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Blog Focus 2011: Pastors, Marriages, & Adolescent to Young Adult Transition

Since December of 2004 I have posted 1,298 times. There were periods where I posted 30 plus times a month, sometimes posting a couple of times a day. Some months I only posted a few times. And I have covered a variety of topics: focusing early on on ministry and theological issues, while more recently I have focused on issues related to relationships and technology.

One thing that has become more clear to me though this last year is that I want to be more focused on some very specific areas, and I want to plumb the depths more than I have been. I figure that God has created me with a certain variety of gifts, and that my work as a therapist and pastor, as well as my graduate training in marriage and family therapy, as well as theology, have equipped me to speak into certain areas of life.

For a long time I have found myself wanting to be like other bloggers that I admire, but ultimately we have to write out of what we know, experience, and who God has created us to be. It is only when we do that that I think we really enjoy blogging/writing, and then it is also possible to have the longevity to sustain not only the writing, but the passion over a long period of time. I think that’s one of the reasons I have blogged for the last six years…because I continue to find things that interest me and move on from them when they no longer do.

And now I have come to a new phase of life personally, relationally, and vocationally…and I want to focus my writing more on those things that interest me…and that I think can benefit others.

So my goal for 2011 is to focus on these three areas, and that whenever I write on an issue, it will funnel itself into one of these categories.

Pastoral Counseling/Pastoral Identity
I was raised in the home of a pastor. I have been a part of church community my entire life. I have been pastoring for the last 13 years vocationally, and more years “unvocationally” (probably not a word). In a sense, it is in my blood. The life and identity of a pastor is something that very much intrigues me, and now that I am a therapist and work with pastors, I am more and more convinced that this is an area that I must focus on. Pastors carry out unique functions in community and Church, and with those functions come demands and expectations that can create all kinds of havoc on their identities, marriages, relationships, etc. And I’m concerned at the number of pastors who recommend counseling to others, but rarely feel that they need it themselves. So I hope to explore issues related to being a pastor this coming year, covering topics such as marriage, family, power, identity, etc.

Marriage
I know, there are lots of people who write on marriage, but it’s something I have a passion for as most of my therapy work is with couples, and I continue to do more research in that area. It’s very powerful to be part of a process that helps couple’s in their marriage, and I want to share some of those things with you during this next year. As I talk about marriage I will cover topics such as sex, attachment, kids, vocation, spirituality, etc.

Adolescence to Young Adult Transition
I have always been fascinated with the transitions that take place in life, but especially during this stage of life. Different theorists will have different ages listed for this transition, but I’m primarily interested in somewhere between the ages of 16-36, and the major shifts in identity that take place during this time period. It is a very important stage in life, in that how one navigates the tasks during this time can set forth the trajectory for how they move through life itself. I will focus on topics such as identity making, vocation, relationships, anxiety, etc.

I know I have written a lot about technology these last couple of years, and it will continue to play a role, but only in as much as it makes sense to talk about in these areas of focus.

I’m not putting out a schedule of how often I post, but look for me to post more frequently this new year than I have this last year. But when I do post, I want to make sure I’m not just writing to write…just to post something…but that I’m writing something that has something worthwhile to be said.

If you have any ideas, thoughts, or input for any of these areas of focus, please let me know. I would love to hear from you.

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rhettsmith@churchleaders.com'
I'm a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate (MDiv, MSMFT, LMFT-A) and pastor to youth and families. I write about the relationships between psychology, theology and technology.