Earlier this week, the blogosphere came alive with the Top 200 Church Blogs (which has since been changed to the Top 200 Ministry Blogs). Due to the lack of women and other minorities included on the list, there was quite a bit of discussion about it on Twitter. I participated briefly, to comment that I was surprised to see a blog that I knew was inactive listed, and to agree that there was some confusion as to what constituted a "church blog". In no way did I ever expect to make "the cut"; my blog stats are probably laughable and my blogging consistency is very erratic.
The next day, Frank Viola came out with his own list of Top 10 Female Christian Bloggers, and he included me on this list. The day after that, Adrian Warnock came up with his own list of Top 100 Christian Bloggers, which used all of Frank's list and some of the original list from Church Relevance. I didn't--and don't--really feel qualified to be on either of them, to be honest. In addition to the what I mentioned above about stats, many of these bloggers are much more knowledgeable than I am, or they write with a lot more transparency and vulnerability than I do, or they have published books, or they just know how to write better stories to which many people can relate.
So in the span of two days, I ended up on two "Top Bloggers" lists. Of course, it felt good. Who doesn't like being acknowledged for doing something well? I wondered about what it meant to be on these subjective lists, not what it meant about me personally or my blog particularly, but what I should do with it. These two people used their platforms to acknowledge me, and I realized that even when I read blogs that I enjoy, I don't always promote them or comment on them. The simple realization to me that I need to be more conscious of affirming and encouraging to others came from being affirmed and encouraged myself.
It is difficult to explain why I write what I do. I love to write; I've been told I am a good writer. While I write a lot about what I think on this blog, I really don't want it to be about me. I want it to be used to help others in their faith journey, wherever they are spiritually. If the day comes when I start thinking of this blog and myself important on its own and not because of who it should be pointing to, then it would be time to stop blogging.
So, I will leave you with these questions, and some encouragement after them.
What "top lists" have you been on in your life? Did you use your position to help others along the way, or did you become self-important? In what ways do you experience this now? How can I help you?
Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness. --Psalm 115:1
Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing. --1 Thessalonians 5:11