Twitter: My First 6 Years

I started my social media journey in 2009 by launching this blog, opening a Facebook account, and beginning to tweet.  At that time, I realized I was anything but an early adopter of Facebook (stats show around 300 million active users by the time I joined) or blogging (stats show around 125 million active bloggers started blogging before I did). I was, however, a part of Twitter before it really took off (stats show only about 15 million active accounts at the time I joined). First Three Read More …

Prayers for Racial Justice

This Sunday, August 9, 2015, is the first anniversary of Mike Brown's death.  On this day the congregation I pastor (Fort Myers Congregational United Church of Christ) will join with hundreds and perhaps thousands of other congregations in the United Church of Christ by including prayers for racial justice as a part of services of worship.  This shared emphasis is the direct result of a group of faith leaders who have met regularly by conference call under the leadership of Geoffrey Black, the Read More …

Most Popular Sermons

We are now almost two weeks into the second half of the year known as 2015.  A few weeks ago I shared my most popular blog posts from the first half of the year.  Today, I offer my most popular sermons from the first half of the year (based on YouTube views) in lieu of new sermon content since I am on vacation and not preaching this morning. Titleless - watch / read - a 13 min. message on humility Surprising Salaries - watch / read - a 12 min. message on the Parable of the Laborers in the Read More …

Top Posts of 2015 (Jan-Jun)

In a few days the second half of the year will begin.  The most popular posts here on So What Faith so far this year (based on total number of views of posts published in 2015) are Effective Leaders Ask for Feedback, World Religions in 2050, Toward Church Renewal, From Mainline to Sideline to Oldline, and Top 10 Faith Enriching Books. Statistical Curiosities The list includes two posts from January, two from February, and one from April.   Each post was tagged with a primary Read More …

Top Posts of 2014

According to the number of page visits during this calendar year, the most popular posts I wrote in 2014 are Sensory Maundy Thursday Which Disciple Are You? Pastoral Prayer: Love How Worship is Evolving Sermon: More Than Showing Up So What? As the year winds down I always enjoy reading a variety of top ten lists and other lists sharing top moments, experiences, and posts of the year. Share a link to the most interesting Top 10 or top list of 2014 you have read so Read More …

Celebrating 1,500 Posts

This is my 1,500th blog post here at So What Faith, which offers an appropriate  reason to to reflect.  As I do so, I want to thank my readers.  While you come from all over the world, the vast majority reside in the United States. Most Visits Originate  Florida California Texas New York Illinois After nearly 5 1/2 years of writing, I recognize just how unpredictable popularity can be.  In fact only a few of the posts I would have guessed would be among my most popular all time Read More …

Growth of Social Networking

In early 2005 less than 10% of American adult internet users participated in social networking.  By late 2013 the number had risen to 72%.  These statistics and the chart at right come from Pew Research survey data. So What? A few key matters stand out to me as I review this data: the younger the internet user the higher the likelihood of participating in social networking, roughly half of those aged 65+ now use social networks, and ten years ago the usage rates were so low Pew Read More …

Churches & Social Media

Meredith Gould is the author of The Social Media Gospel: Sharing the Good News in New Ways, which I named as one of my top books of 2013.  On a more personal level, I have benefited from her wisdom as a communications consultant and as the founder and frequent host of #chsocm. As the World Cup has progressed, I have been involved in more conversations about social media than usual.  Interestingly, this has even carried over into church life and conversation.  During this time I stumbled upon Read More …

Required Digital Detox

In the Spring 2014 edition of Facts in Trends Marty Duren, manager of social media strategies for LifeWay, suggests that everyone needs to engage in a digital detox.  According to Duren, a digital detox involves completely abstaining from "everything online for a period of time" (p.45). While stopping short of prescribing the interval at which detoxes are required or the duration he recommends, Duren clearly believes that everyone who participates in the online world needs to take time for Read More …

From Hallelujah to 20M Views

Pope Francis' warmth and authenticity are among the reasons I am attracted to him.  As I listened to a recent viral video (over 20 million views in the first week) of a parish priest singing words no one expects to hear at a Catholic wedding, I found that I was drawn in by his warmth and authenticity. So What? There are many desirable attributes religious leaders may possess.  Which characteristics would you place atop your list for a minister/pastor/priest? Read More …