Because I am often asked for my recommendations about blogs Christian leaders should be reading I am pleased to announce my annual listing of The Top 35 Blogs Christian Leaders Need To Read For 2017. The following is the criteria I use to determine which great sites I prefer:
- First, my recommendations are my personal list. They are writers which have had a tremendous impact on how I personally learn and lead.
- Great blogs provide solutions to the issues Christian leaders face.
- Great blogs provide inspiration. A great blog tells you you can make it and how to do it.
- Great blogs have credibility because they are written by proven expert practitioners. There is definitely a difference between exposure and experience.
- Great blogs have consistent new content and are worth re-visiting on a regular basis. This is a BIG deal. Bloggers go through extended periods of drought do not make this list.
- Consistency is queen. Content is king. Great blogs have great content. It rarely, if ever, disappoints.
- And finally, except for business leaders whose moral compass may run the spectrum, I only recommend leaders who have conservative views on Jesus, the Trinity, Heaven and Hell, personal behavior and marriage.
With that as the criteria, the following are The Top 35 Blogs Christian Leaders Need To Read In 2017. If some of your favorites were not included, be sure to check back on Monday, January 9th as I promote more great Christian writers with my Top 30 Christian Leaders You Need To Follow On Twitter In 2017.
- ChurchLeaders.com – One of my favorite sites on the internet. This site does a tremendous job in aggregating the best Christian writings on a daily basis. Specializing on current events, this site is a must-read – Written for all Christian leaders.
- For The Church – As a resource of Midwestern Seminary and aggregator of incredible Christian leadership content, For The Church exists to engage, encourage, and equip the Church with gospel-centered resources that are pastoral, practical, and devotional.
- Pastors.com – Founded by Rick Warren, Pastors.com is an invaluable resource for relevant content and resources. There is not a more loving Christian leader than Pastor Rick. He is truly a pastor to pastors.
- Senior Pastor Central – This site is written by Pastor Brian Jones who the founding Senior Pastor of Christ’s Church of the Valley, a church that grew grown from 0 to 2,000+ amazing people in the northwest suburbs of Philadelphia. It contains full-length articles of actionable ideas designed to challenge your thinking and push you out of your comfort zone.
- Brandon A. Cox – Brandon is the Lead Pastor of Grace Hills Church in Bentonville, AR. He is also the editor and online community facilitator for Rick Warren’s Pastors.com. Whether it is church planting, church growth, pastoral coaching, scripture references, or developing a biblical framework for the issues facing our country today, you need to be reading Brandon’s site.
- Ron Edmondson – As pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church, a church leader and the planter of two churches, Ron is passionate about planting churches, but also helping established churches thrive. He loves assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. His specialty is organizational leadership, so he also consults with churches and ministry leaders.
- Pastor Joe McKeever – This is a special bonus site for you. Pastor McKeever has been saved more than 60 years, been preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ more than 50 years, and has been writing and cartooning for religious publications more than 40 years. He put in 42 years pastoring six Southern Baptist Churches, followed by 5 years as director of missions for the SBC churches of metro New Orleans. He was the DOM when Katrina blew through the Gulf South and the resultant flooding devastated the City of New Orleans and destroyed so many neighborhoods and churches. No site contains more wisdom than this one.
- Carey Nieuwhof – No one writes better Christian leadership content than the Teaching Pastor of Connexus Community Church located just north of Toronto, Canada. Simply put, the best Christian leadership blog on the web. Make sure you also sign up for his incredibly popular podcast by clicking HERE.
- Joshua Reich – Joshua is the Lead Pastor of Revolution Church in Tucson, AZ. The goal of this blog is to help you take your next step in leadership & life. You will find posts about healthy leadership because without healthy leadership, everything falls apart.
- Rookie Preacher – Written by Brandon Kelley and Joe Hoagland, their hope is that this website will be a resource for pastors who want to preach and lead better. The role of a pastor is demanding. Some weeks you probably find yourself wondering how you are going to get your sermon prepared or wondering how you are going to lead through a problem. They want to help you in those areas.
- Charles Stone – Neuroscience, how the brain works, has become a focal point of discussion for pastors and Christian leaders. Few are better equipped to discuss the topic than the Senior Pastor of West Park Church in London, Ontario, Canada.
