In 2015 SoulShepherding.org received just under one million visits! That’s almost 3,000 page views per day. This is up 10% from 2014 and brings our total page views since January 1, 2010 to over three million. What are so many people reading and looking at? What are their top needs?
The #1 reason that people sought Soul Shepherding in 2015 (also in 2014) was for courage to face their fears. Our posts “Fear Not! 365 Days a Year” and “Fear Not: 31 Days to Freedom From Fear” received a combined 85,876 views (or 238 per day). Three of the other most common requests were for our articles on spiritual disciplines, setting boundaries (like Jesus did), and experiencing the Father’s love. (These five resources were published years ago but continue to receive lots of use!)
Top Ten Posts of 2015
We developed 63 new resources (all free!) in 2015 for pastors, small group leaders, and other soul shepherds. Here are the Top Ten:
#1: “Healing Prayer For Harmful Images.” Have you seen something upsetting that’s bothering you? Do you have any painful memories that need healing? This short article gives a step-by-step process to wash your mind with Scripture and receive the healing ministry of the Holy Spirit. (See also “Biblical Meditation: Using Imagination to Pray” which I developed for a group of Christian therapists in June of 2015.)
#2: “Ignatian Meditation Guides.” We’ve started a brand new library of free, one-page PDF handouts that guide you and your friends or small group through using St. Ignatius’ ancient way of visualizing yourself in Bible passages from the Gospels. (This is a companion to “Lectio Divina Guides,” which is one of our most popular resources every year.)
#3: “Interpreting Your Dreams.” Many people ask us to help them understand the meaning of their dreams. This simple method is powerful!
#4: “Henri Nouwen’s Secret Journal.” We talk with pastors and others who are hurting and feel far from God. Often they feel ashamed about this. We understand and so does Henri Nouwen. Shortly before he died he shared his private journal which he wrote during a Dark Night of the Soul. This article includes key quotes and insights.
#5: “Five Ideas For Pastor Appreciation Month.” We believe that pastors are heroes and need to be way more appreciated by church attenders and throughout society. This is for everyday not just the month of October!
#6: “Experience the Joy of Lent.” When you think of self-denial or carrying a cross you probably don’t feel joy! But Jesus did and he shows us how! (“Draw on Jesus’ Empathy in Holy Week,” another new resource, gives brief meditations for each day of Holy Week.)
#7: “Bible Study and Quotes on Hearing God by Dallas Willard.” This was a resource I developed for a group of pastors and wives that Kristi and I led on a week-long retreat. (“Methods for Hearing God’s Voice” is a companion seminar/article that I developed in 2012 and was accessed over 30,000 times in 2015.)
#8: “360 Degree Feedback For Pastors and Leaders.” A pastor was feeling stagnate in his leadership. This article gives a Soul Shepherding perspective on leadership evaluation and it was one way that I helped him get re-aliged with God’s vision and power for his life and ministry.
#9: “Remembering Robert H. Schuller.” On April 2 of 2015 the world lost a great Christian leader. Some people criticized him, especially after his ministry went bankrupt. I knew him personally since 1985 and testify to the best lessons he taught me. Thankfully, God has used his grandson and my friend, Bobby Schuller, to revive and expand the Hour of Power and the former Crystal Cathedral (now called Shepherd’s Grove).
#10: “Ouch! She Hit a Nerve!” I tell pastors: “Your best ministry is your response to suffering.” I say that because I’m learning to live it! This article tells the story of how a nurse botched the IV for a surgery I had in May of 2015 and caused me months of suffering, but how I enjoyed Christ in my pain. [See also “Battling Chronic Pain” and “Itching for Jesus (My Reaction to Poison Oak).”]
How to Stay Connected to Soul Shepherding in 2016
SoulShepherding.org features over 700 free resources for spiritual and psychological growth in Christ. You and your friends can sign up to receive our free Soul Shepherding Devotional e-mails (one per week). You can access our messages through Facebook (you have to like lots of posts on our Soul Shepherding FB page to start seeing them in your newsfeed!) or Twitter. Also you can receive Soul Shepherding pictures and inspiration through Pinterest and Instagram.