What is the purpose of a link?

Hi friends,

In the Uncommon Pursuit community, one of our primary desires is to develop our own ability to understand and share what it is like to follow Jesus.

Sometimes that means we want to share resources external to Uncommon Pursuit.

To build a shared understanding of our approach to these resources, please consider the following guidelines.

Three Guidelines

First, don’t plagiarize someone else’s intellectual property.

Second, don’t drop self-promotional links.

Third, we prefer a great conversation to gathering a collection of interesting links.

But… what does that mean?


There are two common reasons to share a link:

The first is to start a conversation. “Hey, I saw this, here’s my take, what do others think?”

The second is to contribute to a conversation. “Yea, I saw that too, here’s a good answer someone else gave…”

In either case, we request that you explain why the resource is interesting to discuss or how it adds value to the conversation.

Why is this?

First, it is for your own development. By thinking about what we’ve seen and then explaining its significance for a conversation in the UP community, we develop our ability to discuss critical questions.

How do you know if an external resource is good enough to recommend to someone else? Because you’ve taken the time to understand it and experienced its relevance to the conversation. And one of the best ways to develop a strong grasp of a subject is to attempt to explain it to someone else.

More important than transferring information is building a community where we are increasingly able to thoughtfully and respectfully discuss even the most challenging questions.

Second, it is a way of serving the community. It only takes a few seconds to link to a resource that might take hours to read. Instead of passing that burden onto others, we feel it is better to explain how and why a particular resource contributes to a particular discussion.

Think about it this way: which of these approaches is more valuable:

Option 1: “I watched this video and I need help understanding it: LINK”


Option 2: “Hey, I watched this video from Carson. In it, he says that “God is incomprehensible because God does not change, and we do change.” Here’s what I’m wondering: if God is incomprehensible, how can we know anything about him?”

To sum it up

Imagine you’re a student (maybe you are!) and the professor asks, “Write a paper on the Trinity.” Would you learn anything if your paper was a list of links to YouTube videos on the subject?

External links can serve a purpose. But, please use them as footnotes, and not as the primary substance of your reply.