Year-End Report (2020)

The year 2020 will historically be known as the year Covid-19 altered life on planet Earth. Schools have been forced to either go all online or at the very least offer a mix of in-class and online learning. Many businesses have been forced to close or at least operate at lowered capacity. Many churches have been forced to do the same. And what about those masks? Most of us now have a collection of them, some fashionable, some not so much.

During such a year we Americans should have been able to rely on our government to guide us through the confusing times and get help (medical, financial, or both) to whoever needed help. But our political leaders (men and women from both parties) have become so dysfunctional that they can’t effectively do the jobs they were elected to do. Needless to say, it’s been a wild ride of a year, and it’s not like 2021 is starting out particularly calm.

With God’s help, though, in the midst of all the chaos of 2020, The Disciples Road blog had a wonderful year across the board. The numbers were up substantially as 2019’s 45,082 views turned into 2020’s 68,970 views and the visitors to the site jumped from 27,283 to 42,927. For that I humbly thank each and every one of you that helped make that increase happen.

As evidence that the site is catching on with even more people, the year’s last four months registered the most views: 7,733, 7,258, 7,449, and 7,765. That translates to average views per day of: 258, 234, 248, and 250. By way of comparison, the average daily views for the first four months of the year were: 159, 140, 128, and and 143. I’m sure that Roan Mountain Baptist Church beginning our weekly radio broadcast in the cities of Omaha, Neb., Richmond, Va., York, Pa, and Greenville, S.C. was the primary cause for that late-year jump, but it’s still good to know that new people are finding the blog.

Now let’s get to the list of the most viewed posts. As was the case last year, The 10 Times Israel Tested God claimed the top spot for the year. The runner-up spot stayed the same as well, with What a Bird’s Nest Can Teach Us About God’s Will again coming in second. Beyond those two, there was quite a bit of movement in the charts. (I sound like Casey Kasem, don’t I? And if you know who he was, you are really old.) Anyway, here is the list of the top 10 views for the year, and I’ll throw in where each one was ranked last year:

  • #1: The 10 Times Israel Tested God (6,244 views) (#1 last year)
  • #2: What a Bird’s Nest Can Teach Us About God’s Will (3,585 views) (#2 last year)
  • #3: What Satan Did to Peter: Sifting (1,707 views) (not in the top 10 last year)
  • #4: How Would You Describe Your Walk With the Lord These Days? (1,601 views) (#5 last year)
  • #5: How Does a Worm Get Inside an Apple? (1,576 views) (#4 last year)
  • #6: Does God Want Everyone to Get Married? (1,524 views) (#3 last year)
  • #7: The Beasts at Ephesus (1,435 views) (not in the top 10 last year)
  • #8: Lessons From Habakkuk (1,286 views) (#7 last year)
  • #9: Divorced Pastors & Deacons (post #1 of 3) (1,265 views) (not in the top 10 last year)
  • #10: What Will Life Be Like in Christ’s Millennial Reign? (963 views) (not in the top 10 last year)

As for the list of the top 10 posts in terms of all-time views, it reads as follows:

  • #1: Does God Want Everyone to Get Married? (19,391 views) (#1 last year)
  • #2: The 10 Times Israel Tested God (11,132 views) (#3 last year)
  • #3: How Does a Worm Get Inside an Apple? (9.048 views) (#2 last year)
  • #4: What a Bird’s Nest Can Teach Us About God’s Will (8,086 views) (#4 last year)
  • #5: How Would You Describe Your Walk With the Lord These Days? (3,599 views) (#6 last year)
  • #6: Lessons From Habakkuk (2,273 views) (not in the top 10 last year)
  • #7: Oral Roberts & “Seed Faith” Giving (2,223 views) (#5 last year)
  • #8: What Satan Did to Peter: Sifting (2,077 views) (not in the top 10 last year)
  • #9: The Importance of Spanking a Child (1,989 views) (#8 last year)
  • #10: Should We Pray Silently to Keep Satan From Hearing? (1,942 views) (#9 last year)

As blown away as I am by the number of views the blog receives each year, I’m probably even more amazed by the number of countries that register views. For 2020, 183 countries around the world registered at least one view on the site. That was an increase from the previous two years, each of which had come in at 174. The list of countries registering the most views looks like this:

  • #1: The United States (47,720 views for 2020) (182,856 views all time, #1)
  • #2: The United Kingdom (2,289 views) (7,423 views all time, #2)
  • #3: Canada (2,134 views) (6,757 views all time, #3)
  • #4: India (2,105 views) (5,432 views all time, #4)
  • #5: Philippines (1,743 views) (4,693 views all time, #6)
  • #6: Nigeria (1,734 views) (4,063 views all time, #7)
  • #7: South Africa (1,673 views) (5,415 views all time, #5)
  • #8: Kenya (1,037 views) (2,178 views all time, #9)
  • #9: Australia (1,034 views) (3,997 views all time, #8)
  • #10: Singapore (690 views) (2,024 views all time, #10)

While the viewership rankings for these countries didn’t change much in terms of order, what changed was the total number of yearly views for the top 9 countries other than the United States. That number increased by over 4,000 by rising from 10,400 in 2019 to 14,439 in 2020. That means that more and more the blog is finding an audience in countries other than the United States. That’s pretty amazing for a site that is written and operated by a “no name” country preacher who pastors a rural church in the mountains of western North Carolina and writes his posts from a cluttered desk in the little town of Spruce Pine.

Of course, it’s you (the readers) who make all this happen. Each year at this time I do my best to convey “THANK YOU” to you’all, but my efforts always seem inadequate to express how truly appreciative I am for you. Even though I will gladly write a post if it helps just one person, it’s always encouraging to find that a whole bunch of folks are reading it as well.

In regards to 2021, I don’t have a crystal ball, God hasn’t sent me a text, and I have no idea what’s coming down the line. Will the pandemic continue to dominate the headlines? Will the vaccines stem the tide? Will we be able to throw away our masks? Will life get back to normal? I honestly don’t know. All I know is that I’ll try my best to keep writing the posts that God burdens me to write, and I’ll trust Him to use them any way He sees fit. That’s the way this blog thing has been rolling for the decade or so that I’ve been writing it, and the plan will remain the same until I get new marching orders from heaven. So, until then, let me offer yet another hearty, “THANK YOU” to each of you for reading and let me also wish each of you a very happy New Year!

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2 Responses to Year-End Report (2020)

  1. Mattie Roberts says:

    This is my first time finding and reading your blog. Needless to say, my soul was blessed tremendously by your piece on the Rod and staff of the shepherd. I have read Pastor Philip Keller’s book and came away with a greater sense of the love and care of The Good Shepherd, our Lord. Thank you for allowing God to use you to encourage His people. Blessings for the new year🙏

    • russellmckinney says:

      Thank you so much. I appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment. Yes, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 is a wonderful book. Blessings for your new year as well.

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