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By Jonathan Howe

As I mentioned last month, when we interviewed Brad Lomenick for the Rainer on Leadership podcast, we talked about his Young Influencer List and the reasons behind why he compiles such a list. Brad encouraged me 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. The qualifications are quite simple: under 40 and making a Kingdom difference.

Once again, the 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:

  • Amy-Jo Girardier — Girls Minister and Student Missions Coordinator at Brentwood Baptist in Brentwood, TN – In a world that is often overwhelming, having a mentor and minister like Amy-Jo can make all the difference in the life of a teen girl. An accomplished author, Amy Jo is a leading voice to teen girls across the country.
  • Jeff Medders — Lead Pastor at Redeemer Church in Tomball, TX – Jeff is a church planter who likes good coffee. And, yes, I realize I could say that about almost any church planter. Jeff is a prolific blogger and writer as well as a planter in the most diverse city in the nation.
  • Christian George — Assistant Professor of Historical Theology at Midwestern Seminary in Kansas City, MO – Christian is one of the leading scholars in the world on the life and work of Charles H. Spurgeon and serves as curator of the Spurgeon Center.
  • Holly Tate — Director of Business Development at Vanderbloemen Search Group in Houston, TX — You hear us proclaim the services of Vanderbloemen Search Group on every podcast, and Holly is one of the main reasons why. They are a great partner for us at, and much of it is due to Holly’s leadership.
  • Shaq HardyPastoral Ministry Student at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, NC – I met Shaq for the first time this week at a young leaders luncheon, but have been familiar with his blog and ministry for some time. Shaq’s passion for missions and ministry is contagious, and it was exciting to talk with him in person about his upcoming missions trip to Japan.
  • Micah Fries — Director of Ministry Development at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, TN – Micah is a well-known figure in the Southern Baptist Convention. A former pastor in Missouri, Micah facilitates partnerships for LifeWay Insights and represents LifeWay Research at a host of outside events. He also serves as a producer for The Exchange.

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 or in the comments section below.

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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