Women who are Christians and who blog. A niche market…

This is a post that I’ve been wanting to write for a while. It’s part of a larger thought floating around my head about how much I love women and a longing for some good evangelical training courses that welcome women and want to train them how to teach the Bible/do ministry etc. (if you know of any that have a broad persuasion when it comes to the women teaching thing I’d love to hear from you). I hang out with more people of a conservative pursuasion on the Christian end of things and I’m a little sad to see the lack of women teachers and preachers for women, or decent training.  There is, afterall, something unique about being taught by someone of your own gender. I’m gutted that the womens convention this year has a man speaking (I know he’s a great speaker but I know so many women who can speak just as well and it seems to make sense in that context to have women teaching women.). Anyway, I sense this could develop into a serious rant if I don’t get to my slightly different point of this post.

I love reading blogs by women who are Christians. Mainly because there aren’t enough of them and also they have a delightfully different flavour to them than the average Christian blog. Lots of Christian blogs written by men seem to fall short on personality, creativity or talking about anything that’s not specifically ‘Christian’ (apologies for the over generalisation, please prove me wrong). There’s not much of a full well rounded perspective to life coming through (maybe that’s because the blogs are set up to be ‘theological blogs’ with a specific purpose? maybe that’s the greater ease with which men seem to have different boxes in their heads for different bits of life?). I worry that life becomes reduced down to theological statements or an obsession with the Christian subculture. I worry that when I read some blogs it’s almost like the author is wearing their ‘Chrsitian’ hat and afraid to admit to their audience that they love things like the Inbetweeners and Glee. (again horray for Mo who’s latest blog incarnation is the opposite to this)  

I love blogs that are written by Christians but express the wide angle lens of life on this planet. I love blogs that demonstrate that there is value in thinking about things that don’t have nice Christian labels on them. Mark Meynell is one of the few that manages to write with a broader perspective than just theological thoughts. Glen Scrivener , on a unashamed theological blog, manages to give fun stuff each Friday and demonstrate that he might be a normal person to talk to in real life. I guess, in a very roundabout way I’m saying I like a bit of personality to come across in blogs/talks/books/anything.

When I find a woman who blogs about life as a person and not as someone trying to demonstrate to the church what it means to be a woman, or trying to write specifically to women I get excited. (it occurs to me because that’s what I do and I want more people to be like me, but lets skip the self analysis for now) I don’t want to read blogs that are written for women. I want to read the writing of a woman that blogs. I like the difference in thinking, the creativity, the new perspectives on life. I love reading about people, their thoughts, their loves, their perspective on the many and varied things that make up this life. I like it when people don’t separate their randomness from their Christian thoughts. I’m a little sad, for this reason, that Binface has divided her blog into two, obviously that means we get more lovely Binface thoughts but I liked the random juxtapositions of rants about haircuts next to blogs about how brilliant God’s love is. I get that she has excellent reasons for doing so but I’m still a little sad.

Anyway, enough preamble. Here’s my list of lovely women who are Christian and who blog.

People who I have actually met

Binface: Oddbabblings

Binface: When the rubber hits the road.

Ali Joy Young: Beclouded but Beholding the light

Anna Hopkins: A moment in time

Adele: Circus Queen

Sarah: Cake and Biscuits

Katrina: Standing on the Edge

Rachel: My small corner

People who I don’t really know but probably know about 3 people who do actually know them…

Emma: A New Name

Cat Caird: Gospel Sunshine

Ellie Cook: Surrounded by clouds

Sarah Dawkins: Living in a field of Hats

I’d love to hear of more so if you have anymore suggestions of good blogs I can read then comment below. Apologies for the slight forey into the gender wars on this post. Just dipping my toe in the waters and as a hater of the gender stereotype I realise I’ve probably fallen very short of my own standards.

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19 Responses to Women who are Christians and who blog. A niche market…

  1. Hugh says:

    Other than it ending in ‘hill’, what’s wrong with Cornhill?

    We did all our training alongside the female students, they had their own afternoon programme lead by gifted and experienced female teachers.

    They’ve also recently changed their position at Cornhill to encourage women to preach to the mixed gathering of Cornhillers, so as to give them equal opportunity.

    Also, I know a number of ladies who’ve thoroughly enjoyed their training at the other hill.

