For today's entry in the Friday Five interview series, we catch up with Andy Crouch.
Andy Crouch is the executive editor of Christianity Today, where he was the executive producer of This Is Our City. His most recent book Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power is available now.
Today we chat with Andy about being timely and timeless, power, and trustees.
You recently finished the This Is Our City series with Christianity Today, highlighting restorative work spearheaded by Christians in urban areas. Were you satisfied with the impact of this series?
This Is Our City has been one of the highlights of the last few years for me, most of all because of the people we got to meet from all walks of life who are seeking the flourishing of their cities. It was an amazing tour of the Body of Christ at its best, in all its diversity, and we came away with a great set of stories that we plan to keep sharing.
I suspect the greatest impact, honestly, was on our team and CT itself. We met with almost 2,000 leaders face to face over the course of the project—far more than we had expected at the beginning. We were blown away, actually, by people's eagerness to meet with us, and to meet one another. There is amazing institutional and entrepreneurial energy in the local church committed to particular places.
Very few of the folks we met with are "national" leaders or figures, the kind you hear about on blogs or social media. I suspect that it's almost impossible to have a national platform and real local influence at the same time.
But what we tried to do in this project was amplify what is happening in particular places, and to set a new standard for what it means to be the church in a city—to be people who are committed to the common good, in the public domains of business, government, education, health care, and so on. And now we have hundreds of stories about what that looks like in every kind of city across North America. I'm thrilled that we got to do it.
CT recently underwent a significant redesign online and in print. What was the motivation behind this effort?
The essential motivation was to say to people who aren't yet our customers that something exciting is happening at CT. There were some big changes at CT last year. Terumi Echols became publisher, we promoted Katelyn Beaty to managing editor, and Mark Galli and I moved into new roles of editorial leadership. Ultimately magazines (like everything else worthwhile) are really about people. But the first impression people get of our work and who we are comes from design, so it was important that the design look as fresh as the team behind it.
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