I was lying in my bed this morning thinking about my younger days as an adventist youth. Those were some of the best times of my life. As I lay there staring at the ceiling trying to decide when I was going to get out of bed I thought about Friday evenings. On Friday evenings we would sit as a family…I and my siblings would be finishing up the week’s sabbath school lesson and my father would be reading Message Magazine.
At the time, I thought it to be normal that Message magazine was the only Adventist magazine to have African-American faces on the cover. I remember reading the articles as if it were second nature. In reflection, I now think to myself what an impact! At a time when Seventh-day Adventist African-American achievments were not publicized, there was a magazine that did just that. It also kept us current on political and social changes that impacted our community. My mother would always look forward to the new recipes for upcoming sabbath dinners.
As I then started to hear my alarm clock in the distance I began to ask myself this very important question:
Is Adventist publishing dead or dying a slow death?
Both possibilities are frightening. Our local conference office has eliminated this department and we no longer hear of call portering groups as promising summer employment opportunities for our youth.
Then as I began to turn over, I asked myself another question:
Has the digital age killed Adventist publishing?
Many of our publishing magazines now have blog sites similar to this one. The only problem is that these magazines were tools we used to bring in new souls. How are they using the technology transition to reach unbelievers? I have not seen any new strategies or approaches to this complex issue. It is no secret that these magazines, including Message magazine, is facing a huge decline in subscriptions and sales. My final question is:
Have we given up?
Our former publishing director in this conference has a vigorous passion for the printed word. He among many others in his generation must find it disappointing that this has not been a priority.
Have we thrown up our hands and are now only making these materials available members? Our print materials are an important element to keeping people connected to our faith. In the words of Jonah_77 …
What Say You?
~The Forgotten Shepherdess