Abigail Flavell winner of the Blogger of the Year award tells us why she writes about the everyday miracles and why it's important to start a project with the right motives.
What inspired you to create Surrender My Agenda?
I set up Surrender My Agenda a number of years ago to record the personal journey I was on. I became a Christian aged 19 and felt God begin to stir up the plans I had for my own life and provoke me that He had better plans. If I would trust Him to guide me, give up my own agenda and follow His, He promised I would discover something far more satisfying. It has certainly proved to be true. Although the journey hasn't been easy! It has been costly, painful and at times confusing. Trusting that God knows you better than you know yourself and giving up your own dreams for His over your life is hard! I originally wrote about my own story but now I invite friends and people from our church planting team to contribute their own amazing stories.
Our stories include miraculous house moves, adoption, starting churches, laying down personal ambition, struggling with doubt and fear and encountering a faithful, encouraging and powerful Father God. The blog is definitely worth a read, but you know, I am biased.
What was your first reaction when you heard you won the Blogger of the Year award?
A bit stunned if I'm honest. It's very flattering to know people are enjoying reading. However I put this down to the incredible stories my friends and I have to tell. It's far more to do with what God is doing than what we are doing. When people choose to take risks, take a 'leap of faith' and follow what God is asking them to do they are trusting that God will 'catch' them. I'm simply telling the amazing everyday stories of those who have said their quietly radical yeses to Jesus. Some have profound stories of how God has caught them and have seen dramatic things happen. Yet some of us are also writing honestly about the part of stepping out for your faith that feels difficult, costly, challenging and at times a mystery. Some of us are still waiting for God to make it clear why he's asked us to do what we're doing. In the meantime we write about what we're learning along the way.
What does winning this award mean to you?
Winning awards isn't why I write. It's lovely and I am very grateful, however, I am writing because Jesus is amazing and I want people to know Him better. I Want them to come to know Him for themselves either for the first time or to go deeper into a trusting relationship with Him. Ultimately, I write for His "well done."
How has winning the category impacted your work?
It's been very encouraging - helpful to know I can, in fact, string a meaningful sentence together! We have also been excited that more people are reading about what Jesus is doing in us as people and as a brand new church. We are seeing our faith being lived out in real lives. It certainly encourages me to carry on.
What are your plans for Surrender My Agenda in 2017?
I will keep writing about the 'everyday' miracles I see, as well as the cost of being obedient even when it hurts. The last year has seen us move our family into a new part of the city of Hull to start Ricer City church. We are writing about the journey of the church growing in a working class area and the joy of seeing lives change. I also have some friends that just moved their young family to an eastern nation that have just encountered bombings in their city. I am hoping they will guest post for me soon.
How important is the Premier Digital Conference in today’s modern Christian community?
I think we must learn to engage online as Christians - the conference is vital in equipping us to do this.
What advice would you give to Christians with a digital project or idea that they want to launch?
Go for it. However, start with the right motives. You cannot build your own platform, only God hands those out. Write, blog or start a project because you want to glorify God's name not your own.
How can people get in touch with you?
Follow me on Twitter: @abiflavell
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