8 Years of So What Faith

When I launched So What Faith back in 2009 I didn't really know what I was doing, but I had an adventurous spirit, adequate tech skills, and a desire to write about matters of faith that mattered.  The first year I managed to publish 59 posts, which I shared primarily with those in the congregation I was serving and a few former colleagues. Growth Once I got the hang of how to blog, I started to expand my horizons through more intentional use of a variety of social media and interactions Read More …

Mid-Year Update – Popular Posts

According to Google analytics statistics for So What Faith (based on view counts from January 1 to present) Most popular blog posts published in 2016 Search for a Church: 9 Months & Counting (May) Mainline Members – Political Leanings (February) My 2016 Search for a Church (January) Reflections on Average Worship Attendance (February) Top Religions by State (January) View from the Pew: 12 Sacred Spaces (June) Most popular posts so far in 2016 (regardless of date of Read More …

Online Church Calendars

As someone in search of a church, I have spent a fair amount of time reviewing the websites of churches in my geographic area.  Thankfully most include a calendar that displays what is (or, in some cases, what is not) happening right now and in the near term future.  Since I have no real connection to these communities of faith, I assume that all activities (or at least all that they think important) appear on the public calendar. Observations The size of a church (both the square footage Read More …

All Time Most Popular Posts

I have now posted well over 1,600 times here at SoWhatFaith.com.  There are many reasons I keep writing, but none more important than you - my readers. Based on your views, my 16 most popular posts are Review of Not a Fan (2011) Lost, Found, Party (2015) Prayers of the People - Youth Sunday (2009) Reading the Whole Bible (2010) The Acceptable Year of the Lord - the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (2011) Top Church Websites (2012) 12 Marks of Convergence Christianity Read More …

More Than Commas

The United Church of Christ has long been known as the church of the comma.  That campaign resonated with me to the degree that I have (and have often worn!) a comma pin. I have also said the line attributed to Gracie Allen on many occasions: "Never place a period where God has placed a comma."  In short, I appreciate the reminder that God is still speaking. New Punctuation Since God is still speaking the United Church of Christ's latest additions to the punctuation serve both to expand Read More …

View from the Pew: 8 Sacred Spaces

Soon after relocating to Texas in September of 2015, I wrote "In Search of a Church," explaining a bit about the process my wife and I were undertaking to find a new community of faith to call our own.  During this process, I have posted a "view from the pew" photo most weeks on Facebook and Twitter. As someone who has spent most of his life working in a church and a good deal of that time in pastoral leadership, my ability to visit other congregations has been limited (and especially limited Read More …

Top 5 Posts of 2015

My most popular posts written in 2015 (according to the number of page views during this calendar year) are Sermon: Lost –> Found –> Party Effective Leaders Ask for Feedback Leaving Parish Ministry World Religions from 2010 to 2050 Leaders Clear Obstacles So What? Leadership is the only topic to appear more than once on this year's list. While four of last year's top posts related to worship, only one worship related post made this year's list. Which of these five Read More …

Last Blog Post

This will be my last blog post for awhile . . . History Six years and four months ago, I launched this site.  At that time, I never imagined that I would become a prolific blogger who would author 1,600 blog posts (an average of just over 250 a year!).  I also had not given any real consideration to what my life might look like if I were not employed by a church. Happening Now After serving Mainline Protestant congregations for fifteen years in a variety of capacities, I am Read More …

Most Popular Sermons of 2015

I preached around forty sermons this year at Fort Myers Congregational United Church of Christ (Fort Myers, FL).  According to YouTube views, the most popular messages are That's the Book for Me – watch / read - a 16 min. message on the Bible (warning: this is the first and only sermon I have ever preached that includes singing) Titleless – watch / read – a 13 min. message on humility Surprising Salaries – watch / read – a 12 min. message on generosity Personal Transformation + – watch Read More …

No Sermon Sunday #1

I did not preach today, and I will not be preaching again anytime soon. Last Sunday I preached my final sermon as Transitional Pastor of Fort Myers Congregational United Church of Christ (Fort Myers, FL).   During my nine months there and for ten months while serving as Interim Senior Pastor of United Church (Marco Island, FL), it was my habit to post my sermon here each Sunday.  Those posts contained the Scripture reading, a sermon excerpt (along with a link to the manuscript and video), Read More …