I’ve got mail. Lots of mail. Which is awesome. I love hearing from readers and I love responding back. But if you’ve been following me for any length of time or if you’ve sent me an e-mail, social media private message, or blog comment requiring a teaching response from me, you know that finding the time to respond is a struggle for me.
I don’t discuss this frequently (because you’re here for content that will point you to God’s word and edify you in your walk, not to hear about me), but I do my best to keep my life priorities in a biblical order:
1. My personal relationship with Christ
2. Serving and ministering to my husband
3. Serving and ministering to my children
4. Being a faithful, active member of my church
5. Spending time with friends and loved ones
6. Everything else
I think the rightful place for any online ministry I do (blogging and responding to readers) is at #6, or sometimes further down the list if I feel like there’s something more urgent God wants me to attend to at the moment. God has blessed me with a husband and children, and my primary job is to minister to them.
This is the framework I try to work from every morning when I get up and begin to order my day. But, like Paul said, I know the right thing to do, I just don’t always do it. I was talking to my husband about this the other day, and I realized I’ve been blowing it lately. I’ve sinned against my family by not giving them the time they need from me. And that has to stop.
And one of the ways that’s going to stop is that I’m going to cut way back on responding to e-mails, private messages, and blog comments- probably by about 90%. I love y’all and I want to help each and every person who writes to me, but the amount of mail I get is just too overwhelming for me to be able to do that any more.
Also, I will not be responding to (and often, not publishing) blog comments which require more than five minutes of my time to answer. While I love hearing from readers, it is simply taking too much time to engage in long, in depth, or teaching conversations in the comments section of my articles.
However, I do want you to get the answers, information, and help you need, so I’m hoping these pointers will help:
Read my article Blog Orientation for New Readers and Old Friends for helpful information and resources about me and about the blog.
It’s still OK to send me an e-mail. A lot of the stand-alone articles I write are in response to readers’ needs and questions, as well as trends I see in the church and evangelicalism. Even though I probably won’t be able to respond, help me stay aware of things like this by dropping me a quick note with your question and any applicable links. If you have a question you need answered, your best bet is to email me rather than commenting on an article or sending me a private message on social media. Your question may be answered via The Mailbag (see below).
If you send me an email or social media private message with a question or a request for advice, it may be used – with identifying information removed – in a future edition of The Mailbag (see below). If you do not want your email/PM used in a Mailbag article, you must specify this somewhere in your email/PM (with the understanding that your email/PM probably will not be answered, as I’ve mentioned above).
The Mailbag– I run a weekly feature on the blog called The Mailbag, the sole purpose of which is to answer readers’ questions. Keep an eye out to see if the question you’ve sent in has been answered. (As always, your anonymity will be protected.)
Click the hyperlinks. If you’re reading an article and see a word in a different color text that’s underlined when you hover over it, clicking on it will take you to another article or resource that will provide you with more information.
Use the search bar. I get lots of questions that could easily be answered by using the search bar and reading the article(s) I’ve already written on the subject. The search bar is located at the very bottom of every page of the blog.
Use the tabs at the top of the blog. (In the blue menu bar.) I’m often asked about teachers whose names appear under either the “Popular False Teachers” tab or the “Recommended Bible Teachers” tab. You’ll also find my statement of faith and answers to other commonly asked questions.
Read the Welcome & FAQs- Start Here tab. I don’t publish every blog comment or respond to every message. Here’s why, as well as other information I’m often asked about.
Information on false teachers Again, first use the tabs in the blue menu bar at the top of the page and the search bar. If you don’t find the person you’re looking for, please ask me. If I get enough inquiries about a particular teacher, ministry, etc., I’ll look into it and put the information in an article. If you need an immediate answer, please click here. These are the guidelines I use when researching teachers. I hope they’ll be helpful to you as you do your research.
Objecting to my warnings against false teachers While I understand how disconcerting it can be to see a warning against a celebrity Bible teacher you happen to love, please don’t waste your time commenting (it won’t be published), messaging, or e-mailing me to lambaste me for doing so. Your objection is not unique, clever, or biblical, and it answered in this article: Answering the Opposition: Responses to the Most Frequently Raised Discernment Objections. Additionally, please don’t attempt to manipulate or guilt me out of writing discernment articles by hand-wringingly telling me how sad, grieved, devastated, depressed, etc., you are to have discovered my blog.
