Friday, December 18, 2009

Hey You, Read More Blogs

You should read more. It's what the cool kids do. You should especially read more blogs. Look how nice and small they are, they're shorter than most chapters in regular books. It's perfect!

I find that I read more in a day on blogs than I do from books (I bet you do too), so you should make that time count and read some great stuff!

The problem with the "popular" blogs is that they're so popular. Everyone already reads them, so there's not much reason to go a tell people that you read them, I already assume you do.

I assume that you already know how awesome blogs like churchcrunch, ragamuffinsoul, stuff christians like and many others are. So no reason to tell you about them. Instead, I'm going to tell you about the blogs that are just as awesome (if not more so) that don't get as much of the love. These are people whose ideas I steal, repackage and make blog entries from. Now my secret is out. Dang.

These 10 are in no particular order (except the last one) so here we go:

Thoughts About Nothing - Kyle Reed is a connector. He's all over the place on these interwebs, but that site is his homebase. If you've read any of the huge Christian blogs you see his gravatar staring at you from the comment section with those deadpan eyes and the turtleneck sweater. And he's throwing his very good insights into the conversations. He says he can do this because he doesn't have a job, but I'm willing to bet he'd be doing it anyway...because he cares about forming community, even online. Also, he's in Missouri like me (STL).

Rachel Held Evans - Rachel is an author from Dayton, Tennessee--the home of the famous Scopes Monkey Trial. She's funny, concise, down to earth, personal, and frankly brilliant. From her about page: "Charles Darwin said that the survival or extinction of an organism is determined by its ability to adapt to its environment. I think faith operates the same way. Changes in the environment--be they cultural or experiential—test the resilience of our faith and challenge us to rethink our most fundamental beliefs and values. That’s what this blog is about. It's about how faith survives by continually changing." 

More Than Useless - Tom is a cool guy from Atlanta, he's an internet superhero, often blogs about the sermons Andy Stanley delivers and is frequently featured on mega-Christian blog churchcrunch. I'm now realizing that I have no idea what Tom's last name is. So I'll say it's McThompson. That's right, his fictitious name is now Tom McThompson. He's a winner, if you want to be a winner too, read his stuff.

Eugene Cho - Pastor, preacher, blogger, editor, grassroots charity organizer, wearer of glasses. This may be the biggest blog on this list (by subscribers). No matter. He's worth it. He blogs about faith, justice, mercy, social media and how they should all fit together. He also founded and leads a charity called One Day's Wages, which is pretty self donate 1 day's worth of your wages and it changes the life of someone in his program...ok so that's really oversimplifying it, but you get the idea, and a good idea it is.

Godly Sheep - This is a collaborative blog with 5 main contributors. The subjects vary from author to author, but hover around faith, social media, and ministry in day to day life. Though it's collaborative, Brett Barner is the main contributor....or at least it would seem that way from percentage of posts, about 2:1 to any other. This is good, because he's my favorite. Sorry other contributors, you're good and all, but everyone has their preference. Like having multiple children. Moving on...

Tim Schraeder - Tim is the Director of Communications at Park Community Church in downtown Chicago. This is hard work. As his job title at his church would suggest, he's all about communication and his blog posts reflect that. He's incredibly serious about ministry, and using every tool at our disposal to get it done through the mediums that people are already using in their lives. He doesn't update as often as other "daily" bloggers, but it's definitely worth it when he has the time to post.

Love is an Orientation - Andrew Marin bills himself as the gayest straight man on earth. His entire purpose is to attempt to heal the relationship and build bridges between the evangelical and the GLBT community. He founded and leads "The Marin Foundation" which is his non-profit committed to his cause. His blog is one riddled with controversy, often referenced, and one of the more soul baring ones you'll read. He does more than build bridges, he is a bridge. And as you know the problem with bridges, they get walked on from both sides. Read his blog, buy his book, learn about his cause, you may be surprised.

The Church of No People - What sermon would a pastor preach, if nobody showed up to church? Matt Appling writes from his soul without worrying how he will be perceived. He managed to do this without being a tool, that's rare. He's one of the funnier blogs that I read and is full of insight, truth and grace. He's also probably full of BBQ, he pastors a house church in KC. Yay Missouri!

People of the Second Chance - A movement and blog started by Mike Foster & Jud Wilhite. It's about a week old, if you haven't heard about it yet, you have now. The focus of this movement is all about the radical and scandalous grace that God has gifted all of us, and our responsibility to go and do likewise. It's uncomfortable, it's convicting, it's personal, and it can be life changing. You should get on this.

and lastly...

StressPenguin - Kurt Boemler is about to finish seminary in Texas and then he'll be moving back to Missouri. He's one of the few on this list who knows I exist, and he is the only person I know from offline. I've known him for nearly a decade and is one of the most valued friendships I have. He writes about faith, ministry and his real life shenanigans. Being in seminary is rough, so he hasn't posted much lately (he's also a he's kinda busy). But he seems to be picking it up a bit during Christmas break, and if you stick his feed into your google reader and forget about it, you'll have a nice surprise waiting for you whenever he does have the time to post. He hopes to become a church planter once he's out of seminary...he better. He also hopes to be the first Pope of the United Methodist Church (Pope Pope-A-Lot Tastycakes VII). This one may be a bit questionable.

So there you go, expand your horizons and read someone other than the top 25 Christian blogs online.