In the files of Christianity Today’s founding era, the famous “architects of evangelicalism” Billy Graham, Carl Henry, and others debate many familiar issues. Should CT use the words evangelical and inerrancy? Should certain views of the atonement and end times be excluded or promoted?
Amid this sea of correspondence is a brief letter from Marcellus Kik, the Presbyterian pastor who had just signed on as CT’s managing editor. He had strong theological views of his own, but he saw a larger issue ahead.
“The most important problem, to my mind, is the content of the magazine,” he wrote. “Say that we need four major articles for each issue. That means we have to obtain a hundred first-class articles. And they are not found on bushes. With the great object that we have in view it is going to take effort, time and prayer.”
CT managing editors ever since have echoed Kik’s anxiety and risen to the challenge. For the past five years, Andy Olsen has served this position well, raising the standard of what we mean by “first-class articles.” I’ve always admired his eagerness to take risks. A cover story on the spirituality of the South Pole? A deep dive into the effects of a 30-year-old tragedy? A cover profile of an unknown British Bible translator? These articles were not found on bushes, but they’ve born fruit. Fortunately, we’re not losing Andy. He’s moving into a senior editor role where he can pursue more of his own writing and coach others in the long-form storytelling that he excels in and has such a deep passion for.
Readers are already familiar with the work of CT’s incoming print managing editor, Kelli Trujillo. She’s been working with CT and its sister publications for the past 16 years. For the last six, she’s been the lead for projects like our Advent and Easter devotionals and our special issues platforming women writers and pastoral ministry. She spun what were once shoestring-budget affairs into theologically rich treasure, recruiting a diverse choir of luminary and newcomer writers.
Both Andy and Kelli have given much effort and time to CT. But among the staff they’re also known for their prayer. “Ora et labora,” Kelli messaged me recently, citing the Benedictine phrase about prayer and work. Andy comments constantly on the privilege he feels getting to pray openly over coworkers, writers, and articles. There’s more change afoot at CT—more new staff, more new leadership, and more editorial initiatives you’ll be hearing about soon. As we position for transitions here, we’d feel privileged if you would join us in prayer for “the great object that we have in view.” It is not enough for us that we talk about God and his kingdom with you. We need to talk to God with you and for you as you pray for us.
Ted Olsen is executive editor of Christianity Today.
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