Top Bloggers of 2020

2020 was a strange and wonderful year in so many ways! The Next Step Community shared 135,572 words in 186 posts, encouraged 13,625 people who viewed our next step content a total of 27,351 times (and counting)!

Fifteen different blog authors and contributors helped make that engagement possible. Of those fifteen, five in particular created an amazing amount of content geared toward helping you take a next step. As we head into 2021, take a look back at some of your favorite blogs. Find an author you like and explore more of their content. Share something meaningful with a friend. Look for ways Jesus is speaking into your life through the people He has placed around you. We follow Jesus better when we follow Him together.

Kristeen Bruun

Kristeen Bruun takes an honest and faithful look at her own life and the lives of the people around her. She often challenges herself to see things differently, and in so doing, transforms our ordinary experiences into invitations to follow Jesus. From pedicures to ponderous tomes, from price tags to children’s rhymes, Kristeen opens us up to seeing the Spirit at work all around. See All Blogs from Kristeen Bruun.

In Case You missed it

Emma

Simple acts of human recognition and hospitality are so easy to dismiss as inconsequential. Yet clearly they speak to the open heart.

Ivy for Dana

Perfect healing awaits the End of Days, but the earthly gifts of God can soothe our souls already now.

No Regrets!

Kristeen Bruun takes a look back at turning points in her life and finds grace where there used to be regrets.

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Katie Helmreich

Katie Helmreich’s writing combines her faith and her family life. You’ll find practical tips for leading family devotions. You’ll catch a glimpse of the weariness and frustration that seems to hound motherhood. But you will most clearly see dependence on Jesus shining through the ups and downs of common, ordinary, everyday life. From fireworks to burnt cookies, from growing pains to treasure hunts, Katie invites us into a vibrant attitude of exploration and discovery. See All Blogs from Katie Helmreich.

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*Click*

What do you do when COVID keeps you at home with a 1000 piece Lego Minifigure Faces puzzle? You follow Jesus, of course!

Star Day!

Katie helps her sister celebrate “Star Day,” and find God present in her past and in her future.

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Kim Longden

Kim Longden approaches following Jesus as an adventure of discovery. You’ll see her experiment with something new, and invite you to do the same. You’ll see her try and take a small next step and then look for what Jesus is inviting her into next. Kim’s attitude of excitement and experimentation is contagious. From little things, like adding some music to family devotions, to big things, like preparing for your child’s surgery, Kim opens us up to a way of living that looks for the Spirit’s work and leans into dependence on Jesus. See All Blogs from Kim Longden.

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Little Helpers

Entering a new year, Kim considers what she has learned from letting her kids into the kitchen. Maybe Jesus doesn’t need us to be perfect to engage in God’s work in the world.

Go and Tell a Friend about Jesus

Lessons for children in Bible curriculums oftentimes end with an exhortation for them to go and tell a friend about Jesus. This puts an image in my head of a five-year-old laying out an apologetic Gospel presentation to a friend …

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Valerie Matyas

Valerie Matyas shares her faith walk and her family life often through the lens of Visual Faith™ Ministry where she serves as a Visual Faith Coach and Educational Development Consultant. Not surprisingly, many of Valerie’s blogs included video tutorials to help people engage the three hymn journals from Next Step Press. See All Blogs from Valerie Matyas.

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School Photos

The annual rite of school photos causes Valerie to wonder, can spiritual maturity be noticed day to day? Or if it is best perceived from a vantage point spanning many years?

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Justin Rossow

Justin Rossow, founder of Next Step Press and The Next Step Community, also made significant contributions to our blog this year. Though the topics very from cultural studies to help for pastors, all of his blogs are designed to help you delight in taking a small next step following Jesus. See All Blogs from Justin Rossow.

In Case You Missed It

Overcoming Momentum

Your faith doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You can’t give yourself more faith, but you can find relationships that help you follow Jesus.

Speak, O Lord, Your Servant Listens

2 Samuel 5:17-25 is about King David fighting the Philistines. But more importantly, it’s also about David’s desire to seek God’s will even as he leads with the skill and insight he has been given by God. We are free to act. And we take joy in dependence on God’s Word.

Infant Holy, Infant Lowly

Pat Maier, cofounder of Visual Faith™ Ministry, and Amy Meyer, cofounder of Neighboring Life, join Justin Rossow, founder of Next Step Press, to talk about Chapter 10: Infant Holy, Infant Lowly in the resource Light in the Darkness: A Hymn Journal for Advent & Christmas.

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Special thanks to these authors! They helped make The Next Step Community a vibrant place to follow Jesus in 2020.

If you would like to see more from these and other Next Step contributors, check out Jesus at the Center of My Messy Life: Tales from the Next Step Community, Year One.

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