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By Jonathan Howe

A few months back, we interviewed Brad Lomenick for the Rainer on Leadership podcast. While he was here, we talked about his Young Influencer List and the reasons behind why he compiles such a list. Brad even encouraged us to do the same—to find young influencers in our sphere and make our audience aware of how these young leaders are impacting others for Kingdom advancement.

I then began compiling a list, with the help of a few friends, of individuals we identified as potential leaders for the next generation. Our qualifications were quite simple: under 40 and making a Kingdom difference.

My goal with this list is not to inflate the egos of those named, but to make you, the readers, of aware of the dozens and dozens of Christian leaders who are advancing the gospel in their respective spheres of influence. And while some pundits may sit back and claim Christianity is declining or dying, these leaders are clearly making a statement that it will not happen on their watch. They are passionate about Christ Jesus, His gospel, and taking it to the ends of the earth.

So without further adieu, here is this month’s young influencer list:

  • John Aaron Matthew — Senior Pastor at Clear Lake Baptist Church in Houston, TX – John Aaron started at Clear Lake last Fall after years of collegiate ministry in Cookeville, TN.
  • Osvaldo Padilla — Associate Professor of Divinity & New Testament at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, AL – A native of the Dominican Republic, Osvaldo has been recognized as a rising New Testament scholar and recently spent a sabbatical at Cambridge University completing his forthcoming writing project entitled The Acts of the Apostles.
  • Ronni KurtzStudent at Midwestern Seminary and Pastor of Teaching & Equipping at Emmaus Church in Kansas City, MO – I met Ronni on a recent trip to Kansas City and was delighted to hear the faculty and leadership of Midwestern Seminary speak so highly of him. Ronni truly embodies the “For the Church” culture found at Midwestern.
  • Ashlyn PorteroExecutive Director of City Church in Tallahassee, FL — Ashlyn handles much of the operational and administrative duties for one of the fastest-growing churches in Florida.
  • Steven LeePastor of Small Groups and Community Outreach at College Church in Wheaton, IL – Steven oversees the small groups and community outreach efforts of College Church and formerly served as a church planter in San Diego.
  • Mary Margaret Collingsworth — Event Project Coordinator at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, TN – Mary Margaret is a coworker of mine, and she handles many of the logistics and details of our events for LifeWay Women. She’s also the host of the LifeWay Women’s podcast [Marked].

Please continue to pray for these individuals and their ministries. If you’d like to nominate a young influencer for consideration, let me know on Twitter: @Jonathan_Howe

Jonathan Howe serves as Director of Strategic Initiatives at LifeWay Christian Resources, the host and producer of Rainer on Leadership and SBC This Week, and the managing editor of Jonathan writes weekly at on topics ranging from social media to websites and church communications. Connect with Jonathan on Twitter at @Jonathan_Howe.

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