So my former boss tagged me to teach a track at next years ABCUSA Biennial. This took me by a bit of a surprise, seeing as I didn’t remember talking about presenting with him prior to getting a request in my inbox for a track outline and bio.
I hedged a bit about agreeing to lead the track. I’m pathological about preparing something useful for folks and didn’t know if I would have time to do that. Second, I’ve watched people get nasty about what goes on at Biennials on Facebook and wasn’t sure I wanted to deal with it 1. In the end I decided I like to teach, and thought I might be able to do something a bit different with the subject 2 – I submitted my rough sketch this afternoon.
Which meant I had to write a bio, which I hate.
I enjoy reflecting on my experiences and vantage point. In fact, that’s a big part of what makes me tick. Writing about myself, however, always seems so presumptuous. I’ve tried writing “serious” blurbs about myself before, but when I heard them read out loud all I could think was, “Who is this pompous jerk 3?” It’s not my forte.
As a result of my aversion to self-promotion, I tend to write about myself with tongue firmly in cheek. That way information about who I am can be shared, but those who pick up on some of my seemingly flippant remarks can gain some insight into my character 4. There’s always a method to the madness.
My self-promotion allergy, combined with concerns about how I’ll be treated by my peers at Biennial, led me to write the following Bio. It is, like me, a bit weird. Enjoy.
Wesley T. Allen is a dual-class “Geek-Pastor” – serving as the pastor of the Central Baptist Church of Riverton-Palmyra and the Communications Coordinator for the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey. He works out his faith journey on his blog, Painfully Hopeful, the title of which defines his life perspective. He is a graduate of Lancaster Mennonite High School and Eastern College 5, both of which have had a lasting impact on his understanding and practice of the Christian faith. While he studied theology at Eastern, and has his MDiv through Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Wes migrated toward computers and communications because he loves the new opportunities for leaning these provide him.
Wes loves writing, photography, reading, history, theology, all things computers 6, and geeky entertainment. He’s a left-handed, introverted, middle-child – and proud of it. He’s also certain one of the kids in Stranger Things has to be based on his 12 year old self.
- To be honest, I have enough trust issues with Christians as it is. The thought of exposing myself to more potential sniping from people who are supposedly part of my spiritual family is actually terrifying. ↩
- I am so fed up with “how to do this ministry in six easy steps.” In case you’re wondering, I picked the number on purpose. ↩
- Me. The pompous jerk was me. ↩
- Also, whenever I write a bio I suffer from imposter syndrome, so the attempted humor helps me calm down. ↩
- He pre-dated the university era. ↩
- Maybe not spreadsheets, those he tolerates. ↩