Ministry in 2011

Jin An, IT Director at Quest Church and owner of 8 Four Consulting, recently wrote a guest piece for the New Media Project.  He begins his article with observations about what he knows of life in 2011, including "I can have church on my phone or laptop." So What? For years, many have taught that ministry modeled after Jesus should do as he did.  One implication of that philosophy is that those who follow the way of Jesus should meet people where they are.  An provides updated language that Read More …

Review of Introducing the Practice of Ministry

Meet the Author Kathleen A. Cahalan is an associate professor of theology at St. John's University School of Theology-Seminary, which is a Catholic and Benedictine school that educates both ordination candidates and lay ecclesiastical ministers.  Previously, she taught at Christian Theological Seminary and as an evaluation coordinator for the religion division of the Lilly Endowment.  Cahalan is the author of three books:  Introducing the Practice of Ministry (2010), Formed in the Image of Read More …

Sowhatfaith.com – The First 2 Years

Happy 2nd birthday to sowhatfaith.com!  Over the course of the last two years, a great deal has changed in my life and with this site. I have transitioned from full-time to part-time ministry in a local congregation transitioned from serving a Presbyterian (PCUSA) parish to serving one affiliated with the United Church of Christ (UCC) started working full-time for a university Sowhatfaith.com has transitioned from posting new content twice a week (101 posts in the first year) Read More …

Giving Less

The Barna Group's latest research suggests that the current economic crisis continues to impact how much Christians contribute to their local congregations.  In short: In the immediate aftermath of the economic crisis in late 2008, two out of 10 Americans (20%) had reduced their giving to a church or religious center; three out of 10 (31%) had downsized their giving to other nonprofits. Then, 14 months later, in January of 2010, both measures had increased: three in 10 adults had reduced giving 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 …

No Generation Left Behind: Social Media in Ministry

Earlier this year I wrote about generational differences in online activity based on data from a Pew Research Center study that showed how many people in each generation participate in various online activities.  The percentage of people who participate in a given category tends to decline from generation to generation, but even the oldest generations still engage in a significant amount of online activity.  Increasingly the digital divide or gap between those who have access and those who lack Read More …

One Year Later

My life has changed a great deal over the last year: Ash Wednesday 2010 marked the final day of serving my last church.  I spent most of the morning packing up my office and saying goodbye to other members of the staff. Ash Wednesday 2011 marked two and a half months working for a university.  I spent most of the morning leading a workshop for faculty. As I started my Lenten journey last year I did so having just resigned from a position without having first accepted another position Read More …

Review of Reframing Hope

Merritt, Carol Howard.  Reframing Hope: Vital Ministry in a New Generation.  Alban Institute, 2010.  ISBN: 9781566993944. Meet the Author Carol Howard Merritt is an ordained Presbyterian Church, USA pastor.  She has served congregations in Louisiana and Rhode Island.  Currently she serves Western Presbyterian Church – an intergenerational church in Washington D.C.  Merritt is the author of Tribal Church: Ministering to the Missing Generation (2007) and Reframing Hope: Vital Ministry for a Read More …