So what would happen if Christianity Today magazine and its website simply shut down today? What if there was no more CT?"
For a moment, that question just hung in the room.
To be sure, we had asked ourselves that very question several times in the not-too-distant past. And not just as a hypothetical exercise. The brutal economic realities had given the question a painful sense of urgency.
But now, in the second half of 2012, here was that question again—this time asked by a respected consultant who not only understood the crises facing 21st-century publishing, but who also understood CT's own critical challenges in this ever-changing new normal.
Mark Galli, CT's senior managing editor, eventually broke the silence.
"Someone would try to build its replacement tomorrow!" he said—much to everyone's nodding approval. (Self preservation, after all, is a powerful motivator.)
"Really?" responded our consultant.
"Yes," Mark said. "The church needs what CT has to offer it. There is no other magazine that does what we do, let alone do it as well."
Good answer, I thought to myself.
But our now smiling consultant didn't seem to be buying it. "Really?"
As the afternoon passed, we, the interrogated, soon realized that our interrogator's one-word question was not so much a criticism of our existence as it was a call for us to boldly grab hold of the distinctives that have defined our communication ministry ever since Billy Graham launched Volume One, Number One 56 years ago last month.
Distinctives, I'm happy to say, that you our readers underscore for us in your encouraging (and, at times, challenging) reactions to the content ...