    On the other side. Ali always moans that the Men’s Convention always gets the “best” speakers, while the women have to make do with someone else, and she’d rather have the “best”, be it male or female.

  2. pilgrimKath says:

    yeah, I took out the hill reference- little bit too harsh I think, sorry…

    I don’t really buy into the ‘best speakers’ arguement as I think there is something really valueable about women teaching women (which I think the convention should be able given the lack of womens workers in churches that send people to the convention – I know their are exceptions but too often Lou is the only women at any Sussex gosepl partnership stuff). I know not all women think this and want the ‘best’ but I’m still holding out for there being really good women speakers who could speak at the convention – there are loads who might differing views on women teaching but who could clearly teach brilliant stuff on identity etc. I’ve heard so many good women teachers who I’d say are better than some of the guys speaking at the mens convention (guess we’re back to personal taste on that score!) but I guess I’ve had more exposure to brilliant women speakers in the UCCF world etc…

  3. pilgrimKath says:

    urgh and sorry for the hideous ‘their’ when it should have been ‘there’. Urgh, so sad I can’t edit my own comment.

  4. Tim Carlisle says:

    I think you’re right with lots there.

    The London Women’s Convention ought not be about going and hearing ‘The Best’ speaker, in the same way that our churches should not be about that but rather hearing the word of God faithfully taught and in the context of the London Conventions that means with a particular angle on who you are – whether Man, Woman or Northerner (I know cheap gag…) and in light of that if the convention is to be about what it means to be a man/woman in the light of the theme / teaching then the speaker is better to be someone who understands first hand the struggles and the reality.
    If it’s just about getting getting good teaching amongst peers then firstly I’m not sure how much more useful it is than church – except that you are with a lot more people, don’t know many of them and pay a lot of money for doing so. Church is and always going to be where we go for the essential teaching we get so the convention ought to offer something that you can’t get at church easily.

    I think that probably several things have happened. One I think that men in the conservative side of things have protected preaching to the extent that woman don’t feel there is space to do so. Two I don’t think that we’ve promoted the idea of woman as speakers / teachers to women as much -despite the fact that women are far better at meeting in churches in single sex groups than men they will ‘tend’ to do a bible study. Men will tend to have speaker.
    There’s been a huge amount of support and push for mens work because of various reasons and this has almost led men to believe that women are sorted and we’re the ones who need a mens ministry.
    Churches are led by men, they understand that mens ministry is important, they can relate to men so they do something about it. They don’t want to lead a women’s ministry – and shouldn’t but unless pushed by someone they won’t start a womens ministry – this is wrong.

    On the blog front – I agree blogs that show life as it is, in the moment are better. Do I want to read a blog that tells me I’m a sinner and to stop it, or a blog that says Argghhh I’m such a mess, I’m such a sinner, I’m really struggling with this but thankfully the Bible has a little wisdom for what I’m struggling with TODAY! Oh and by the way my dog had puppies. If we engage with the life of the blogger then we understand their thoughts better.

    The Vicar’s Wife Blog is written by Neil Robbie’s wife – I read Neil’s blog – K reads his wife’s blog – that kind of makes sense!

  5. Sarah (aka cakeandbiscuits) says:

    Err – honoured and daunted to be on your roll call of honour.

    For the avoidance of doubt – my blog is about cake (and other forms of cooking) and resolutely not thoughtful!

    Not sure what that says about anything… maybe because i am superficial 😉

  6. Helena says:

    I think it is very sociologically, culturally and theologically interesting that the two men who have responded to your writing have got all precious about Cornhill (sorry Hugh) and have said very little about the blogging issue and the one other woman who has responded has been self-deprecating about the contents of her blog. I’m not attacking either response in any way but do I find the differences in how men and women express their opinions (and what they place as important) fascinating.

  7. Cat says:

    Aw, I feel very honoured that you included me in your list! And I know Ali Joy Young and Anna Hopkins so we are nearly there on the knowing someone through 3 people! I was really challenged by what you wrote and having a “christian hat”, its made me think about how much personality and character can come out in a blog and whether I need to do more of that. (the answer is probably yes!)

    On another note: there are not a huge amount of oppertunities for women to have good training, or oppertunities to give speaking a go and especially if they love theology – its very much a mans world in that respect. I would love to get more women into theology and the type of theology that warms our hearts to Christ and for us to fall in love with him more and more.

