I am grateful for a recent opportunity to visit with Western Recorder editor Todd Deaton. Todd is celebrating his third anniversary as editor.
I recall my delight in 2009 as I listened to Todd share his testimony with the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s Mission Board. The son of a Baptist pastor, Todd sensed a very clear call on his life to serve in Christian journalism. He spoke openly of his love for the Lord and his desire to serve the Lord’s churches. Todd also talked about the direction he would like to take the paper. I was convinced he would stand good on his promises to seek to advance the cooperative mission efforts of Southern Baptists and Kentucky Baptists by telling the stories of what God is doing through us.
In fact, I was so optimistic Todd would set a positive tone of encouragement and support for our churches and denominational partnerships that I went home to my church with a plan to take advantage of the program that allows churches to use the back pages of the Western Recorder as a means to distribute their newsletter. At First Baptist Church of Mt. Washington, that plan resulted in an immediate and significant financial savings as the Western Recorder somehow manages to distribute an entire newspaper for a fraction of the cost of distributing a newsletter from the local church.
The greatest benefit of using the Western Recorder, however, had much more to do with “getting” than “saving” as church members began getting updates on God’s work through Kentucky Baptists and Southern Baptists. They received ideas for outreach as they read success stories of sister churches. During prayer meetings, they offered requests for missionaries serving in difficult places and for disaster relief workers as they labored in the rubble, brokenness, and suffering left behind by floods, tornados, fires, hurricanes, and tsunamis.
The Western Recorder can only be a blessing, however, if it reaches church leaders and members. Every pastor already receives the paper each week and I’d like to encourage all to take a fresh look at this vibrant publication.
Pastors, even if you had concerns in the past about making available to your church members a potentially divisive newspaper, I believe you will see a positive and helpful ministry tool today. If you look and agree with me, I would encourage you to provide a subscription for at least your top five church leaders. Todd will be sharing with you soon a very attractive offer to make it easy for your church to do this.
I am an enthusiastic cheerleader for today’s Western Recorder, a great ministry partner keeping readers informed of mission opportunities, gospel advance, prayer needs, and telling the story of Kentucky Baptists. Happy anniversary, Editor Deaton. We’re glad you’re here!