Ask your pastor Or your Sunday School teacher, a trusted, godly friend, etc. Sometimes I receive questions about what to do in a catastrophic life circumstance, major situations at church, and so on. As much as I wish I could help with these things, I’m not equipped to do so via e-mail from thousands of miles away. These are situations in which you need to set up an appointment with your pastor for counseling, talk to one of your elders, or ask a godly friend to help you through. (Sometimes a certified biblical counselor is also an option.) This is just one of the dozens of reasons why it’s crucial to join and be an active member of a doctrinally sound local church. Your pastor, elders, and brothers and sisters in Christ in your church are there to help you. Regretfully, I cannot engage in discipleship or counseling relationships with readers via e-mail.
If you need fellowship I often hear from ladies who say it’s hard to find Christian friends, or discerning friends, to talk to. I totally get that. It’s hard for me, too. The primary solution to that dilemma is to find the most doctrinally sound church you can, get involved, and go about the business of proactively investing in friendships. Have lunch. Go out for coffee. Find another lady to study the Bible or a good book with. Have another couple over for supper. Don’t expect pre-fab friends, make them. Secondarily, there are many excellent Facebook groups where you can discuss theology, personal issues, and make online friends. Here, here, and here are a few I’m familiar with.
I’m sorry I won’t be able to correspond as much from here on out, but please know you have my, and my family’s, thanks for understanding.
41 thoughts on “New E-Mail, Messages, and Blog Comments Policy”
You absolutely have your priorities in line! Thank you for all that you do by was of doctrinal research and sharing your finds. I have benefited greatly from your posts and shared them with others.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks, Lisa :0)
Michelle, I very much appreciate the information you’ve shared here. So very helpful and now I know how to move forward. Thank you so, so much xxx
My pleasure, Nicky! :0)
Sorry, Michelle, this response was intended for your Bible recommendation post – I’m new to WP and apparently I put this in the wrong place! Please know how grateful I am for that Bible recommendation article, which means a great deal to me. Thank you for the time you took to post it xx
No worries :0)
Thank you for sharing your struggle and for once again being a godly example to those of us who follow your blog.
Pushing back and making your relationship with God and your family priority shows true discernment. Good for you!!
Thanks, Jamie :0)
I’m just so glad you’re going to keep blogging – I’d be upset if you gave it up! Your family is blessed to have you. I love that you have your priorities straight 🙂
Thanks, Kristen! :0)
Really good and thorough article and I agree with it all. As I have shared with you, I do not do FB (right now) and so those groups wouldn’t work for me. If anyone else knows of a discussion group that is not on FB, I would like to know about it, too. Perhaps, at some point, there might be a way to have a discussion community based on and attached to your blog. I don’t know how to do that, and I know you would have to approve it and have someone moderate and monitor it. Just a suggestion. Thanks for your ministry.
Robin- The discussion community is a good idea, the only thing is, you have to have an online platform for it (such as Facebook, Google+, etc.). I don’t believe WordPress has any sort of social interaction platform, but I will look into it when I get a chance. I know that Theology Gals (one of the “here” links in the article above) has a Facebook discussion group (in addition to their podcast), but I know it requires a lot of time for the admins to monitor, too.
I don’t know if you’d be amenable to Google+ or not, but one of the “here” links above is to a Google+ discussion group.
I’ll check out the Google+ link. I’m okay with that. Thanks!
You’re welcome. It’s a very sweet group :0)
Robin, I too have been looking for an online discussion group and am not on and choose not to use Facebook. I do have a private online forum which is inactive at the moment but I can easily open it up again for this purpose. Any woman would be welcome to register and engage in respectful discussion there. Do you think something like this would interest you?
Sure Nicky. Perhaps that would help Michelle out not to have to moderate it and add one more thing to her already full schedule. Let’s hold off on doing this until Michelle has had time to look into adding a discussion board to her blog first.
Of course, and in the meantime I’m also checking out the Google+ discussion group 🙂 Apologies if my message ends up in the wrong place – I can’t quite get the hang of navigating around the WP account!
