Top 10 Posts of 2020

I continue to be grateful to anyone who makes time to read and listen to the content here at Kingdom Upgrowth. This has been a spiritual discipline for me, to be sure I am trying to generate and engage others with ideas and not merely consuming them.

The content here this year has been conspicuously shaped by two things. First, the study of John’s Gospel I put together to kick off 2020. Many of my top posts and podcasts are from this category. Second, the birth of our son in March. This has been a delight, though in terms of new content, it has undoubtedly reduced the amount of time I’ve had to dedicate to the website! I will likely continue for the foreseeable future at this slower pace, and it doesn’t bother me a bit. Parenthood is great, and worthy of the time it takes. Even so, I’m glad to have been able to put out some content that was meaningful to me, and I appreciate your engagement.

In the list below I am including both written posts and podcasts. I am also choosing to limit my list to only things I posted in 2020. I have a few posts from previous years that continue to be popular. Especially my aids to anyone wanting to learn Spanish Children’s Songs for Mission Trips.

Top Content in 2020

1. Journey Through John Invitation

I worked hard at promoting this series in several places, and many people have continued to stop by and see what it’s all about.

2. Dr. Kevin Burr – Reading John Through Ancient Eyes

All of my interviews about John were popular. I think Kevin’s became doubly popular after it was announced he was under consideration for a ministry position at my congregation. This and some other content was a nice way for people to hear him before getting to meet him in person.

3. Useful Books for Church Leaders

Useful Books for Church Leaders Header

In my ministry, there are recurring topics about which people ask me for reading recommendations. I thought it would be easy to stick several of them in one place for reference. I’m glad people found this content helpful.

4. Dr. Keith Stanglin – John’s Legacy in the Church

I was delighted with the quantity and caliber of people who were willing to contribute to my study of John. Kevin Burr has said both jokingly and affectionately that he is a “Stanglican.” I share his affinity. Keith Stanglin is a top-notch guy, and I’m a huge fan of his. I was so appreciative to have his help on my project.

5. Alicia Williamson – A God Who Suffers With Us

Alicia Williamson Research Spotlight

Alicia did some great work in her guided research project on the concept of divine passibility and its implications for us. I was delighted to be able to feature her work, and many enjoyed hearing what she had to say.

6. Forty Things I’ve Learned in Forty Years

40 things I have learned in 40 years

This is a collection of experiential wisdom. My personal proverbs, if you will. Glad people enjoyed them. It is updated from a list I previously published when I turned 35.

7. Dr. Mark Powell – Reading John Theologically

Dr. Mark Powell is a dear friend, and I was so glad to be able to include him in my project. If you want some help understanding Trinity and its implications, this is a good one to check out. I would also say in terms of comments I received directly from people who keep up with my website, this conversation was referenced many times in a positive light. Be sure also to see my other conversations with Mark including his recent book about a theological future for churches of Christ.

8. Dr. John Fortner – Getting to Know the God of Israel

Getting to Know the God of Israel with Dr. John D. Fortner

Among my ministry friends, this one was highly popular. Any of us who were at Harding during his tenure came to love and admire Dr. Fortner. It was such a blast to see him do what he does. This one is quite worth viewing or listening to.

9. Lauren Calvin Cooke – Using John for Spiritual Formation

Lauren is an up and coming scholar with Youth Ministry as her primary area of focus. Hers was one of my favorite discussions because of the deep-rooted pragmatism and spiritual depth she brings with her. I look forward to all she will do in the future.

10. A Review of Discipleship In Community

I’m glad this post got some traction. This is an important book, and I was glad to be able to engage with it using my 4×4 review format. It’s pretty exhaustive, but it is my intention to engage with books, like this one, that are worthy of such treatment. I followed it up with an interview with Mark Powell, and I hope to be able to add to this content soon with some other interviews.

Concluding Thoughts:

Not surprisingly, some of the posts I worked the hardest to promote received the most attention. I am so glad the series on John was so well received. It is undoubtedly one of the larger projects I have ever undertaken, but the results were so satisfying.

A trend that I see in general is one that makes me happy: much of my most popular content is for the purpose of featuring other people. I am glad to have a few things to say, but the real reason I created this website was as a space where I could shine a spotlight on the good work that people are doing. Increasingly, it seems to be exactly that kind of space. So far, I’ve been able to feature 17 guests here at Kingdom Upgrowth, and I look forward to continuing to expand on that number.

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