Death of the Sermon?

Christianity has always been growing, changing, and evolving.  In recent years the rate of change has accelerated.  Here in America the shift toward a less religiously affiliated population is well underway.  Recent research has led many experts to speculate that it is reasonable to think the nones (those with no religious affiliation) will grow even more rapidly in the next few decades. For those who have chosen to remain a part (or who have opted to become a part) of Christianity, corporate Read More …

Pastoral Engagement on Twitter

Bo Emerson's recent article explores how pastors are using Twitter to engage their congregations while also reaching much larger audiences. Twitter executive Claire Diaz-Ortiz found that "religious leaders were completely punching above their weight on Twitter" and "were super-engaged."  For example, Joyce Meyer has far fewer followers than Lady Gaga (26 million and 1 million respectively), yet Meyer has a greater impact. So What? While the article focuses on notable Christian leaders Read More …

What About Twitter is Appealing?

Carol Howard Merritt, a Presbyterian pastor and the author of Tribal Church: Ministering to the Missing Generation (2007 - read my review here) and Reframing Hope: Vital Ministry in a New Generation (2010 - read my review here), recently was interviewed by the Christian Century.  Among other things, she was asked to "say more about what you find so appealing about Twitter."  Her response, in part, follows: I use Twitter in a couple of ways. It's a news stream for me . . . As a pastor, I use 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 …

Two Years of Tweeting

Today is my (@sowhatfaith) Twitterversary.  I have now been tweeting for two years.  I took some time to compare my first year on Twitter to my second.  That analysis yielded the following data: As my comfort level grew, so did the frequency of my tweeting: average daily tweet count was 2.6 in year one compared to 6.8 in year two (an increase of roughly 150%) As I better understood the role and value of Twitter, I moved away from posting my tweets on my Facebook wall.  More recently, I Read More …

Review of A Public Faith

Meet the Author Miroslav Volf is the Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture and Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology at Yale Divinity School.  He was born in Croatia, and studied at Evangelical-Theological, Osijek, Fuller Theological Seminary and received his doctoral degree from the University of Tübingen, where he studied under Jürgen Moltmann. As “a member of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. and the Evangelical Church in Croatia, Professor Volf was involved in Read More …

Learning the Unwritten Rules of Social Media

Rajesh Setty, author of Upbeat: Cultivating the Right Attitude in Tough Times (2009) and President of Foresight Plus, recently shared his list of the unwritten rules of social media: Connection does not imply permission Access does not imply entitlement Activity is not productivity More is not better Reciprocation is optional Amplification without accomplishment is futile Engagement without enrichment is not effective So What? Most who enter the world of social media do Read More …

The First Rule of Social Media

Michael Buckingham is the founder of Holy Cow Creative (a church creativity and design studio) and the creative director for the Center for Church Communication and Church Marketing Sucks.  Last week he wrote about the importance and power of the question mark in social media.  He writes: The very first rule of social media that I put in place with the churches I work with: There should be more question marks than periods on your page. Now of course this is a rule of thumb but people come to Read More …

Classroom Conversations Go the Way of Social Media

Trip Gabriel's recent New York Times article, "Speaking Up in Class, Silently, Using Social Media," explores the uses of backchannels (real-time online dialogue about a speaker or topic) in the classroom. While backchannels are being utilized at all levels of education - from elementary schools to graduate degree programs - the overall adoption rates are low.  Those who leverage this new interactive supplement to the learning experience employ a variety of means including Twitter, Google Read More …

Thursday + Friday = Maximum Facebook Engagement

Buddy Media released "Strategies For Effective Facebook Wall Posts: A Statistical Review" earlier this month, which amounts to a comprehensive analysis of more than 200 of their clients' Facebook pages over a two week period.  The full report (available as a free download after registering) features fifteen pages of information including a detailed breakdown by industry of the best days to post.  Overall, for all industries considered, the best days for engagement are Thursday and Friday.  The Read More …