Michelle, your priority list has helped me greatly. Thank you so much for sharing that. These things really matter and the gentle example of someone who has already navigated these waters is invaluable. May the Lord bless you richly for your faithfulness and obedience to Him, wisdom in prioritising your life Biblically, and your graciousness as a sister in Christ xx
Thanks, Nicky! :0)
I am so thankful for all of your great insight on people to be trusted concerning our Bible. I facilitate home Bible study and want to be very diligent in truth. I have been researching and sharing many of your recommendations. One that I looked into was The Outspoken TULIP. She referenced a few ladies that you have listed as false teachers which concerned me. Is this a new addition to her website? Trustworthy currently? I am so thankful that my daughter’s pastor recommended your website to her! Thank you for all your work.
Hi Diane- Thanks so much for your kind words. Could you provide me with a link to The Outspoken TULIP page that mentions the false teachers you’re talking about? Deb is very discerning, so I’d like to get some clarity. Thanks.
I just wanted to send you an email to say a couple of “Thank You’s” for your blog and encourage you to continue on your courageous path that God has assigned to you….actually to all of us.
First thank you is for the ” how to find a good church.” I went on to look because my husband and myelf needed to get into a good and Biblically sound church after a 4 years at a church which we served faithfully and left for scriptural reason that were discussed with our Pastor and the church board. Anyways, I went on your site and actually found a Pastor that was an actual alumni from The Master’s Seminary and John MacArthur. Mind you we live in a small town in the middle of Wisconsin so this was a true blessing and we are so pleased to be going there now.
The second “thank you” is for the article that you wrote about Beth Moore and why she is not to be trusted for teaching anymore. I went online and did some more research on her and found more than enough evidence to convince me that she is not worthy of studying anymore.
Come to find out the new church that I just told you about……the one I told you I was so happy to be at?…..come to find out that the women from the church were going to a Beth Moore simulcast at another church.
So…..this is where my courage kicked in and when at church the next Sunday I quietly asked our Pastor if he had vetted Beth Moore lately because I could not go to her seminar. He asked why and I told him to just look into it and we could talk more if he wanted to then.
Not only did the women’s ministry cancel going to the Beth Moore seminar but the Pastor got up and from the pulpit and announced that he could no longer support Beth Moore ministries and she would not be taught at our church anymore!!!! One of the elders came and thanked my husband and myself for bringing this to their attention.
Thank you for your faithfulness on your blog. I appreciate you and wanted to let you know that what you are doing is important and has great benefit. Blessings on you and your family.
Robin, it is my greatest joy to be able to help women and their families find good, doctrinally sound churches where they can get plugged in, grow in Christ, and serve. I’m so happy for you! Give your pastor an extra hug for me and tell him thank you for his leadership on the Beth Moore thing. I’m so glad to hear of another pastor who faithfully stands for Scripture!
“I stood in awe of my Redeemer! Salvation is completely, entirely and wholly a work of God. He shall receive ALL the glory for the salvation of his people!”
Read Charla’s encouraging testimony and find out how to share your own!
How can I know I am saved? I feel
Like this lady lost and religious . I don’t have a love for Jesus and feel like my life is for myself.
I have said the sinners prayer over and over again and am involved in church. Being a good person does not save me. It’s Jesus yet I feel
Cold and dead inside. What am I missing ? I am 34 and have always doubted my salvation since I was 15. Am I not one God elect ? How can I get a love for Jesus ? Why am I spitual blind still? How do
I really repent from the heart and not give God lip service ?
I have a question on a church in Houston Texas regarding a church called “the met church” I’ve never heard of it before, the Pastor is Matt Roberson, trying to find out if they support LBTQ. If you can let me know please, thx
Hi Edna- I’m sorry, but I don’t really have any idea. I would suggest calling or emailing them and asking them point blank if their church believes and teaches that homosexuality is a sin that must be repented of. If they give you anything other than an unequivocal “yes,” you’ll have your answer.
Good morning! I just wanted to let you know that today’s A Word Fitly Spoken podcast abruptly ended. You were right in the middle of a sentence and it cut off!😉 Just in case y’all wanted to or needed to fix it!
Thanks for letting us know, Ashley. Amy is working on it right now. :0)
I am wondering if you recommend Pastor Robert Morris of Gate Way Church.
