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 …

What I Really Do

James McGrath, an associate professor in the Religion and Philosophy department at Butler University, recently shared his contribution to the meme "What I Really Do."  He later, after receiving input from readers, added a second image that intentionally differed from the first with regard to the inclusion of women. Since the first image is what captured my attention, and since that is largely the goal of a good meme, I will repost it below. So What? One of the many roles I have in life Read More …

#SundayWisdom

The CANA Initiative (Convening, Advocating, Networking, Acting) is a collective of faith-engaged people and entities (Roman Catholic, Evangelical, Mainline Protestant, Orthodox, and other Christians who believe the future for Christian life and mission will be different in many ways from the past and present), that brings together diverse and innovative leaders to collaborate in the development of new ways of being Christian.  During Lent, Diana Butler Bass – a CANA initiator and the author of Read More …

The Age of the Selfie

Galen Guengerich, senior minister of All Souls Unitarian Church (New York City, NY) and of author of God Revised  (one of my top books of 2013), recently wrote about the "selfie culture" on the occasion of the Oxford Dictionary adding this word to their 2013 edition.  Selfies are pictures people take of themselves then share via social media.  They are doing far more than merely cluttering social media feeds.  Guengerich writes: This moment in dictionary history may also represent the Read More …

Why Facebook?

According to a recent Pew Research survey, men and women share many "major reasons" for using Facebook.  The top reason women use Facebook is to see photos/videos whereas the top reason men use Facebook is that it allows them to share with many people at once. So What? Whether you are a relative newcomer to Facebook or have been a part of this social community for many years, it is likely your own major reasons for using it have evolved over time.  While some of the change may have come Read More …

Online Church Shopping

David Odom, Executive Director of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School, recently blogged about the increasing tendency of shoppers, including church shoppers, to shop online.  When it comes to those who are looking for a church, Odom notes that they "frequently visit the congregation online by watching services, reading about services and asking questions."  This activity is a part of the screening process many now use in making a decision about whether or not to attend services or Read More …

The Problem with Facebook

Derek Muller of Veritasium, an educational science channel on YouTube, recently posted a 7-minute video exploring the current problems with Facebook.  If you and/or your organization spend any time on Facebook, then I encourage you to listen to Muller's video in its entirety.   So What? Muller comments, "The beauty of social media is that it's the user who gets to control the content, who they interact with and how." As Facebook increasingly limits what content users see and Read More …

Scribalishess

I enjoy discovering new blogs.  When I encounter people's listings of their favorite blogs or compilations of the best Christian blogs I tend to click through and browse each site.  Most of my discovery consists of becoming familiar with well established blogs.  While I hope to continue that exploration, I also want to connect with new bloggers and to encourage you to do the same. Susan Pigott is Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Hardin-Simmons University.  I had the privilege of Read More …

The 1 Minute Worship Service

Gold Hill Lutheran Church is an ELCA congregation in Butte, MT that averages just over 130 people in worship each Sunday morning.  Their pastor's one minute worship service (January 12, 2014) has gone viral.  It took less than a week for the video to reach 1 million views.   So What? Timothy Christensen's announcement was initially misunderstood by many as having been the full worship experience.  In the days since, numerous corrections or updates to blog posts, tweets and Read More …