Church Relevance has updated their influential Top 200 Church Blogs. The list was notable for two reasons: mainly Calvinist and mainly male. (Kent Shaffer has responded to the criticism regarding women here, but his ranking is not alone in the distinction of being primarily male-focused.)
Christian women are blogging through their faith and church experiences, writing about theology and ecclesiology and family with great passion for their faith and spirituality, and wielding tremendous influence online, yet we are rarely counted in these types of lists. In terms of influence alone, women bloggers in the Church consistenly pull stats on Google Analytics that would blow most of the Top 200 Church Blogs list out of the water.
There are always the same reasons or excuses offered for our exclusion from the power rankings. Perhaps it’s because the lists are self-nominated and women rarely nominate themselves. Or it’s because some of us weave our theology through our personal experience. And men don’t feel comfortable reading a blog written by a woman but the opposite does not hold true; after all, men write for men and women while women write for women. Or it’s that we don’t meet the criteria, our writing does not specifically edify the church, or it is not considered useful for the boys doing the real ministry. Or perhaps it’s simply representative of the state of the Church or the blogosphere or the world.
These excuses do not change this truth: The Church would benefit tremendously by listening to the diverse voices of women, particularly as it relates to ministry and church and theology.
So instead of simply criticising and getting my knickers in a tangle, I would like to direct a bit of attention to just a handful of Lady Bloggers that love Jesus, make beautiful art, challenge the Church, wrestle with theology and generally influence the Church far and wide – with or without a power ranking badge on their website.
But here: I’ll make a banner for it, so it’s All Official now:
These women are edifying the Bride of Christ.
They are useful for ministry life and for family life.
They are women after God’s own heart.
They are missional, they are pastoral, they are academics and scholars.
They have something to teach us all – women and men.
They are passionate about social justice and mercy.
Some are wives and mothers, others are not.
They are warriors and they are peacemakers.
They are smart, brave, bold, and deeply theological.
Their voices are equal in the Church.
Plus I just plain like them. And no, I’m not on the list. *kicks rocks*
- A Holy Experience
- Rachel Held Evans
- Kathy Escobar
- Jamie the Very Worst MIssionary
- A Deeper Story
- Margaret Feinberg
- Vicky Beeching
- Jen Hatmaker
- Sarah Markley
- Nadia Bolz-Weber
- Pam Hogeweide
- SheLoves Magazine
- The CBE Scroll
- Jenni Catron
- Hermeneutics (Christianity Today’s blog for women)
- Good Women Project
- Living Proof Ministries Blog
- Rage Against the Minivan
- Elizabeth Esther
- One Hand Clapping
- A Beautiful Mess
- Imperfect Prose
- Cathleen Falsani
- Tamara Out Loud
- Steph (in)Dialogue
- Laura Ziesel
- Nish Happens
- Halfway to Normal
- Joy in this Journey
- So Much Shouting, So Much Laughter
- Grit and Glory
- Kisses From Katie
- Amber at The Runamuck
- The Gypsy Mama
- Faith Barista
- Love Notes to Yahweh
- Annie Downs
- Chatting at the Sky
- Heart to Heart with Holley
- Mihee Kim Kort
- Enuma Okoro
- Karen Spears Zacharias
- Carolyn Weber
- Diana Butler Bass
(Of course, the argument could be made against lists or rankings of any kind within the Church. The whole “first shall be last, last shall be first” thing doesn’t jive well with power rankings, does it? But that’s another post…)
I tried to include mainly women that speak specifically to faith (as opposed to women that I know are Christians but whose blogs are primarily related to lifestyle or frugal living or natural choices or technology or politics etc.). It’s not based on traffic nor is it an official ranking. It is not exhaustive (I could have easily made this list 200 Church and Faith Lady Bloggers). It’s entirely subjective. My use of the phrase Lady-Bloggers is entirely tongue in cheek.
Please also check out a special edition: Faith & Church Lady Bloggers Over 50.