According to sitemeter.com the "M Blog" posts receiving the most hits in 2007 are... (drum roll)
10. Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions. While generating only four comments from readers, apparently many read the post, or were linked to it through search engines. The post shares ideas for giving to the annual offering that is collected in S. Baptist churches for international missions. Also tying for tenth place was Effective church planting which was actually an email shared with us from fellow IMBer Kevin: Somewhere in South America.
9. Conflicting visions was one of my personal favorites. It is essentially a post about "There are two Christian visions that compete: 1) traditional church with its structures, programs, and leadership, and 2) the Biblical imperative of Christ to his church to go to the lost, make disciples, baptize those who believer, and teach them to observe Christ's commandments. Two worlds colliding..."
8. Is breaking the law always a sin? generated 30 comments on a subject that gets into the complicated copyright laws we live under and whether or not breaking these laws constitutes sinning in the eyes of God. Those commenting offer some good observations on the subject.
7. Growth vs. Reproduction is an excerpt from a Carol Davis article entitled, "Let's Stop Planting Sterile Churches" and looks at the difference between the church "growth culture" that many of us have been trained, and a "reproduction model."
6. What did Jesus say and what he did not say is a reproduction of an article by India church planter Victor Choudhrie. Even though this entry was originally posted August/2006, it is still getting lots of hits mainly through search engines by readers looking for material by Choudhrie, or "sayings of Jesus".
5. How missions minded are we really? gets spot #5. This is an IMB news story excerpt questioning some of our priorities. "As I travel, I hear a lot about how 'missions-minded' Southern Baptists are," said Gordon Fort, IMB vice president of overseas operations. "I often ask, 'How much does your church pay for utilities each year?' Then I ask, 'If you are paying more for your utility bill than you are giving to reach a lost world for Christ, how does that make you a missions-minded church?'"
4. Top Ten Einstein Quotes for Missions and Church Planting is another 2006 post that keeps getting hits mainly from search engines. It seems Einstein knew as much about missions and church planting as many of the "experts" today! My favorite Einstein quote is his definition of insanity: "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Aren't we all guilty of this in our own work and ministry? That one quote has had more impact upon our own ministry than entire seminars attended over the years. Read the rest, they're all great!
3. Top ten reasons for planting house churches is the list from Rad Zdero's book, "The Global House Church Movement." Seems there is a growing interest in house churches coming from a wide variety of believers from across the evangelical world.
2. CPM concepts revisited was one of my favorite posts this past year. This article by David Watson was a huge encouragement to me personally, and was glad to see that many "M Blog" readers also benefited from it as well.
1. Women shepherds took first place by a landslide in terms of numbers of readers and 106 comments generated! This post was actually a follow-up to my earlier Shepherd: function or office? which I thought was a better post. It is basically a question about the role of women in ministry. If you do decide to click, please read the original post first before tackling the second "Women shepherds" and don't forget to take along a cup of coffee if you should decide to plow through all the comments!
Five other of my personal 2007 favorites that did not make it into the top ten are (in no specific order)...
The Garden is a great YouTube children's animation that so perfectly illustrates the futility of trying to do Kingdom work in the power of the flesh. God alone is the one who causes all things to grow, including church plants. I am embarrassed at how much like "Toad" I really am.
What a difference you've made in my life and What a difference you've made in my life (Part 2). This is an ongoing story taking place in our work here in Guayaquil. It is hard to convey in words how inspiring this story really is. If you haven't yet read it and viewed the accompanying photos, click and be blessed. This story is still developing even as I write!
Things I wonder about is a post about things I wonder about! For example, Where in the Bible does it refer to believers as members of a local church? And, why don't we ever hear any sermons on 1 Corinthians 12:28ff "...in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues..." and, why aren't our churches structured according to Paul's order, rather than the way we are structured today with Senior Pastors leading the list? Are pastors even mentioned in the 1 Cor. 12:28 list?
Was this man biblically baptized? is an example of the difficulties encountered when we would substitute man-made baptismal guidelines for the clear instructions given to us by Jesus. More than 1600 people viewed our YouTube video Salitre Baptisms "Send Us Out" where this event actually took place.
And finally, One million disciples a post that combines many of the themes close to my heart: unity in the Body of Christ, prayer, making disciples, city church, and the Kingdom of God.
We will be out of town for a few days of R&R to the sunny coast of Ecuador, and so we won't be able to respond immediately to any comments. Until we get back, I would invite you to share which of the above posts you connected with the most (or any others not listed.)
Gracias for reading the "M Blog" this past year and especially for all of you who took the time to leave your thoughts and comments. Like most bloggers, we love to see people interact with what we share!