- Paul Alexander – Paul is a pastor, speaker, strategist, and ministry consultant at The Unstuck Group. Most of what he writes about focuses on helping churches and ministry leaders take steps to make the vision God has given them become reality. Paul has more than 20 years of experience serving in the local church, the last 16 of which have been on the Sr. Leadership Teams of some of the nation’s leading mega-churches. Currently, he serves as an Executive Pastor at Sun Valley Community Church, a large multi-site church located in the Phoenix Metro area.
- Chuck Lawless – Chuck is Dean and Vice-President of Graduate Studies and Ministry Centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, where he also serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions. In addition, he is Global Theological Education Consultant for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Lawless is also president of the Lawless Group, a church consulting firm (www.thelawlessgroup.com). And one more thing, he writes an incredible blog!
- Shawn Lovejoy – Shawn is a dear friend and the Founder & CEO of CourageToLead.com. His heart beats for coaching leaders and helping them all conquer whatever’s keeping them up at night. Shawn previously served as Founding and Lead Pastor of Mountain Lake Church, and Directional Leader for churchplanters.com, and the annual Velocity Conference. He has now devoted himself full-time to coaching leaders and training coaches to coach leaders.
- Tony Morgan Live – I have said it many times – Tony Morgan is simply the finest church consultant I know. He is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group. He’s a consultant, leadership coach and writer who helps churches get unstuck and have a bigger impact. He’s crazy smart and his book Killing Cockroaches is simply the best Christian leadership book I have ever read.
- Perry Noble – There is no leader I am praying for and rooting for more in 2017 than my good friend Perry. He has just launched a consulting ministry for growing churches which I cannot recommend enough. If you want his assistance in helping your church grow, click HERE. I think we are going to see a real-life story of restoration and redemption played out before our very eyes in 2017!
- Thom Rainer – Thom is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Prior to LifeWay, he served at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for twelve years where he was the founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism. One of the most important resources for helping pastors lead churches on the web.
- Ed Stetzer – Stetzer is a contributing editor for Christianity Today, a columnist for Outreach Magazine, and is frequently cited or interviewed in news outlets such as USAToday and CNN. He is the Executive Editor of The Gospel Project, a curriculum used by more than one million individuals each week. Stetzer is also Executive Editor of Facts & Trends Magazine, a Christian leadership magazine with a circulation of more than 70,000 readers.
- Vanderbloemen Search Group – Founded by William Vanderbloemen, this is America’s leading search firm for church staff. If you need to hire a pastor or staff member in 2017, let them know. They also have an incredible leadership blog and podcast! Click HERE to hear my interview with William on why great church volunteers quit and how to prevent it.
- Phil Cooke – An internationally known writer and speaker, Phil Cooke has actually produced media programming in more than 50 countries around the world. In the process, has been shot at, survived two military coups, fallen out of a helicopter, and in Africa, been threatened with prison. And during that time – through his company Cooke Pictures in Burbank, California– he’s helped some of the largest nonprofit organizations and leaders in the world use the media to tell their story in a changing, disrupted culture.Phil was Executive Producer of “Let Hope Rise – the Hillsong Movie” released to theaters nationwide in 2016, and Producer of “The Insanity of God” a feature documentary that premiered nationwide as a Fathom Event. According to former CNN journalist Paula Zahn, Phil is rare – a working producer in Hollywood with a Ph.D. in Theology.
- Mary DeMuth – Mary’s popular site is an inspiration to those who have suffered sexual abuse. As she has said, “I want you to know this about me: I love Jesus. And really that’s the most important thing about me. It’s not writing or speaking or praying or mommying or any other -ing you can find. I flat out love Him. Why? Because He’s amazing. And He has utterly, truly, completely re-storied me.”
- Leading And Loving It – Leading and Loving It is a ministry dedicated to equipping, connecting, and impacting pastors’ wives and women in ministry. We hope to encourage healthy women and therefore healthy marriages, healthy families, and healthy ministries. This site features such wonderful Christian women leaders as Lori Willhite, Brandi Wilson, and many, many more.
- Lysa TerKeurst – Lysa TerKeurst is president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and the New York Times best-selling author of The Best Yes, Unglued, Made to Crave, and 16 other books. As president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, she was recently awarded the Champions of Faith Author Award and has been published in multiple publications such as Focus on the Family and CNN online. Additionally, she has appeared on the Today Show as one of the leading voices in the Christian community.
