This has not been a good time for many Baptist news outlets. Many have discontinued their regular printed newspapers, and others have been folded in to the communication departments of their state conventions.
The Biblical Recorder now has the oldest Baptist newspaper still in publication, having been established in 1833. Let me share with you three reasons why I believe that the future of the Biblical Recorder is bright.
The future for the Recorder is bright because of the leadership of Allan Blume for the past eight years. Before Blume became the editor, he had a proven record as a pastor in this state. He brought more than ideas about how we should do church. He helped build a great church.
Blume had also shown his love for North Carolina Baptists through his service as the president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s board of directors. He helped reestablish a sense of trust between North Carolina Baptists and their news journal.
During his time, the Recorder accurately presented news that affected Baptist life. But he also presented this news as someone who was positive about the work of the Southern Baptist Convention and the state convention. Many who felt marginalized by the editorial direction of some in the past felt they could return to the Biblical Recorder for news that would be trustworthy and encouraging.
The future for the Recorder is also bright because they have picked the right person to lead into the future. Seth Brown served as content editor for the past four years. He has a thorough grasp about what the Recorder should be. But as a young man, he has fresh insights about where the Recorder should go in the future.
Brown is committed to maintaining and improving the print edition. Many N.C. Baptists receive their information about what is going on in Baptist life through the print edition. But he also realizes the importance of digital news as well. Many of us believe that BRnow.org is the finest source of news in Baptist life. He is committed to a digital-first news strategy.
The future for the Recorder is bright because of its excellence and innovation.
The Recorder is a model for how news should be reported in Baptist life. Brown intends to lead it to become a greater blessing to our churches through new and redesigned platforms, such as helping churches find pastors and staff not only in the print edition, but in a more informative way at BRnow.org.
As president of the convention, I am privy to the fact that he has already found ways to be more cost efficient in this vital ministry.
With all that is positive, our churches can make sure that this vital ministry continues in the future by increasing the numbers of subscriptions among your members. The annual cost for the Recorder is surprisingly low. It varies from $13-16 depending on the number of people subscribing in your church.
Why not spend a small amount of money and give the leaders in your church an annual subscription through a group rate? If you give 10 leaders a subscription, you will have only spent $135 for the year, yet you will have helped them become better Christians, better mission supporters and better church members.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Steve Scoggins is senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Hendersonville and president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.)