Thank you, Janeen Lemke
Absolutely not. He is a false teacher.
Can you recommend any online fellowship groups outside of facebook? I am working to phase the use of facebook out.
Hi Nicole- I’m so sorry, but I’m not familiar with any outside of the Facebook groups I linked in the article.
The only thing I can think of off Facebook isn’t really a fellowship group, it’s Sheologians’ book club on Patreon. It might be worth a shot. It’s doctrinally sound, at least.
I’ve been praying awhile and studying God’s word. Concerning false teachers/doctrine. I notive many women and some of the churches bible studies use women who may be false teachers. Maybe some are on the border.
Then my IT pastor and his wife were telling me our church was having an IT:Gathering on video, this spring. I’m confused. Because as I pray and listen to sermons, they seem biblical. The bible study my IT pastor leads is on Acts but he’s listened to the IF video with his wife and said it was OK. I’m thinking how can this be. How can he pick such good bible studies and not see a problem with some of these women. I know I need to talk to them, I just don’t know how and I’m afraid they won’t see any problem. I need prayer and wisdom. Then if they don’t see a problem I have to find a good church. It’s daunting.
I know, Laura. I’ve been through it myself. It’s very unpleasant. But can I tell you – whether your pastor sees the light and repents or you leave and find a doctrinally sound church – it’s worth it. Our previous pastor did not repent and we had to leave and go to another church. We have never been so happy and at peace as we are in our new church.
Here are a couple of resources that may help you: Resource 1 Resource 2
Also, what in the world is an “IT pastor”? Is it “IT” as in information technology, computers, etc.? That’s not a pastoral office.
He’s in charge of online church and the tech stuff at church and leads a bible study. Thanks
OK, unless you mean he’s just in charge of posting the video of the worship service to YouTube or whatever, there’s no such thing as online church (with “membership,” a “pastor,” equivalent to physically attending church, etc.) It sounds like this church has some very foundational problems. Just a shot in the dark, but it wouldn’t happen to be Long Hollow Church, would it?
I sent a long email but it disappeared. He runs the online tech and answers followers question and prayer request. It’s bridgewater in PA and NY. 5 locations and online. About 8 pastors and leaders all men. Baptist in origin. There’s lots I’ve notice. The preaching mostly topical. They 5 main pastors get together pray and decide their sermon together. I wanted to mentor young women and asked about that but that pastor didn’t understand. But after reading the Bible more and realizing problems and alarmingly the lack of spiritual discernment by our pastors leaders teachers. I think that’s my biggest concern
Well, the good news is that you’re starting to actually see all of these things because God is growing you to spiritual maturity through His Word, so praise God for that! I would still recommend going to talk to them about the issues (if for no other reason than that they need to hear it so that when they answer to God one day they can’t say they didn’t know) before leaving for a more doctrinally sound church. From what you’ve described here, I’m very doubtful they will repent or change anything, but you never know how God might work in their hearts in the future from what you tell them.
I thought I would pop in and give you some additional perspective regarding your comments on DivorceCare groups. I have been a leader for over 6 years now in our churches DivorceCare Group. First I will assure you the organization that created the content does require that your program is being overseen by your pastor and in your church to address the parachurch concerns. I can also share that reconciliation is repeatedly encouraged and under the counsel of your pastor. It also makes the often uncomfortable, nonetheless true affirmation that there is only one biblically given allowance for divorce which of course is infidelity. However, grace, forgiveness, hope and comfort… and biblical guidance to not fall into sin during and after, are very much affirmed. Additionally, the gospel message is shared. As these groups are shared out in the internet nationally, I have often had non-Christian’s and/or those in a faith struggle attend. This is probably why I recommend the most! Currently, I can look over at a table in my women’s ministry bible study night, and see two ladies now sitting there weekly who did not even previously attend any church prior to finding our Divorce Care support group on the internet. And to that I say “Praise God!” Hope that helps with a little perspective into the program since (thank goodness) you had not attended.
Hi Jennifer- Thanks for your comment. Would you mind posting it on the actual article for me? (https://michellelesley.com/2019/09/16/the-mailbag-potpourri-divorcecare-when-are-they-men-touring-unbiblical-churches/) No one who reads the DivorceCare article will see it here. Thanks. :0)