Twitter Screenshot, @KayArthur
Christian leadership trainer Brian K. Dodd highlighted 30 top Christians on Twitter in a blog posted Sunday. This list updates to his January 2012 installment, connecting Christians on the social media platform with influential biblical leaders.
"I have met many Christian leaders in my life," Dodd wrote in the blog. "The only person who ever intimidated me was the Founder of Precept Ministries."
Kay Arthur, international Bible teacher, award-winning author, and co-CEO of Precept Ministries International, developed a system to more effectively study the Bible. Her method centers on "Inductive Study," a process of reading the scriptures and then discussing them in groups.
"Discussion of the Bible's truths helps to seal them in our minds and sharing application encourages individuals to live out what they are learning," explains the website.
Dodd finished with high praise for Arthur, "I've never met anyone who loves God and His Word more than Kay."
Sarah Bessey, a writer and outspoken "happy-clappy Jesus follower," focuses on "the intersections of a spirit-filled life." Her first book, Jesus Feminist, will debut on November 5. A second book will follow, tentatively called Recovering Know-It-All: How a Cynical Follower of Jesus Fell Back in Love with the Church.
Bessey describes herself as "an uneasy pacifist, a Kingdom of God focused woman on the mission, postmodern, liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal in matters of both religion and politics."
Dodd upheld the Canadian writer as "a Jesus lover, writer, blogger, Christian feminist, unrepentant hashtag abuser, joyful subversive, and recovering know-it-all."
On Monday, her husband, Brian, received his dual citizenship from the U.S. and Canada.
Jeff Brodie, executive director at Connexus Community Church, "has recently jumped head first into blogging," Dodd writes. The archives on Brodie's blog trace back to April 2013.
Connexus Community Church aims to "lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ" by creating "a church that unchurched people love to attend." According to its website, the church emphasizes biblical authority, intimacy with God, relevant environments, relational evangelism, authentic community, strategic service, and intentional apprenticeship.
Brodie's blog focuses on practical leadership advice for Christians, with topics such as "5 Tips For Communicating Into A Camera," "What Church Staff Kids Are Really Thinking," and "Announcements: Why People Love You But Don't Listen To You." Dodd commended Brodie's work, "his Twitter and blog posts contain can't miss content."
Chris Broussard, the ESPN sportswriter covering the NBA, received "a lot of hate" in late April and early May for expressing disagreement with homosexuality when NBA player Jason Collins "came out."
"I'm a Christian. I don't agree with homosexuality – I think it's a sin, as I think all sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is," he said on ESPN. He did not reserve this judgment purely for homosexuality, however. "If you're openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be…that's walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ."
When gay rights advocates called for ESPN to fire him, Broussard said, "Even though I'm getting a lot of hate God is being glorified." As the Christian Post reported, he thanked other Christians for their support and quoted the Sermon on the Mount, "blessed are you when you are persecuted for righteousness' sake."
Dodd supported him, defending Broussard's "national prominence for his Christian stand on marriage."
"Led by Brad Lomenick, Catalyst is the highly-influential convergence of next generation Christian leaders," Dodd wrote in the blog. According to its website, Catalyst began in 1999 to "meet the felt need that existed within the church leaders space for a leadership event that was focused on a new generation of church leaders."
Focusing on the "under 40" age bracket, Catalyst has united "over 100,000 leaders" in Atlanta yearly, and expects to see 12,000 young leaders at the Atlanta event this October, with other meetings in Orange County, Calif., and Dallas, Texas.
To see the other 25 Christian leaders to follow on Twitter, go to Dodd's website. Only two figures from his last list in January 2012 made it to this list: megachurch pastors Rick Warren (@RickWarren) and Mark Driscoll (@PastorMark).
In December 2010, Warren ranked 20th in Forbes' list of the most influential Twitter celebrities, the Christian Post reported. Author of The Purpose Driven Life, the bestselling hardback book in American history, Warren held off on joining Twitter until evangelical pastor John Piper suggested it.
And last June, Twitter found that Christian leaders and ministries carry more influence on the social media site than celebrities like Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. As the Christian Post reported at the time, "Joyce Meyer topped the list, with 170 reactions per every 50,000 followers. Joel Osteeen came in a close second with 147 mentions, followed by Max Lucado."
"Pastors tell me Twitter is just made for the Bible," said Twitter senior executive Clair Diaz-Ortiz.