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W hat a year for Faithward! We give thanks to God for over 70,000 readers engaging Faithward content in 2020! It is hard to even comprehend the amount of gratitude we have for our contributors and readers over this past year. Faithward started in 2019 as a concept—an itch that some of us wanted to scratch. As we prayed and wrestled with things that were happening, how could we speak into them in ways that were relevant and meaningful? How do we elevate voices from our own people and partners, voices of life, struggle, and hope?

As we marked the calendar end of 2020, we wanted to reflect on what resonated with our readers. We were not sure what to expect, as this year was full with events that many of us processed both individually and as entire communities. Between pandemics and protests, we were surprised and curious about what received the most traction on Faithward in 2020.

The top ten most visited pages of 2020

  1. The Jesse Tree: A Guide to the Advent Tradition
  2. Women of the Bible Study Series: The Woman Who Bled for 12 Years
  3. Advent Candle Lighting Readings
  4. Listening Prayer: How to Hear God’s Voice More Clearly
  5. The Theology and Place of Music in Worship
  6. Palm Sunday Prayer and Call to Worship Ideas
  7. Why Did Jesus Have to Die for Us?
  8. How to Apply Micah 6:8 to Your Life
  9. What Does the Bible Say about Your Purpose?
  10. How Do You Become a Christian?

What the top 10 list says to us

People longed for traditions.

Whether they were ideas for Palm Sunday or Advent crafts to do together as a family, we were not surprised to see people seek out pages that helped us hold close our natural rhythms of worship. Jesse Tree devotionals, resources, and crafts shot to the top as Advent came. Prayers for Palm Sunday were highly engaged, as many churches closed for Easter, many for the first time in their history. Similarly, Advent candle readings were a popular resource as well.

People had theological questions.

We loved seeing a surprise like “The Theology and Place of Music in Worship” make the top ten. As churches were unable to gather in many places where our readers live, we wonder if this curiosity around music and worship helped shape the church’s own version of WFH—“worshipping from home.”

We were not surprised to see the article on Micah 6:8—a framework for biblical justice—make the top ten. This year was a significant time of wrestling for many individuals as people were faithfully discerning what a biblical response to injustice looked like. As the world around us churned, our readers wanted to learn how to quiet themselves and learn more about listening prayer.

People were curious about Jesus and the gospel.

In our top ten (and our top fifteen) were questions about faith. People wanted to know, “How do I become a Christian?” “How do I know my purpose?” “Why did Jesus have to die?” Faithward readers also dove deep into Scripture in 2020, growing and challenging their faith by studying how the women of the Bible followed God and lived by faith in challenging and uncertain times. This really excites our Faithward team! Our hope has always been that Faithward would be a safe place for hard questions, both for people who know and follow Jesus and for people who are curious about who Jesus is. Of all the things we could have hoped for, seeing high engagement around these critical faith questions brought us a tremendous amount of joy. Faithward is serving its purpose: to help people follow Jesus.

After experiencing 2020, I hesitate to even predict what readers might be curious about in 2021! What we can continue to hope for is that this site continues to be a valuable place to find hope, to find answers, to find curiosity, and to find Jesus. Thank you for an amazing 2020. Here’s to whatever God brings us this new year!

Eliza Cortés Bast

Eliza Cortés Bast is coordinator for Local Missional Engagement and special projects for the Reformed Church in America.