|Kristen Welch is one of the most |
influential faith bloggers I know.
The title of this list is misleading. By calling it "Church blogs" I would expect blogs that were more corporate in nature, representing specific ministries and church bodies, but this list would be more accurately called Top Faith Bloggers or Top Christian Leader Blogs. A quick scan of the list shows that they are mostly maintained by a single author who is by their definition "many of today’s most influential church leaders, journalists, theologians, and Christ followers."
But there's one big, glaringly obvious problem I saw from a quick scan of the list of two hundred blogs, ranked purely by statistics. There are very very few women included.
|Shaun Groves: mom blogger?|
Categorizing blogs is a tough thing to do sometimes because like people, they are complicated, nuanced and ever evolving. In my mind, anyone who writes about God, church or religion regularly could be called a "faith blogger" even if they also write about culture, news or even parenting issues.
I thought maybe they had specifically not included writers who might fall into the category of "mom bloggers". But of the blogs I was familiar with (which were a LOT of them) I noticed Nicole Cottrell and Shaun Groves on the list. Shaun is a self-proclaimed "mom blogger", I guess because he contributes over at Simple Mom and does write about his kids fairly often. Neither would be foremost classified as mom bloggers, but honestly neither would many many other moms of faith who blog and have large readerships. Shaun jumped into the conversation on Twitter last night, pointing out that Kent Shaffer's list is largely based on another list he said that required bloggers to submit their blogs for ranking. I immediately noticed Ann Voskamp was on that other list but was notably absent from Kent Shaffer's list. If she's not an influential Christ follower, I don't know who is. Ann jumped in to add that she didn't believe she had ever signed up for such a list, which Ed Stetzer also claimed.
Melissa Fitzpatrick shared my frustration with the absence of women on the list. We both agreed with Shaun that these lists in and of themselves are meaningless, but perhaps this list reflects something larger going on in the community of faith.
I've heard women like Rachel Held Evans and Sarah Bessey talk a lot about how often women's voices are drowned out in the church. How we simply don't get a seat at the table. Yes, Rachel and Sarah are egalitarians.
I would not call myself egalitarian but I also hesitate to call myself a complementarian either. Yes, I'm pretty firmly a member of the reformed camp but I balk at the idea of John Piper's "masculine Christianity" and I've come to dislike the term "biblical womanhood" as well. I think scripture is pretty clear about the role of men as shepherds of a congregation and I think men are given primary responsibility and therefore authority of a family. I also think historical culture influenced scripture and the nature of our society (non agricultural, for example) has changed a lot of the roles of husbands and wives. I have no problem with women working and dads staying home with kids or vice versa. Ok that's a whole other blog post for another day.
However I have perceived a massive lack of female leadership in the church. Women need other women to look to for mentorship, as role models, and yes...as leaders. I need women that I can point to and say "I want to be like HER when I grow up." I can think of a few prominent names...Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Mother Theresa...but we need more and we need to shine the spotlight on them and give them a voice and a platform.
The blogosphere has started to do that. Women faith bloggers are major influencers whether they intend to be or not. For the most part, they do intend to be. Some have a very poetic style of writing but the thoughts and issues discussed are no less deep, spiritual and challenging than the likes of the Gospel Coalition writers. Women write differently, most of the time, but they are no less influential in the blogosphere than their male counterparts. In fact marketers would argue that they are more influential when it comes to buying decisions.
I was truly hearted to see a list the other day of 20 Women Leaders Under 40 You Should Know by Brad Lomenick. This is a great step in the right direction. I want to be like THESE women! I read many of their blogs and books all the time. If it weren't for Lindsey Nobles I never would have read Michael Hyatt. And I promise you Jen Hatmaker and Katie Davis have influenced me in a huge, life changing way that I'll be writing about soon. (stay tuned!)
So what I'd like to see is an equal acknowledgment and promotion of the voices and leadership of men and women in our wonderful, imperfect, passionate faith community.
Your turn: what female faith bloggers do you absolutely love to read?