Today marks the five year anniversary of Ten Minas Ministries and I would personally like to thank each and every person who has supported us over the years, contributed their thoughts to our blog (whether they agreed with me or not) and especially those who have graced TMM with their prayers and constructive criticism.
We were originally incorporated as a Maryland non-profit on January 17, 2006. When TMM first began, we really were struggling for direction. We had a website without much content other than the "Argument for Christianity" series of articles (articles that I keep meaning to revisit and update, but alas other obligations keep getting in the way). The "Ten Minas Talent Pool" came and went. It was an effort to match up volunteers with particular skills with people in need who would benefit from those skills. Unfortunately, it never gained enough steam to support itself, but it did get TMM its first radio exposure through an interview on a Baltimore Christian radio station.
After the Talent Pool we moved on to the Disaster Relief Project and helped raise money to rebuild a home in Gulfport, Mississippi that was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. We also started "Preparing Your Answer," the series of podcasts on apologetic and theological issues. The "Ten Minas Ministries Prayer Network" brought together prayer requests from people around the world with any "prayer warriors" who visited the website and saw their requests.
As time went on, TMM began to focus more specifically on apologetics. Theology still served as an important foundation (after all, how can you defend something without first knowing what it is you are defending?), but it became clear that my forte and interests really went in the direction of helping Christians prepare their answers to a skeptical world. I have spoken to the people in the pews, taught in a classroom format (contact TMM if you would like me to come to yoru church) and have had countless valuable interactions on the TMM blog with believers and non-believers alike. I know I have benefitted from the experiences (even the more frustrating ones) and I hope my partners in dialogue can say the same.
If I have learned anything over the past five years, it is that apologetics cannot be approached like a legal argument in a courtroom. When you are speaking to someone who disagrees with you about the most fundamental questions of our existence, there is no judge in a black robe who will speak up at the end of our discussion and tell one if us that we are wrong (at least not in this life). The moment I look at a debate as an opportunity to "tear down" my opponent is the moment I lose sight of the whole purpose. My companion in the discussion is not only my ideological opposition, he or she is also the person I am trying to convince. I am not here to win points. I am here to encourage open and honest discussion. If anyone is interested in having that kind of talk, I invite you to join in the conversation as we hopefully continue for at least another five years.
God belss you all.
Ken Coughlan, President
Ten Minas Ministries