Sharing God’s word at retreats, conferences, and churches has been part of my life for the past decade. The past 18 months took me more quickly in that direction as I pursued full time speaking and writing. Sometimes God gently nudges and prods us to take those big steps. This one had Him dragging me down the road by my ear until I finally said “Okay, I hear you. Let’s do this.”
Building a platform/ministry/following in the 21st century bears its own burden. There’s the primary mission: preaching God’s word and offering encouragement to the body of believers. The second part cumbersome: launching a social media platform, blogging regularly, networking, and researching successful Christian leadership strategies. It’s the speaking/writing equivalent of being in the world but not of it. For me, being in the world also included writing a book proposal and pitching that idea to literary agents. (Signing with a publisher is still pending.)
At the risk of being libelous, let me gently say the leadership of many well-known movers and shakers in the Christian community came up short. I initially chalked the mismatch up to personal taste, like an inclination for a certain writing style or topic. After all, many teachers preach sound Biblical doctrine but do not “click” with every individual. It’s like the dissension between New Testament leaders Paul and Barnabas, who butted heads over ministry preferences, not doctrine. They eventually decided to preach separately (Acts 15). God used both of them and their personal styles to reach a larger audience.
Unfortunately, further research proved there’s more than simply a difference of opinion permeating many Christian teaching circles today.
What I discovered was a mass exodus from Biblical teachings. Many attempted to weigh in on the cultural chaos with incoherent, rambling opinions. A growing number have walked away from the gospel entirely, instead embracing a “Jesus loves you in your mess” mantra. What those messages lack is the call to sacrifice required for a holy relationship with God. Big names proved to be big disappointments.
I tell you this not to cause division or serve up a dinner of sour grapes, but to encourage you. This setback in my search turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The search for spiritual guidance did not disappoint. Instead, it revealed wonderful women who are faithfully doing the same thing I’m doing – serving God and serving others without kowtowing to the world.
Whether your social media preference is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or a good-old-fashioned website, these ladies can be found speaking the truth and creating true community. I encourage you to check them out! ~Katie
Phylicia Masonheimer. Phylicia is a native Michigander like me, but this is only one of the reasons I love following her. She addresses everything from prayer, contentment, and carving out Bible study time in a house full of loud kids, to marital leadership and porn addiction. Her most recent dialogues have circled around sexual purity for single and married women. Her daily engagements with followers will boost your faith. Find Phylicia Masonheimer under the same name on Facebook or on her website.
Sheologians. This website kept me up past midnight when I stumbled across it last month. Summer White Jaeger, one of the women behind Sheologians, is a spiritual sister in every sense of the word. Her articles and podcasts tackle tough topics, ranging from feminism, abortion, female discipleship, and current events, to calling out false teachings (a.k.a., the current slop being served up at bookstores under the title “Christian authors”). Find her at “Sheologians” on Facebook, “@SummrWrites” on Twitter, or online.
Barb Roose. Barb is encouraging, funny, and engaging. She’s also a friend who I had the privilege of speaking alongside at “Rise Up 2017” in Ohio. Her book “Enough Already: Winning Your Ugly Struggle with Beauty” helps those obsessed with their muffin top or laugh lines to step away from the mirror and see themselves as God does. Discover Barb at www.barbroose.com or send her a tweet @barbroose.
Lauren Gaskill. I discovered Lauren on Twitter and love her no frills approach. Bible verses speak for themselves, and she knows it. Her “Finding Joy” podcast will be a welcome addition to your devotional life. Click on Lauren’s website or follower her on Twitter @lauren_inspires.
(In)Courage. This isn’t one person, but rather a community of Christian bloggers and women’s ministry partners. I’ve had the privilege of penning a piece for them, and their daily devotionals will definitely (in)courage you. Sign up and have an uplifting word dropped in your email inbox every morning. Visit http://www.incourage.me.
Carmen Fowler LaBerge. For those who like what’s going on in the world and how to engage meaningfully with it, Carmen is someone to keep tabs on. Host of the daily “Reconnect” audio broadcast, she describes herself as an “Unashamed advocate for distinctively worldview.” Find more out about Carmen on her website or on Twitter @carmenlaberge.
Obianuju Ekeocha. This powerhouse is pro everything: pro-woman, pro-family, pro-Africa, pro-education, and pro-everything else that Jesus came to earth for. She’s fiercely outspoken and brings a unique perspective to those bogged down in the mire of politics, culture wars, and nonsense. Learn more at http://cultureoflifeafrica.com or @obianuju on Twitter.
Heather Dixon. I’d describe Heather as a refreshing breath of fresh air in a polluted world. She’s a survivor of an incurable genetic disorder who faces her spiritual battles head-on. Her ministry goal is to “equip women to trust in God, face their greatest fears, and choose life, especially when life presents its most difficult circumstances.” Find out more about Heather at http://therescuedletters.com or @rescuedletters on Twitter.
Jen Oshman. She’s a former missionary, writer, wife, mom, and church planter, so what’s not to like? Jen’s down-to-earth and respectful approach in her writings present themselves not as holy edicts from on high, but rather as a good friend who’s poured you a cup of coffee and awaits a wonderful discussion. Read her piece “Hefner Died, but His Legacy Lives: Raising Daughters, Not Bunnies, In a Playboy Age” on https://www.jenoshman.com.
Christian Women Online. Another group of wonderful collaborators who encourage and uplift their followers daily. It’s been a joy to partner with them. Find them on Facebook under the same name and at http://christianwomenonline.net/.