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

Walking in the Light

Kristeen Bruun basks in the joy of receiving the light and being used to share the light of God’s goodness and love.

Emma

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

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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.

In Case You missed it

Make Like a Tree

Tree trimming is best left to the experts. Removing just the right branches can make the whole tree healthy. Maybe my life is kind of like that…

God at Work, in My Kids

Parenting has a way of pointing out just how little we know. In fact, trying to raise your kids well comes with all kinds of pressure, all kinds of stress, and all kinds of failure.

But what if your job is not to make your child perfect? What if you are called to sit with your kid, while Jesus sits with you, and the Spirit works in you both? What if you had courage to parent, even when it’s a mess, because you have the freedom that comes from knowing God is ultimately at work?

Your Cloud of Witnesses

The great cloud of witnesses in Hebrews 12 encourages our faith. Katie Helmreich helps us pray through that text in a new and powerful way.

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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.

In Case You missed it

Peace in the Process

Children don’t really have a concept of the big picture, so often our efforts at helping are perceived as confusing, disorienting, and even painful to them. Maybe the same goes for me. Maybe I can fully trust God with the big picture I cannot see.

Money, in a Fish

That strange story of a coin in the fish’s mouth reminds me that we can trust Jesus in everything, even in seemingly random events in our seemingly random experience.

Dooby Dooby Doo

Kim Longden reflects on beer commercial, penguin stickers, and following Jesus.

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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.

In Case You missed it

Authentic Imitators

Visual Faith® Coach Valerie Matyas shares the last in a series of devotions on our relationship to God and to creativity.

Concrete or Abstract?

Visual Faith® Coach Valerie Matyas shares the second of a series of devotions on our relationship to God and to creativity.

Reflecting Beauty

Visual Faith® Coach Valerie Matyas shares the first of a series of devotions on our relationship to God and to creativity.

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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

Mary and Martha, GPA or GPS?

Justin Rossow shares his experience with the Mary and Martha story in Luke 10 overlapping with a Next Step weekend workshop.

The god in My Pocket

What do you call the portable idol you carry around in your pocket that gives you purpose and direction? A mobile phone. Or a household god. Could go either way …

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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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