Well, the year started off with me being mostly dead due to a bout of blood poisoning: sepsis. I got to within two or three minutes of all dead.
So five surgeries and seven hospitalizations later, I’m much better and enjoying my grandchildren, as an old person who was once mostly dead should. I’m back at work and posting daily once again. But I’m still not quite up to par. I just don’t have the old stamina back — but I’m gaining ground.
I’ve taken a leave of absence from my congregation’s eldership, which has helped give me time to visit doctors and relax. Of course, for me, relaxing is studying the scriptures and writing. It’s strange, I know, but it’s how God made me.
Despite missing a good deal of time, One in Jesus has had one of its best years ever. Here are some stats —
- 376 posts
- 521,000 page views (recorded; does not include those who read by email (over 800 per day) or RSS (around 200 per day). So the total is probably around 750,000 or more. The Internet does not lend itself to exactitude.
- 169,000 unique visitors
- 8,000 comments (THANKS!) (Most frequent commenters were Grace (533), Laymond (484), and Charles McLean (410). Again, many, many thanks!)
A little math shows an average readership of about 1,500 per post, but if you add the email and RSS readers, less those who don’t actually read but are too polite to cancel, you get something over 2,000 per post or 15,000 page views per week.
The most popular posts were —
- “Hallelujah, performed with new lyrics by Cloverton.” 40,000 page views. This went viral on Facebook.
- “‘Muscle and a Shovel’: In Reply to the Author, Michael Shank.” 9,000 page views. (Add 500 to 1,000 for RSS and email views if you’re as OCD as me.)
- “Reader-Requested Review: ‘Muscle and a Shovel.'” 8,500 page views.
- “Ray Vander Laan’s Follow the Rabbi Lectures.” 8,000 page views.
- “U.S. Income and Employment Taxes for Missionaries.” 7,200 page views.
- “Progressive Church of Christ Blogs and Groups.” 6,700 page views.
It’s a little bit humbling for two of the top four posts to be by a CCM band and another teacher. But I’m proud to have helped draw attention to both Cloverton and Ray Vander Laan. And the sixth most popular post is about other people’s blogs! So humbling … But now I know why so many want to be listed here.
The whole Muscle and a Shovel thing was entirely by accident. A reader asked me to read and comment on the book in 2013, and the resulting post drew a modest amount of attention. But it was picked up by the Christian Chronicle — while I was in the hospital busy being mostly dead. I tried to beg out of the publicity — I was really not up to it — but the Chronicle insisted on running the story with my comments. And that led to my posting a much more extensive review of the book. The index to the review has drawn 5,400 page views.
“What Must be Preserved of the Churches of Christ (Part 6)” holds the record for most comments: 509.
December 4 was the busiest day, with around 4,800 page views (plus email and RSS views). This is the day my Cloverton post went viral on Facebook, a year after it was originally posted. You never know …
Matt Dabbs, Brad Palmore, and I re-booted Wineskins in late 2013 and finally found our stride about halfway through 2014. We had a rough start, but readership has been dramatically up, and I’ve been delighted with the quality of writing from so many others.
I nominated Matt to be editor. I thought Wineskins needed a young, energetic editor who could point the E-zine toward the generations younger than me, and he’s done a marvelous job. We have a lot of work to do to get Wineskins where we’d like it to be, but 2014 has shown dramatic gains.
Wineskins had about 150,000 page views in 2014, with most of those in September – December. We closed out the year with about 18,000 page views in December.
So, does any of this matter? Well, in the advertising industry they like to say that half of all advertising money is wasted — it’s just that no one knows which half.
Just so, the Spirit is moving in the Churches of Christ. We are growing in our understanding of God, Jesus, and the grace they have given us. There’s a generation of godly, talented young preachers taking on leadership, giving us every reason to be encouraged about our future.
How much impact the Spirit has had via One in Jesus and Wineskins can’t be calculated, but it’s easy to see the direction God is taking the Churches of Christ. And we are following where the Spirit leads, and that’s enough.