Richard “Winky” Littledale is the pastor of Teddington Baptist Church in South-West London. His Shakespearean commitment to writing has seen him produce two handbooks about preaching, Preacher A-Z and Stale Bread, and he is also a regular on the nation’s airwaves on BBC Radio 2’s Pause For Thought. In 2010, Littledale pioneered the @chatbible scheme on Twitter which curated 140 character bible studies.
Why do you blog on a Sunday?
…and a Monday, Tuesday, etc
I first started blogging as a ‘companion’ to a new column in the Baptist Times, so that feedback would be easier than putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard to write a letter. Since then the blog has grown, with nearly 14,000 visitors from many countries, and lots of comments. At first I used to avoid blogging on Sundays, since a) I didn’t have time (I am the Pastor of a busyBaptistChurch) and b) no-one had time to read it. It turns out I was wrong on both counts! Now I frequently blog on a Sunday, and tend to target the post towards others who are performing that peculiar knife-edge dance which we call preaching. Posts on Sundays are reflective, humorous, prayerful, and designed to waft a breath of encouragement in the direction of fellow pulpit dwellers.
Since I was not brought up as a Christian, the idea that I would be in church on a Sunday, let alone occupying its pulpit, and writing books and blogs about preaching during the rest of the week, sometimes seems just a little far-fetched! For that I must thank the Gideon who gave me a New Testament in 1976, the teacher who ran a Christian Union, and the leaders at a local Crusader (now “Urban Saints”) group who led me to faith. Since then there have been fellow pilgrims before me, beside me and behind me, who have inspired my tired thoughts, encouraged my flagging spirit and, just occasionally seen the work of God in me!
A new feature of my Christian life in the past year has been my involvement with a community of people online. I am not a ‘digital native’, like my children, but an incomer to this pixellated land. I have to say, though, the welcome for a stranger has been a good one. I have been met with charm, insight, wisdom, compassion and good humour through my blogging and micro-blogging encounters. To say that the internet is full of nastiness is no more true than to say that the world is bereft of goodness.
Just over one year ago, when I launched Twitter-based Bible discussion @chatbible, I asked the question “what would Jesus tweet”? Not sure I have an answer yet, but I have a better idea about how he would tweet.
To enjoy more of Richard’s work, please visit his blog. If you would like to hear the voice behind the wink, Pause For Thought archives can he found here. If you enjoy looking at unapologetically old-school church websites go here!