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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

BYODD to Worship

BYODD (Bring Your Own Divine Device) may become the acronym of choice at many houses of worship.  Jeff Brumley's recent Associated Baptist Press article, "Divine Devices or Digital Distractions," provides a hopeful, realistic look at the increased use of smart phones and tablets in worship services.  Not only are fewer congregations banning the use of such devices during worship, but many are being intentional about encouraging their use for looking up Bible verses or sharing meaningful Read More …

Top Posts of 2013

According to the number of page visits during this calendar year, the most popular posts I wrote in 2013 are  Top 10 Books of 2012 1,000 Posts Pastor of Innovation Social Media Shortcomings Review of When Spiritual but Not Religious is Not Enough So What? I truly appreciate the feedback readers provide.  You vote by clicking, and your interest in posts and topics is confirmed by the time you linger on my site.  While this data is helpful, it tells only part of the story.  If Read More …

Church Social Media Community Building Opportunity

Marcus Cylar, itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, is seeking your help with his Doctor of Ministry project centered around the question: "What are the characteristics and benefits of an effective, life-giving online pastoral support group in a social media setting?"  The working title for this project is Examining Social Media's Role in Community Building and Spiritual Formation. Get Involved Marcus is looking for 30 participants of all ages (3 groups of 10) to Read More …

Why People Share

Ipsos, the world’s third largest market research company, recently published the results of their global survey on social media sharing. The reasons people share include: 37% - to let others know what I believe in and who I really am, 30% - to recommend a product, service, movie, book, etc., 29% - to add my support to a cause, an organization or a belief, and 26% - to share unique things. So What? Social media managers and others tasked with overseeing the social media presence Read More …

Social Media & Approaching Death

Paul Bisceglio, a freelance journalist who edits the literary digital magazine Land that I Live, recently wrote an article in The Atlantic suggesting that social media is changing how people approach death.  While the proliferation of social media and increasing use of such to speak about personal experiences with end of life is easily documented, how this shift will impact how people view death and dying is not yet known. So What? As people of faith, we have always viewed death Read More …