Tag Archives: church blogs

my current blog roll

i spent some time the other day cleaning up my blog reader. i removed blogs that haven’t had a new post in months, and changed the names to the name of the person (if there is one), as i often forget who’s blog i’m reading when i only see the blog name!

so here’s what i’ve got in my blog reader these days. i try to keep it paired down — i just don’t have time to read hundreds of blogs every day. but these are the ones i look at at least once a day. there are dozens of others – particularly youth ministry blogs – that i check in on from time to time, but aren’t listed here.

the categories are somewhat arbitrary – they’re just what work for me!

scot mcknight
seth barnes
tash mcgill
david hayward
asbo jesus
andy marin
jonny baker
andrew jones
tony jones
dan kimball

youth ministry (this is a tough category for me, because there are SO many wonderful youth ministry blogs. i read dozens and dozens more than this on an occasional basis. but these are the handful i find the most thoughtful and challenging, or, frankly, are just friends of mine in youth ministry that i want to stay current with.)
chris folmsbee
mark riddle
mike king
fuller youth institute blog
josh griffin
ypulse (ypulse isn’t a youth ministry blog, actually. it’s a youth culture blog, focused on publishing, advertising and for teenagers.)
kurt johnston
lars rood
johnny scott
brooklyn lindsey
adam mclane

ymcp (these youth ministry bloggers are in my youth ministry coaching program)
robb gossen
paul martin
luke macdonald
zack weingartner
marty estes
andy sahl
chuck hilman
joel mayward
andrew sale
jeff goins

journey (my church)
brian berry (generations and high school pastor, close friend)
josh treece (the former middle school guy)
todd tolson (former discipleship guy, and long-ago middle school pastor, now a church planter)
christina robertson (christina is our middle school pastor, and i’m one of her volunteers)
riptide blog (the middle school ministry)
ed noble (lead pastor, and friend of over 20 years)

humor and oddities
passive aggressive notes
fail blog
mcsweeney’s lists
new math
exploding dog

david crowder
zach lind

mark dowds
indexed (the pithy little 3×5 thoughts of jessica hagy)
mark aardsma (fellow participant with me in townsend’s coaching program; super-smart young business mind)
dave palmer (buddy, former ys marketing dude, freelance marketing genius)
donavon roberson (culture evangelist at zappos.com, former youth worker, and a guy i’m dreaming some stuff up with)
max (max, my son, isn’t posting often, but they’re fun when he does.)

the new phone books are here!

so, i still think steve martin’s movie, ‘the jerk’, is one of the funniest movies ever made. jeannie and i still quote it all the time:

– there are CANS in there!
– i was born a poor black child
– i don’t need anything… except this ashtray

and, of course…

– the new phone books are here! i’m SOMEBODY now!

and that’s a little how i felt when i noticed i had a few incoming links today from the church relevance blog, and their annual survey of the top 100 church blogs (usually plus extras — this year, +41). i’ve actually found this list more than merely interesting this year, as i’ve referenced it several times in some of the consulting work i’m doing.

but this year, whyismarko actually made the list! woo-hoo! i didn’t quite make the 100, albiet; but thankfully, those extra 41 were included. and i came in at a very happy 104.

the much bigger news that my little blog making the list is that the list finally seems to be acknowledging the many excellent youth ministry blogs out there. last year’s list only had 2 (adam walker cleaveland and josh griffin). but this year’s list has 7 youth ministry blogs, including:
adam walker cleaveland (pomomusings), at #39
tim schmoyer (life in student ministry), at #88
youth specialties blog, at #89
mine, at #104
josh griffin (more than dodgeball), at #112
jonathan mckee (the source for youth ministry), at #127
and ian macdonald (youthblog), at #128

kent shaffer, of church relevance, uses a different set of metrix than adam mclane used when ranking the top 20 youth ministry blogs (and, while the youth specialties blog is run by adam, his personal blog should have easily made this top 140 church blogs list also). but i’m just happy to see 7 youth ministry blogs on the list.

