Top Blogs of 2021

2021 was quite a year for the Next Step Community! Over 13,000 visitors viewed our next step content over 22,000 times! We’re thankful for the engagement and the opportunity to bring real help to people who want to follow Jesus!

Looking back at the year, our Top 10 most read blogs show we’ve made it through some crazy times! But Jesus continues to be with us, each step of the way.

Thanks to all of our contributors and to all who engaged our community this year. Whether you prefer sharing on social media or like the feel of a good old fashioned book, invite a friend to take a small next step with you by passing on your favorite Next Step Community content from 2021.

We follow Jesus better when we follow him together.

Top 10 Blogs: #6-10

The five blogs at the bottom of our most read Top Ten list all come from Justin Rossow and all bring Jesus into the common struggles of 2021. From questions surrounding mask mandates to racial tensions and questions of the unknown, these posts invite you into the discipling discipline of needing Jesus.

(Interesting side note: our 10th most read blog in 2021, “Wash One Another’s Feet,” also made the Top 10 list for most read blogs in 2020!)

Wash One Another’s Feet

By Justin Rossow In the midst of all the images of protest and violence on social media this last week, one image captured my attention in a unique way. Fred…

Gifts Wrapped in Darkness

God, it seems, has a habit of wrapping good gifts in darkness; of making unique blessings available in, with, and under a sometimes frightening experience of the unknown.

Praying Micah 6:8

By Justin Rossow, with art by Valerie Matyas If you look closely at the images of recent protests, you may well see signs that quote Micah 6:8–“Do justice. Love mercy.…

Send Somebody; Anybody!

Justin Rossow shares some about ordinary, everyday grief and an ordinary, everyday messenger with extraordinary comfort to share.

What is Truth?

The mask debate got me thinking about how we handle Truth in today’s culture, and today’s Church. Radical Postmodernism might be Killing Us, but a retreat to Modernity isn’t the…

Top 10 Blogs of 2021: #5

The insight embedded in the humor of this post from Katie Helmreich made it the only “funny” blog to crack the Top 10 most read list. It’s also the only Top 10 list in out list of Top 10 blogs.

Top 10 Blogs: #3-4

Ash Wednesday is both popular and mysterious: if you didn’t grow up marking the season of Lent, Ash Wednesday can be something of an enigma. That curiosity may have helped these related Ash Wednesday blogs share a similar position in our top 5 most read blogs of 2021. Also, Christi (Gerloff) LeVart tells an amazing story.

Ash Wednesday Keepsakes

Christi Gerloff shares a family tradition that helps capture and keep the promise of Ash Wednesday.

Top 10 Blogs of 2021: #2

One of our youngest contributors made it all the way to the #2 position in our most read blogs of 2021. Gabby Wiechman, one of the team of young women who wrote The Emotional Devotional: Following Jesus in Every Emotion, shares her experience with praying the emotion wheel. Launching into another year comes with all kinds of experiences and feelings: maybe praying the emotion wheel will help you take a small next step following Jesus in 2022!

The Most Read Blog of 2021

It turns out, the blog read by more people in 2021 than any other was also the first blog published this calendar year. With all of the confusion, anger, and dissent around January 6, 2021, it’s no wonder this article drew significant attention.

Author Justin Rossow has a PhD in Theology and Culture, and he uses his academic study of metaphor theory to unpack the rhetoric on both sides of the hottest hot-button issue of 2021.

Other Top 2021 Bloggers

Along with Justin Rossow and Katie Helmreich, three other contributors added the most content and most engagement to the Next Step Community in 2021. You can find the most read blogs by Alli Bauck, Kristeen Bruun, and Kim Longden, below.

Thanks to every one who contributed or engaged with the Next Step Community in 2021! We can’t wait to see what Jesus is up to in 2022!

Unexpected Emotions

Why am I feeling like THIS? unexpected emotions can be an invitation to lean into your experience and invite Jesus to be present with you, even when you don’t know what you are feeling. Or why.

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