The year past marks the first full year of Retired Pastor Ruminates and once again I turn to Google analytics to have fun with the numbers. The site had 14,234 visits, with 21,648 pageviews and 9,744 visitors. You came from 104 countries, in this order: United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, India, Germany, Philippines, South Africa. The US visitors came from all 50 states and two territories.
If there was a theme for the year it would have to be the poor morale of mainline clergy and the peculiar pressures on that noble vocation these days. The most popular post by far was my “Ten Highly Effective Strategies for Crushing Your Pastor’s Morale,” a snarky piece of satire that seemed to strike a nerve. It was especially popular with Episcopalians and made its way to Episcopal Cafe. Whether this means that Episcopalians have worse morale than other clergy is anybody’s guess.
My second popular post was a jokey piece on Nebraska football that got posted on something called Huskerpedia (I’m not making this up) and went viral. For a time I considered putting “Nebraska football” in the title of all my posts (ie.: “Eschatology in late Barth and Nebraska football”) but decided that it would be wrong.
As usual, the interface between theology and ministry (my preoccupation) was the topic of many of the popular posts. Several of them deal with clergy burnout, and a couple others poke fun at some of the antics of my denomination, the United Church of Christ. There is more satire this year than last, as I find myself drawn less to the jeremiad and more and more to the “modest proposal.” Whether this is a sign of wisdom is an open question.
My post “Pastor’s Aren’t Prophets” got picked up and, in a much edited form, reposted on Duke’s Faith and Leadership blog. One of my own favorites that didn’t make the top ten list is my satirical take on the New York Times Op Ed pages: “Your Opinions Stink.”
I recently read a fitting quote from Samuel Johnson, “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.” So there you have it.
- Ten Highly Effective Strategies for Crushing Your Pastor’s Morale
- Nebraska Football and a Parable of Sports and Priorities
- Pastors Aren’t Prophets: Some Unsolicited Advice for Newly-Minted Ministers
- My Top Ten Reasons why Anne Rice would hate the UCC
- Prayer for a Retired Pastor (from 2009)
- Ruminations on Burnout: “Should Clergy Really be ‘working?’”
- The Ministry and Its Discontents: Pastors in Peril
- Disability and Grace
- Ten Theses on Interim Ministry
- The Riddle of “Smokehead” Single Malt Scotch Whisky