Over at youthmin.org there is a really interesting series of posts all about blogging. The contributor team have all written a post sharing the blogs that inspire and sharpen them. Just like the team, there is a wide variety of opinions and influences. I would encourage you to check them out and expand your reading diet. As far as my contribution, here is who made my list. Who is on yours? There is so much I don’t know!
It is so easy to think that you are the master of the universe. But what I have found is that whenever I get to this point, I realize that I am simply the master of my own universe. This is the reason I love to read.
Blogs are the great equalizer. They are posts by people just like you and me, people who love Jesus and love kids. They approach the gospel and ministry from so many different perspectives that I am always challenged to reexamine my own ministry and strive to continually improve it. If you are new to reading blogs, there are a ton of great ones on this site, get to reading. But even more, if you are aren’t writing on one of your own, go to wordpress.com and get going!
Here are my top 5 favorite blogs:
These are not all specifically youth ministry blogs, but ones that challenge me to be a better pastor, parent, and person.
1) http://fulleryouthinstitute.org/blog/ This is Fuller Youth Institute blog and is jam packed with thoughtful posts backed up with legit research.
2) http://sethgodin.com/sg/ Seth Godin is a brilliant writer and blogger. Everyone says that if you want to know what a great blog is like, look at Seth’s. Unfortunately, mine is nothing like his, but oh how he challenges me to get off my butt!
3) http://youthleaderstash.com/ is a helpful and practical resource. Not only will you find clever games and images, but great curriculum, funny videos, and an encouragement to do youth ministry well.
4) http://restlessfaith.blogspot.com/ is a blog written by a friend of mine, Chad McDaniel. He is one of the most thoughtful and godly youth pastors I know. I am always spurred on to know Jesus and love him more because of his blog.
5) http://www.youthministrymedia.ca/ As an old guy who is increasingly out of step with all this technology, Kolby Milton is my guide through these complicated waters. His blog is captivating, interesting, and incredibly helpful.
What I look for in a blog
Everyone seems to have some rule about what works and what doesn’t on blogs. Keep your posts under 500 words, write to a specific audience, use a theme that is original and clean. Unfortunately I break all these rules and so should you.
ARE YOU REMARKABLE? Is what you are writing worthy of remark? The blogs that I like are ones that stir me to consider things differently, push me to something new, and even change my current position. If you make your audience think and compel them to remark, then you are hitting a home run!
ARE YOU A POSER? It seems that online you can say whatever you want, be as controversial as you want, and blow up people and the church with little repercussion. I work with students and doing things that are shocking is every day in this job. Blogs that go for shock and awe flame out and lose my interest very quickly.
WILL YOUR POST SHARPEN ME? I am desperate need of refinement. I am a total wretch who has been saved by grace and am still confused why God would use me in pastoral ministry. Because of my state, I need to be spurred on to know Christ more deeply, love students unconditionally, and do ministry that is worthy of the calling that God has put on my life. If I find a blog that does that, then I am all in!
Don’t just be a consumer of information, be a contributor. The body of Christ needs your unique perspective, so get after it!