  8. Lilian says:

    Hi Kath,

    I’m a woman who’s a Christian and blogs, but I think my posts perhaps tend to go to the other extreme and not be about Christian things or my faith as often as they should be. But then, how often should that be? and isn’t it funny that I think there should be a ‘quota’ of faith/Christianity-related posts on my blog? Perhaps I should blog about this!

    Anyway, much better blogs than mine by women who are Christians are (for example) :

    http://vickiadams.wordpress.com

    and

    http://www.sarahgiles.co.uk

  9. Lilian says:

    Also, I don’t actually mention that I’m a Christian in my ‘About’ bit. I don’t really know exactly why this is, but I think it has to do with not wanting to be labelled and/or judged in some way. Again, probably something I should blog about!

  10. small corner says:

    Aw.

    And Amen.

    And, aw. Shucks.

    And… Amen.

  11. Kath says:

    Hey lovely people, good to hear from you all- Cat I totally agree we need more stuff for women out there… Might start planning something along those lines- what would it look like? What could be done about it? What sort of things would be helpful?

    Anyone else out there got any thoughts about that?

    Love this bigging up of women going on.

  12. dave says:

    I’m happy being me, and very glad of the quality blogs written by women – for women or for anyone. The women I’ve worked with in UCCF: outstanding, all of them.
    Cat’s blog is great as is Jo’s tumblr: http://lifebesidethesea.tumblr.com/

  13. Pingback: My Christian Hat | Gospel Sunshine

  14. étrangère says:

    Good thoughts. I blog, obviously, and use it a bit differently from how you describe – often reflecting on what I’ve been reading or thinking about. Personal life stuff only sometimes comes through… not because I’m trying to fit some blog model, but because that’s who I am. I like to use it to process thoughts, invite feedback/correction, and hone writing, hopefully as a blessing to others. But I do go on about music, novels, etc., as well as ‘theology’, and I deliberately aim to write well and engage creatively. But I am more likely to mention rugby and Bach than Inbetweeners and Glee – if that’s ok 😉 All that said, I haven’t posted anything for ages because I’m not reading much apart from marriage prep stuff which seems better discussed with my fiancé than posted about in the blogosphere – at least, given limited time.

  15. étrangère says:

    PS One reason I don’t tend to blog so personally, about what I’m doing, is because I immediately sense the motivation of boasting, self-justification, or just focus on self. Some manage this fine, but I’m probably best keeping it to the sphere where those who know what I do, are also those who can correct me or pull me up in person – or indeed, have prayed with me and can rejoice in any way God’s work is showing in my life 🙂

  16. Sammie says:

    Hi, I’m a Woman and a Christian! I’m also a wife, mum and I love cooking. So I set up my website http://www.feastingisfun initially to share my recipes and encourage others to share their own creations with others.
    Jesus is centre to my life, so it wasn’t long before His word and leading influenced my blogging.
    I’ve only been writing for 5 months, but if I can encourage 1 person to share their time and perhaps a cup of tea and slice of cake with a lonely neighbour, it’ll have been worth it!
    If, through reading my blog someone starts to question ‘why are we here, what is our purpose?’ and that that leads them to Jesus then that would be seriously AMAZING.
    My site’s purpose is not to be preachy, just to share my heart, love of God, love of fun, feasting and sharing the food I make.
    It’s no use sitting in our churches debating the finer points of theology (I’m a Holy Spirit filled, baptised Pentecostal – or otherwise a Christian!), when we need to be on our feet demonstrating true religion. Sharing God’s love with the lonely, widowed, orphaned, prisoners and every person The Lord puts in our path. I believe that love is a ‘doing’ word. That we should show JESUS’ love through acts of kindness. That’s me. I’m Sammie!

  17. Rebecca Cuny-Taylor says:

    Hi! I can highly recommend my friend Jenn’s blog, she’s an American missionary working in my church in France, she writes some insightful stuff on life in Loches and women in ministry. Love this post btw!

  18. emmiemayes says:

    Hi there. I’m a relatively new blogger, only 6 months in and trying to give an honest reflection of how it is to live as a 25 year old woman in 21st Century England. I’d appreciate it if you could give my blog a read! http://spreadalittlejoy.blogspot.co.uk/ Thanks.

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