Until I saw Church Relevance’s recent Top 200 Christian Blogs list. This is an annual ranking (though I think earlier years were top 100) that combines several factors to determine a ranking among Christian blogs. Here’s how the folks at Church Relevance describe the list:
Some focus exclusively on ministry, while others are more like theology or news blogs. Regardless of how you label them, these are the world’s most popular church blogs written by many of today’s most influential church leaders, journalists, theologians, and Christ followers
Seems like too great a claim to me. But it is an interesting list. I find it’s main value in the listing of interesting new blogs to follow.
So why did the list change my mind about no longer blogging?
It’s not Pure Church’s #22 ranking. In fact, I think we’re down a few spots from last year.
I skimmed the list and realized that there are very few ethnic Christians on the listing! There’s Pure Church, but after that the number of Christians from ethnic backgrounds making the list of 200 gets slim indeed!
Becky Hsu and Jerry Park contribute every few weeks over at Black, White and Gray (T-#57 in the ranking)–a blog name that sounds like it could focus on multi-ethnic perspectives but turns out to be mainly White brothers and sisters.
Bruce Reyes-Chow comes in at #90.
Another African American, Scott Williams, joins the list tied at #98 with his blog BigIstheNewSmall.
Urban Faith, a mostly African American group blog, comes in at #144.
Skye Jethani hit the list at #155.
It’s entirely possible that I’ve missed some brothers or sisters from ethnic backgrounds in my skimming of the list. I’d be happy to know that there’s more representation than the 8 of 200 blogs I’ve spotted.
But what does this mean?
On one level, it doesn’t mean much of anything. I don’t quibble with the metrics used to compile the rankings (I don’t understand most of it). The list is what it is and we shouldn’t, as we sometimes do, make more of such a list than it deserves. There are no awards in heaven for a church’s blog ranking. I suspect some of us might even lose rewards for blogging too much or blogging too sinfully. That’s the line I’m likely to be in.
But on another level, the small number of ethnic Christian blogs on the list at least suggests that the White evangelical world isn’t reading very broadly when it comes to ethnic bloggers. To the extent that’s true, it means my White brothers and sisters are impoverished spiritually. The ethnic church world belongs to the White church world just as the White church world belongs to the ethnic church. We need to not only belong to one another spiritually but also learn from one another practically. Most ethnic communities are probably more practiced at learning from the spiritual production of White brethren than White brethren are accustomed to learning from their ethnic kin.
Or, the small representation of ethnic Christians on the list could point to the perceived or real “digital divide” between ethnic lines. As ubiquitous as computer technology is, it’s still not universal and there’s some evidence that African Americans and Latinos use the technology differently than other groups.
Again, the list ought not be taken too seriously. But it might be a good prompt for thinking about how to intentionally broaden our reading sources.
As for me, I think I’ll re-think my blogging program a bit and stay in the game a little while longer. I’m hoping many more folks will show up on the list in the future. Then I’ll give my complete attention to another list–my wife’s “honey do” list!