By Jonathan Howe
Once again, the goal with this list is not to inflate the egos of those named, but to make you, the readers of ThomRainer.com, 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. The qualifications are quite simple: under 40 and making a Kingdom difference.
So without further adieu, here is this month’s young influencer list:
- Walter Strickland (@w_strickland) – Special Advisor to the President for Diversity & Instructor of Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC – Walter leads the Kingdom Diversity initiative at SEBTS. Walter and Maliek Blade also host a podcast on the subject of diversity which highlights voices and addresses topics pertinent to God’s people in pursuit of the Great Commission.
- Matthew Hall (@matthewjhall) – Dean of Boyce College, Louisville, KY – Matt was recently named the new dean at Boyce College. He also serves as an elder of a local church in Louisville.
- Katie Orr (@thekatieorr) – Author based in Harrodsburg, KY – I’ve known of Katie’s work for the past year or so, but had the chance to meet her earlier this month at the SBC Annual Meeting as she was signing copies of her new devotional studies.
- Andrew Hebert (@andrewhebert86) – Lead pastor at Taylor Memorial Baptist Church in Hobbs New Mexico – Speaking of the SBC Annual Meeting, Andrew chaired the committee on order of business for this year’s meeting and served our convention well.
- Trip Lee (@triplee) – Rapper, author, pastor at Cornerstone Church in Atlanta, GA – Trip is one of several hip-hop artist-pastors who are influencing both the church and culture through theology and art.
- Jennifer Lyell (@jenniferlyell) – Trade Book Publisher for B&H Publishing Group in Nashville, TN – Jennifer directs all the trade book publishing efforts at LifeWay. Over the past few years, she’s directed the publishing of several NYT best-sellers. B&H has also garnered dozens of publishing industry awards in that time. B&H would not be the staple in the Christian publishing industry that it is today without the leadership of Jennifer.
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. For previous young influencer lists, click here.
I’d recommend Rev. Carol Howard Merritt. Presbyterian minister and author.
Love your emails. I read your helpful and pithy comments almost every day. Thanks! Your list of under 40 contributors truly is encouraging. I am 58. Love to read a “60 and serving” as I get ready to round that corner for my last lap in the race. Who are some in my age group who are successfully ministering, empowering the next generation, living out their lives in the yoke with Jesus? How do we do it?
I’d recommend Brad Merchant. I read his blog often and follow his preaching.
Hey, Richard! I know Brad personally. Great guy and excellent preacher. Check out his blog at bradmerchantblog.com.
Thanks, Jonathan. Looking forward to reading up on the ministries of these influencers.