- Rich Birch – Rich speaks at conferences like Orange, WFX and various regional multisite church events. He is a featured writer on ChurchLeaders.com and MinistryBriefing. His book UNREASONABLE CHURCHES: 10 Churches Who Zagged When Others Zigged and Saw More Impact Because of It, is an Amazon bestseller in the Church Leadership category. It’s designed to help church leaders think a new thought and take new risks in impacting their community.
- Joseph Lalonde – Joe currently serves on the leadership team for Catalyst and the youth ministry of Gateway Church. He plans experiences for students, mentor and grow students, and much more. His blog is one of the most highly read Christian leadership blogs in the world.
- Dan Reiland – I absolutely love Dan’s site! He is the beloved Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. Dan is best known as a leader with a pastor’s heart and a coach’s instincts. He truly loves the local church, and is described as one of the nation’s most innovative church thinkers. His passion is developing and empowering leaders who want to grow, are willing to take risks, and enjoy the journey.
- Chris From Canada – Chris Vacher is the Worship Pastor of C4 Church in Ajax, Ontario near Toronto. As Founder of WorshipRises, his blog is for sharing resources with worship leaders to help them get better. Chris is a 3-time winner of the Worship Leaders Magazine Editor’s Award for excellence in blogging.
- Growing Leaders – This site is written by the incredible Tim Elmore. Today, almost one-half the world’s population is 21 years old or younger. Ready or not, they will lead our world into the future. Members of Generation Y (born between 1984-2002) are hungry to change the world and we can help them. Growing Leaders is a non-profit leadership training and development company. Through relevant and innovative events and resources, they equip the next generation and the parents, teachers, coaches and mentors who shape their lives. A must-read for any Christian leader.
- Mark Howell – With over 25 years in ministry, Mark is the Pastor of Communities at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is also the founder of SmallGroupResources.net, offering consulting and coaching services that help churches across North America launch, build and sustain healthy small group ministries. There is not a better small group resource on the web than Mark’s site.
- BELAY – You may know them as the Miles Advisory Group, this site is an invaluable resources for entrepreneurs and business leaders. Miles AG exists to prove that working for something greater than this quarter’s profit objectives is the way to lasting success. Miles AG was founded by husband and wife team Bryan Milesand Shannon Miles, who both left successful careers behind in 2010 to follow God’s call into founding their own companies that would glorify Him while providing meaningful, flexible work opportunities for professionals across the country.
- Lolly Daskal – Lolly is the founder of Lead from Within: a successful leadership firm that offers custom made programs in leadership and organizational development. She is recognized as a Top Thought Leader In Business. She is also an advisor to Fortune 500 CEOs and boards andone of the top executive coaches in the world. Her insights will make your church and business better.
- Michael Hyatt – Michael needs no introduction to anyone in the Christian blog community. He is a virtual mentor and author of the New York Times bestseller, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. He finally decided to own that role and be intentional about it. Michael’s mission is to help high achievers win at work and succeed at life.
- Storyline Blog – Written by Donald Miller, the developer of the Storybrand model, no other site will better help pastors and church leaders communicate their mission and vision. His blog posts are the most content-rich out there.
- Skip Prichard – Skip is the President & CEO of OCLC. Based in Dublin, Ohio, OCLC is a global nonprofit computer library service and research organization. Its goals include furthering access to the world’s information and reducing library costs. Most recently, I spent five years as President & CEO of Ingram Content Group, Inc. Ingram is one of the largest behind the scenes companies in the book business. During that time, they had great success repositioning the company to improve results and grow key parts of business significantly.
- Paul Sohn – Paul is a dear friend and a social media giant. Christianity Today magazine named Paul one of the Top 33 Under 33 Christian Millennials to Watch. In 2016, he was awarded by John Maxwell as one of the Top 100 Leaders.
- Steve Fogg – “The bald and beautiful” Steve Fogg is passionate about sharing with churches what he knows about branding, communications, marketing and all things digital. He wants to help you communicate clearly and simply. So that you are able to tell your story in a way that connects with your audience.
Well, that is my list of 35. What other great sites do you read on a regular basis?
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