Despite extensive efforts to make it viable, the premier newsletter covering the evangelical missions movement has ceased publication after nearly four decades. World Pulse mailed its last issue in August.
Wheaton College's Billy Graham Center (BGC) had published World Pulse since 1998. The BGC, a division of Wheaton College, seeks to stimulate global evangelism through publishing and other programs. Numerous attempts to make the eight-page newsletter self-sustaining—including adding color and an online presence—failed to reverse a steep decline in subscriptions. "Last year we made the decision if it didn't turn around pretty soon, we would have to discontinue it," BGC associate director Ken Gill said.
World Pulse was published in various forms from 1967 to 1998 as a joint project of the Interdenominational Foreign Mission Association of North America and the Evangelical Fellowship of Mission Agencies. The newsletter always depended on subsidies because it accepted no ads and had a limited readership. From a recent high of 4,500 subscribers in 1997, the newsletter had slipped to 2,500 (including 300 to an online version).
Costs had also risen, increasing pressure on the bottom line. At the end, expenses were more than twice as high as revenue. The newsletter had produced an ongoing series of budget deficits with no end in sight. By contrast, two other BGC publications, the Mission Handbook and Evangelical Missions Quarterly, with more readers and paid ads, are doing well financially.
"We were trying to give our readers a bird's-eye view of international ministries of individuals, churches, and mission agencies," said former editor Dawn Herzog Jewell. "World Pulse was seen as sort of the unofficial … voice ...1
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