I hope you are making plans to attend the Missouri Baptist Convention’s (MBC) annual meeting in Kansas City Oct. 28-30. There will be tremendous preaching, singing and praying. MBC team leaders have been given the privilege of offering the prayers at this year’s meeting. I have the privilege of offering Tuesday evening’s (Oct. 29) invocation. It promises to be a great time of fellowship, too. One of the great things about the annual meeting is renewing acquaintances and meeting Pathway readers. I enjoy hearing what our readers think, often offering suggestions that make us better at what we do.
I am particularly excited about this year’s event because we are launching the new Pathway website Oct. 28. We have received positive feedback from convention leadership and a handful of people who were selected to preview our new look. We hope it will be a blessing as we strive to make it easier for readers to navigate while providing more content than ever before. Video, audio, photographs galore and of course news, features and opinion articles will be offered going forward. We will offer a place where you can comment on stories and dialogue with Pathway reporters. A new archive retrieval system will make it faster and easier for you to do research as well. Please be patient with us as we work through issues that are common for new websites. We think we have solved most problems, but something could surface.
The Pathway enters a new era with the launch of this new website. I believe our role in keeping you informed from a biblical worldview perspective has never been more necessary. The combination of The Pathway’s print edition and new website gives Missouri Baptists more choices in how they want their news delivered.
Our task is to provide readers with biblical truth in the face of a coarsening society. With American culture seemingly collapsing into a vortex of secularism, Christians in America need the truth. Our democratic republic cannot survive without an informed citizenry.
The secular news media for decades have filled American minds with liberal ideas while not offering much of an opposing view. In too many cases, they just flat-out lie or intentionally deceive as evidenced by the amount of plagiarism. They thrive on conflict and dilemmas, as if truth does not exist, and if it does, it does not matter.
Some news outlets have become increasingly hostile to anyone holding a biblical worldview. Meanwhile, the public’s distrust of the news media (which is probably its most intense among conservative Christians) is at a fever pitch. In 2009, Pew Research found that just 29 percent of Americans said the news media generally get the facts right, while 63 percent said new stories are often inaccurate.
A by-product of this distrust has been the fragmentation of the news media. If you want a liberal point of view, there are plenty of choices to be made. The amount of media offering a conservative point of view is not as prevalent, but it is growing. It seems to me this fragmentation of the news media may offer Christian publications like Southern Baptist state newspapers, WORLD magazine and others with the opportunity to carve out a significant niche by providing news from a biblical worldview perspective.
Many of my colleagues feel the days are numbered for print newspapers as a delivery mechanism for news. Perhaps somewhere down the line that will be the case, but not in the near future. Baby Boomers, roughly those age 50 and older, still want printed newspapers and the Boomers, with life expectancy lengthening, are going to be around another 30 years.
I am thankful for MBC Executive Director John Yeats’ support for The Pathway. I also appreciate the great support we receive from the MBC executive board, the staff and our readers, who support us with gifts and offerings through the Cooperative Program. The Pathway belongs to the churches of the MBC.
If you are at our annual meeting, please stop by our exhibit. We will have displays where you can get on computers and play with our new website. If you have not gotten your free subscription, just stop by and fill out a short form and we will start one for you. Most importantly, feel free to stop me or any Pathway staffer anywhere in the hotel or convention center. The Pathway staff and I would love to visit with each of you. Thank you for supporting The Pathway with your Cooperative Program gifts and we pledge to provide you with publications that inspire, inform and bless you and your family.