Friday, 8 January 2016

A year of adhering

Today is the anniversary of my first post on this blog. It feels slightly strange - I am not particularly successful at maintaining writing projects, and I am a little surprised to have got this far. I am even more surprised at the readership. 

I started writing shortly after the decision not to be a soldier in the Salvation Army - a decision taken on doctrinal grounds. I decided that I had to stick at adherent, but that I would be the most active adherent I could possibly be, trying to use my gifts to the full, within the limitations of a lot of work and a long commute. That long commute sounds the death knell to much midweek involvement in the corps to which Sarah and I belong; it is however, precisely the long commute that has generated the writing time for the blog. I am on a train as I type this. 

Over the year the Adherent has had 69 posts and nearly 13 000 page views. Of these, the large majority have been in the UK, with the USA, Canada, Australia, Ukraine, Germany, France and Brazil following after. A surprising number of apparent hits from Russia make me wonder if I am being tracked by Putin's secret service! A number of factors seem to have propelled particular posts to a wide readership:

- Posting a picture of the WBC cadets - massive exposure guaranteed due to the popularity of said bods. Content of article irrelevant. The fact that my wife took the photo gives me no satisfaction. ;-)
- Posting stuff that has to do with bringing up children, especially after conversations with my daughter about her lovely trio of girls.
- Posting polemical stuff that strikes a chord with people in the Salvation Army.

- Posting articles that are of interest to particular church readerships: I know that The quiet bloke at the back and A visit to Inspire were looked at especially by people from Longmeadow and Inspire churches specifically. 

- Posting material of a strongly personal and transparent nature - The quiet bloke at the back and Letters to a shipwrecked minister being examples.
Material that does not get easily looked at tends to be:

- Historical - I have given up the "On this day" series. 

- Simply biblical or theological material of no especially polemical nature. This I will not stop writing.

I want to thank everyone who has read my blog, and especially people who have shared articles or who have joined in the discussion by commenting on the blog itself, on Facebook or in other media. With God's help I hope to carry on, although I will say quite frankly that my heart is really in the spoken word, and I am so looking forward to some preaching and teaching opportunities in the coming year. 

God bless you in 2016!

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