top 20 youth ministry blogs

adam mclane’s research is complete, and he posted his list of the top 20 youth ministry blogs on the ys blog earlier this week. i’m super pleased to see whyismarko somehow land at #2. to be honest, i’m rather surprised by this, as it seems like my traffic never fully recovered from the 6 month blog sabbatical i took last year (and, even since i’ve started blogging again, my traffic has been on a slow downward arc). some of my slowing traffic, i’m sure, is that i have chosen to not care about it like i used to (the old 2 posts a day, every single day approach i used to use). these days i post when i want to, and rarely more than once a day. and if three days go by without a post, i choose to not care.

my ranking was certainly helped by the fact that, for whatever reason, my technorati ranking is pretty good at the moment (526), while josh griffin’s blog (who, i’m VERY confident, gets WAY more readers than mine) has an oddly low technorati ranking at the moment.

i like adam’s approach of considering influence as a subjective portion of the rankings. all rankings are, ultimately, subjective in one way or another (the compiler chooses which metrics to care about, which are often in opposition to one another). but i think the list will be even better next year, when those voting on influence are the last year’s top 20 (or, will that make it worse, like a church elder board that has the power to choose their own replacements!?).

some of the list are the expected standards of youth ministry blogging. but i was pleased to see tash mcgill pop up from 41 last year to 16 this year. tash is one of the only female bloggers on the list (kara powell of the fuller youth institute blog being the other), and one of only two non-US bloggers (the other being ian mcdonald of the UK-based youthblog). her blog is really worth reading (she’s a great writer), and i’m glad this list will give her more exposure. i’m also a fan of jeremy zach (as a person, youth worker, and blogger), and glad to see his blog on the rise.

the two biggest “injustices” on the list, in my opinion, are josh griffin not being in the top 2, and the fuller youth institute blog coming in at 13, where it actually dropped from #5 last year. the FYI blog is, i think, the single best youth ministry blog out there. if i were creating a “blogs youth workers should read” list of my own (100% weighted on my subjective opinion), the FYI blog would be #1. i’m not sure how it could drop this year, as the content is better than ever. but i have to believe it’s because not enough people know about it, and with the addition of “influence” in adam’s formula this year, it didn’t score high enough with those who provided the input on that factor. (there’s also a little “injustice” in people who barely ever blog at all making the list. for example, my good friend chris folmsbee makes the list at #8, a climb from #21 last year, but hasn’t posted since mid-march! or, how ’bout mark riddle, who rose this year also, but hasn’t posted since mid-january!)

ultimately, whether i made the list or not, i’m glad adam created it, because there are a few in the top 20 that i’ve never heard of — and i want to start following them.

here’s the list — happy reading!

2010 Rank / Blogger Name / Blog address (2009 Rank)
1 / Youth Specialties Blog / http://youthspecialties.com/blog (12)
2 / Mark Oestreicher / http://whyismarko.wpengine.com (3)
3 / Tim Schmoyer / http://studentministry.org (3)
4 / Josh Griffin / http://www.morethandodgeball.com/ (2)
5 / Adam McLane / http://adammclane.com (7)
6 / Adam Walker Cleaveland / http://pomomusings.com/ (1)
7 / Orange Leaders / http://www.orangeleaders.com/ (–)
8 / Chris Folmsbee / http://www.anewkindofyouthministry.com/ (21)
9 / Ian MacDonald / http://www.youthblog.org (9)
10 / Walt Mueller / http://learningmylines.blogspot.com/ (–)
11 / Jeremy Zach / http://www.reyouthpastor.com (28)
12 / Jonathan McKee / http://blog.thesource4ym.com/ (19)
13 / Fuller Youth Institute / http://fulleryouthinstitute.org/blog/ (5)
14 / Mark Riddle / http://www.theriddlegroup.com/blog/index.htm (25)
15 / Mike King / http://king.typepad.com/mike_king/ (15)
16 / Tash McGill / http://tashmcgill.blogspot.com/ (41)
17 / Gavin Richardson / http://www.gavoweb.com/ (8)
18 / Matt Cleaver / http://mattcleaver.com/ (29)
19 / Kurt Johnston / http://simplykurt.com/ (10)
20 / Stevan Sheets / http://www.stevansheets.com/ (10)