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 …

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 …

Summer Shifts

Summer has always been one of my favorite seasons of the year.  It is also a time when many people temporarily shift their normal routine.  I will be making shifts in several areas for the summer, including: Blogging I have published one blog post a day for the last 10 months, and a total of 1,450 since launching this blog in 2009.  This will be my last daily post for the summer.  I will continue to post on occasion rather than taking a month off as I did last year (a much needed break Read More …

Elements of a Great Blog Post

Paul Steinbrueck, co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, recently shared 7 must have elements for a great blog post: tantalizing title, hook in the opening paragraph, connecting image, unique style and perspective, new insight, formatted for easy reading, and conversation-starting question. So What? I have been blogging since 2009, and am always interested in learning how to be more effective.  While many of my posts contain these seven elements, a good number contain a Read More …

My 2014 Resolutions

I rarely participate in the annual ritual of crafting resolutions for the coming year.  I did commit to one in 2012.  This time, for 2014, I have settled upon three: Participate in worship in at least 10 different communities of faith Write at least 200 blog posts and be more actively engaged on Twitter Read at least 100 books and write reviews for at least 50 So What? New years bring new possibilities.  While I expect a fair degree of the unexpected in the months ahead, I also Read More …

1,000 Days of Daily Blogging

This post marks 1,000 days of blogging on a daily basis. I launched sowhatfaith.com just over 4 years ago.  Almost three years ago, I started blogging on a daily basis.  At several points along that journey I paused to reflect and share my experience: 100 Days, 1 Year, and 2 Years. So What? I hope my daily posts have been substantive, relevant, and actionable.  I believe even more strongly now than I did when I launched this blog that it is important for people who follow the Read More …

Celebrating 2 Years of Daily Blogging

Today I celebrate two years of daily blogging.  Amazingly, I have now written at least one post every day for the last two years. A year ago I reflected on my first 365 days.  This year, I opt for an approach that is more celebrative than reflective.  I celebrate Friendships - those that have emerged or developed as a result of my writing Learning - the ongoing opportunity to be a lifelong learner (and to relate what I am learning in community -- see friendships above) Discipline - Read More …

Reflecting on 365 Days of Daily Blogging

I launched this blog in June of 2009, and started posting on a daily basis a year ago.  Over the last 365 days I have learned a great deal, including: writing blog content is different from all other writing creating and using a standard template for each type of post (e.g., book reviews) provides helpful structure timely topics attract readers, especially those in the current news cycle posts with the greatest hit counts are, almost exclusively, those shared by others via social Read More …

Reflecting on 500 Blog Posts

In 2009, I moved from an observer to a participant in the growing world known as social media. In January, I joined Facebook.  Within a few months, I was logging in to Facebook several times a day. In May, I secured a domain name.  In June, I launched this blog.  Initially, I wrote a few posts a week In September, I joined Twitter.  Within a few months, I was tweeting several times a day. As I wind down my third year in social media, I recognize that statistics tell a very incomplete Read More …

Social Media Tools for Churches 101

Alys Drake, communications manager for Howell Marketing Strategies, recently wrote a guest commentary in the Commercial Appeal that provides churches with a "social media primer."  She includes six basics: Blogs Twitter Flickr and Tumblr Facebook Geolocation (e.g. Foursquare) Other (YouTube, Ustream, Vimeo, podcasting, QR codes, Google+) So What? In the article, Drake states, "Information is spread at lightning speed via social networks like Facebook and Twitter in a way I Read More …