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I felt like I needed to say a few things about youth ministry blogging at a general and personal level.

Reflection About Youth Ministry Blogging

I felt like I needed to say a few things about youth ministry blogging at on general and personal level.

Why?

– the official top 20 youth ministry blog list has been published by YS.  So as a result there has been a little bantering (as expected) in the youth ministry blog world about who has the legit “stats”, “ratings”, and “influence”. In addition, there is this new and resurrected interest to re-engage the youth ministry blog. On an aside, I would not mess or question the Adam McLane rating system.  He is the youth ministry blogging ninja– if you mess, he will slice and dice your online exposure in a matter of seconds.

–  if you are wanting to start a youth ministry blog Matt Cleaver has a great tutorial on how to set up a website.  Click here for more info.  It really isn’t that complicated to set up a wordpress.org website.  Heck…. if you have questions I would love to help.  Granted, I will  forward all your questions to Tim Schmoyer.  In all seriousness, I would love to help, just subscribe to my feed (I even give you 5 reasons why you should subscribe to this site) and contact me.

–  I specifically blog about youth ministry for  5 reasons.  1.  It helps me keep current with youth ministry American/UK trends.  2. I love networking with other crazy and passionate youth pastors.  I actually have made some great friends via youth ministry blogging  3.  It is a (somewhat) healthy outlet for me to reflect about what I am encountering in my current youth ministry context. 4.  I strongly believe that listening to other guys and gals on the youth ministry ground is one of the best resources.  There is something about an average youth worker writing about real stuff that is transpiring in their youth ministry world. 5.  I deeply love and care for students!! I want youth ministries to get better and better.  I think it is very doable for youth pastors across the nation to be effective in reaching school campuses and communities for Jesus.

– I must admit I started blogging because I was disturbed and very angry with the state of youth ministry.  I went after a few people/groups/organizations, which was really unfair and really immature.  It is easy to be a tough guy online.  By the way I have reconciled with everyone and find myself agreeing with them more than I disagree.  I was fresh out of seminary with a little bit of youth ministry experience under my belt so I needed a soapbox.  I have been blogging for 2 and half years.  By God’s grace and sanctification, I have converted my anger towards youth ministry to becoming more passionate about helping youth ministry.  I didn’t want to be another cynical-church hating youth pastor. I have grown to appreciate people and organizations that are actually doing something rather than complaining on their small insignificant blog.  Also Tim Schmoyer and Adam Cleaveland Walker inspired me to start blogging.  I remember the first time I went to their sites, I was blown away with not only their development but their exposure.

– I am really thankful that other top youth ministry dogs and organizations  think youth ministry blogging  is valuable.  I think youth ministry blogging functions like the minors leagues.  Blogging gives some of us little guys/gals a chance to have a voice and add to the conversation.  I am stoked that top youth ministry organizational leaders see blogging as influence.


About Jeremy Zach

Orange XP3 Specialist | Youth Worker | MDIV | Hot Sauce Addict | Dr. Dre Beats Lover

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5 comments

  1. Hey. Good post. I think it’s unfortunate that anyone is taking heat over this but it’s the reality of when you take a stand on anything that people can question they will. You know me I blog. I’m not surprised I didn’t make the list. I’m cool with that. I probably wouldn’t have published a list that can appear so subjective. But, it’s out there and my prayer is that it pushes all the people on it to actually blog about youth ministry. I’m also praying it motivates others to start writing. Youth ministry needs more voices. But we have to look beyond the blogosphere also to find them.

    • @Lars- I would completely agree with you that we need to look beyond the blogosphere.

      • I agree-ish. The blogosphere is looking beyond the traditional mediums where youth ministry voices have been found: magazines, books, and conferences. The blogosphere is the one place where content really does matter. I’m not saying it’s the edge of the youth ministry universe, but it does give people a voice who wouldn’t otherwise have one.

  2. Two words for you Jeremy, nin ja.

    Seriously, thanks for your kindness.

    So many insiders knew we were tracking… it only seemed fair to publish the list.

    Is there subjectivity? Sure. All polls are subjective. People can’t even agree on the top 25 college football polls, so there are three of them.

    For me, the reality was that the only way to make the poll better was to make it public. And the people coming out of the woodwork to tell me the list is devoid because they are not on the list? Well, the people who voted on the top 50 didn’t add them. So if the top 50 have never heard of these other folks either… maybe their blog isn’t in the top 20 overall?

    I’ve said all along, the hope for the poll isn’t to make people mad, its to make the genre better overall.

    It’s already worked!

  3. Woah, I inspired someone? Crazy. Are you sure you just didn’t think you could do it better than me? :) Because if you did, you’re probably right!

    There’s tons of lists like this around the Internet on books, top websites, top resources, even top churches. Who cares?

    I agree that this did infuse some life into the youth ministry blogging world. My only question is if the life is due to a sense of competition now or a renewed sense of passion for dialoging about teens and spirituality. I hope it’s the latter. Time will again sift out the passionate from the competitive. But either way, at least conversations are sparked and youth ministry will be better for it regardless of the motivation.

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