Let me thank you for following and reading this blog throughout 2019. I know you probably didn’t agree with everything (wouldn’t it be weird if you did!) I know this because one of the most frequent comments I get is something along the lines of, ‘I’m grateful for your blog, but I don’t agree with everything.’ Well, I’m not so conceited that I expect total consensus nor do I believe the sheer brilliance of what is written here will convince you of my objective rightness. But my much more modest aim is to be interesting and make you think. I hope I’m close to hitting that bar with most of you.
This year, Building Jerusalem has reached over 200,000 views. That’s a c.10% rise on last year. To put that into some sort of context, that is eighteen times the population of Wantage, nearly four times the population of Torquay and twice the population of Rochdale. I know in the grand scheme of things that is incredibly small fry, especially given there are folks who hit those sorts of figures with a single post. Having said that, not that I’m trying to make things sound bigger than they really are, I suspect it is probably one of the wider read Reformed Baptist blogs in the UK.
Well, as has become tradition, here is a rundown of the most viewed blog posts of 2019. So, here are the top 10 of 2019.
The most viewed post of 2019 took a look at how the prosperity gospel has subtly crept into our churches. Not the dodgy churches that we all point at, but our apparently good, healthy, Bible-believing churches.
I wonder how many of us even remember this happening? Back in February of this year, Liam Neeson gave a highly controversial interview to promote one of his films. The interview sparked a huge racism row and this post delved into some of the issues.
We all know people leave churches from time to time. Sometimes they are right to do so, other times not so much. This posts asked and answered when it might be legitimate to leave a church and when we really ought to stay.
The fourth most read post is also the most viewed guest post. Dave Williams wrote, in response to twitter comments from Matt Smethurst and Rachael Denhollander, about how we should describe David’s sin with Bathsheba. The context for the post was whether we ought to describe David’s sin as sexual abuse or something else.
This one is about prioritising time with your family on your days off and holidays. The church is replete with stories of people who hate the church because it constantly seemed to take their parents away from them. This suggested one simple way we can ensure our children and families know that they are a priority.
This one is about avoiding churches in which the pastor is put on a pedestal with no means of accountability. Whilst there are lots of different approaches to church governance, some of which we might think are more Biblical than others, but the one we must avoid altogether is one where church leaders are left entirely unaccountable. Just don’t join that church.
Taking a cue from the late Tony Benn, this post took his now famous five questions to ask of anybody in a position of power and applied them to the church.
This one wondered why it is so common to find people in ministry who seem to treat people like resources to be used. It asked why do so many pastors have no interest in you unless you can do something for them. Given this was the eight most read post of the year, it seemed to resonate with quite a few others.
Church leadership is particularly susceptible to narcissists. This post looked at how we can limit that tendency in the church.
This post was a reminder that Christ and his church are inextricably linked. How we treat the church is, at heart, a measure of how we treat Jesus himself. If Christians are united to Christ, how we treat other Christians is necessarily how we treat Jesus.