; and the Filings contributors (some via e-mail) who help keep us all abreast of important news. It adds up to a boat load of people who have made the site what it is and are helping make it what it can become.

That brings me to some news. I have two new people to thank who have just joined—or, in one case, rejoined—the volunteers. You may have noticed a familiar name and style in the Filings the last few days. Greg Linscott, who was there shaping things at SharperIron pretty much on day one, has stepped into the role of Filings Editor. It’s good to have that job off my plate and also to have someone put fresh energy and talent into it. If you have tips on important news, e-mail or PM those to Greg.

We also have some new help in processing new membership registrations. Susan Raber has been carrying that burden alone for several months in addition to helping a great deal with moderating, so we’re glad to have Jay Camp’s help now as a Registration Assistant. We don’t have hundreds joining the membership every day, but we do have many automated spam registrations and also a significant number of applicants who require follow up due to missing information, failed e-mail confirmations, and sometimes doctrinal concerns. So the new help in that area is a blessing.

Hopefully we’ll also be announcing a new Book Reviews Editor soon as well, but that effort is very much still in progress. If you’re interested in that job or have a recommendation, don’t hesitate to contact me (publisher@sharperiron.org. And if you can include the letters BRE in your subject line, it will go a long way toward helping me keep organized.)

To all who help, please know that what you do makes a difference. I believe we are building something important and that that fact will grow increasingly evident over time. And I know without a doubt that it takes many hands to build it.

headshot2.jpgAaron Blumer, SI’s site publisher, is a native of lower Michigan and a graduate of Bob Jones University (Greenville, SC) and Central Baptist Theological Seminary (Plymouth, MN). He, his wife, and their two children live in a small town in western Wisconsin, where he has pastored Grace Baptist Church (Boyceville, WI) since 2000. Prior to serving as a pastor, Aaron taught school in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and served in customer service and technical support for Unisys Corporation (Eagan, MN). He enjoys science fiction, music, and dabbling in software engineering.
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