I'll be honest: Many months we plan issues like a hurricane plans its path. The news comes fast and furious. Cover stories are changed at the last minute. Articles get bumped to the next month, and the next, and the next. An article we counted on was never delivered. A key staffer is laid up for two months. Some months it's amazing that we get an issue out the door!

This reflects part of our work here: to react to what's happening in the world. We believe that Jesus Christ is providentially shaping history to his ends. We try to discern his hand and publish articles that help the church join hands with its Lord.

But a more crucial part of our work is to suggest direction the evangelical movement should consider, regardless of what's in The New York Times this week. Take, for example, the themes we want to highlight in the coming year:

Evangelism: Note this month's cover story (page 20) and lead editorial (page 18). In future issues, we want to feature churches that are sharing the faith in ways that are both faithful and effective. And later in the year, we'll start a series of articles that explores the greatest worldwide challenges to evangelism.

Catechesis: That's the classic word for the church's teaching ministry. We are a movement that has specialized in, "Go and make disciples …" We have not been as strong at "… and teach them all that I have commanded you." We want church leaders to employ their creative skills even more so to this part of the Great Commission. We also want to more consistently feature articles that teach the faith's core themes, doing so from an engaging, journalistic perspective—that is, showing how those themes intersect with current events and contemporary culture.

The Uniqueness of ...

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