youth ministry

Behind the Scenes on this Year’s Top 20 List

Today I published the YS list of top 20 bloggers in youth ministry. It’s the second year for publishing it (third year I’ve done it) and I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

I thought it’d be cool to pass along some notes from the process:

  • Overall, there was exceptional growth this year. In 2010, the YS Blog was the clear #1. Statistically, it was well ahead of the pack. This year that same blog came in at #5. What happened is that the YS Blog was largely flat in growth, lost its lead, then got passed by 4 blogs to drop it to #5.
  • There were a few new entries to the top 20. Kenda Creasy Dean, Greg Stier, Terrace Crawford, Rethinking Youth Ministry, and Doug Fields are all new to the list in 2011.
  • At quick glance, you’ll notice few women, which continues to baffle me. With what I index, there is a ratio of 5 men for every female youth ministry blogger. What’s weird about that is that the field is typically evenly split with 50% men and 50% women. For now, Kenda Creasy Dean and Kara Powell (Fuller Youth Institute) are our female bloggers. (Kara does about half the blogging for FYI, Brad Griffin does the other half.)
  • Looking at the rankings with a 3 year lens, I’m actually pleased with how the formula works. It’s 66% publicly available stats and 33% an influence ranking. (Who knows where that other 1% goes!) If you’ll look year over year over year, it’s cool that there aren’t wild fluctuations.
  • This list is pretty democratic. I’ll index anyone whose blog is on youth ministry, is active, (posted in the last 60 days) and has some statistical value. (Like… more that 25 readers per day top get into the top 100.)
  • Unlike last year, where we saw a HUGE drop off between #5 and #6, there is no dropoff in the composite ranking. There’s no drop off in the index and that carries all the way to #50.
  • Speaking of the composite ranking. Josh Griffin barely held off Mark Oestreicher for #1 this year. I wasn’t sure who’d be #1 until I added the very last numbers.
  • 2012 is “game on.” I think anyone currently in the top 10 could make a run at the top spot next year. There’s even a couple between 11-20 who could make a run at it.
  • On a personal note, it’s really cool to see my blog creep up from #5 to #4. I’m no Tim Schmoyer. But I’m getting there!
  • Last thing, this is a labor of love. I love doing it. And I have seen how these rankings have been used in the past 2 years, so I know that while everyone feels a bit weird about ranking bloggers… it’s ultimately good for the genre of youth ministry blogs AND it’s good for the visibility of the field of youth ministry.
Got questions? Leave me a comment.
Blog Highlight

Happy 7th Birthday,!

Photo by persocomholic via Flickr (Creative Commons)

On May 25th, 2004 I wrote a post called, “Why am I starting this?

Perhaps many people start a blog because they are trying to prove to the world just how smart they are? Perhaps others do it so they can feel like someone is listening to them? Perhaps others do it as a way to share what’s going on in their lives.

But why am I doing this? Mostly as a way to share with myself, just what is going on. I’m not going to use this as a platform for anything else but… Well, whatever I feel like posting. Quotes. Golf scores. Youth Group talks. Carry-over rants. Interesting articles. Stories about the kids. Whatever I want!

Seven years later not much has changed. I’m still going and I’m still writing whatever I want.

Some stats:

  • 3,549 posts in 2,555 days = 1.38 posts per day.
  • 6,260 comments on 3,549 post = 1.76 comments per post.
  • 3,549 posts averaging 500 words = 1,774,500 words I’ve published here.
  • Started on Blogger, moved to Typepad, finally now on WordPress.

Thank you, faithful reader

In the early days I was shocked if a handful of people read my posts. Then, a few years later, I remember the joy of noticing that I had hit 100 daily visitors. Then, living in Romeo, Michigan I remember bumping into people at church or even people at the supermarket would stop and tell me something they liked about my blog. Today? A good day sees a lot more than that. And I’m still just amazed that you show up.

Thank you.

Thanks for reading my thoughts– good, bad, and ugly– of a youth ministry guy just trying to figure stuff out.


What is my blog all about?

With the influx of new readers and subscribers, (RSS & email) I thought it was good to do a little reset.

Why do I blog? What do I blog about? How do I go about blogging? These are the questions I answer in the video above.