The ride may be bumpy, but what a time technology is giving us. Our marvelous tools hold exhilarating possibilities. In this era, our borderless community of faith is a renewed wonder. Christians from around the globe have instant access to a web of faith. It is an exciting time.
So boot up, log in, and bookmark www.christianchronicle.org. We have been building an online reader’s companion and I want to give you a tour.
The Chronicle’s online companion for readers offers not only fresher looks and easier use, but also valuable services for Christians and their congregations.
For example, our content and archives are searchable. When did that story run? Can I get a copy? Does anyone know how to do this type of ministry? Are the related documents available? — now readers have a tool to find the answers. Then hit the links and email the principals.
Like a story and want to share it? Each online item has a button for emailing the story. A printer-friendly version also is available if you want to use the story in Bible classes or ministry meetings.
Exciting to many small or isolated congregations is our Online classified ad service. No more waiting 30 days for our presses to gear up to help you launch a national search for a minister. Do it today. They will see it today.
Mad about something you read? This site lets you rate a story. With a simple click, readers can let us know how the story rates. Register your vote. This site lets us get a better idea of how readers use our content.
The site also allows your congregation’s website to borrow our content to build your website for local visitors. Been in the news? Let your cyber-visitors read about it. Trying to start a new ministry or program? Put on your congregation’s website a story about someone who did something similar. Members will read it there and be encouraged to build locally. Christian schools and universities can link to content which is relevant and interesting.
The community-building services of this site are exciting to our staff. Online discussion groups will meet to discuss and develop stories which will not fit into our print editions. Letters-to-the-Editor can be catalogued in their entirety. This new site will let us bring together the newsmakers and the readers for a new level of interaction.
As you explore this powerful site and its possibilities and as our staff and freelancers work to bring the site to you, may we find many possibilities for good mixed in with the dangers of the broader cyber-world. Within the protection of our site, the web can let Christians exercise their roles in our community of faith — from Ukraine to Uvalde, Texas, from Canada to São Paulo, Brazil. So log on, read, and respond. We are eager to hear from you.
All these features are extensions of The Christian Chronicle’s mission to “inform, inspire, and unite” Christians through journalistic excellence. Our mission is the same, but the web lets us connect and do things we cannot afford in our print editions, which are subject to physical limits. This new web site is the result of two years of work by our staff in Oklahoma City; our first web-visionary, Ken Green; our web-design team at David Davenport’s Christianity.com; and Dan Lovejoy, our webmaster.
Do all these promises and potentials sound too good to be true?
If you have doubts, you’re in good company. I sometimes wonder, too — usually about the time my computer crashes, fails to synchronize with my “other” computer, or when a program freezes up. So to be really honest, I do not put much faith in technology alone. It fails too often.
I have faith in only a few things — take seeds, for example. These tiny shells can be durable arks to carry the germ of life across winter, drought, or other importunities to a florid zone for new life. Seeds are the wonder of Spring and of Mark 4. I have similar hopes for this site. Embedded in the who-what-when-where-why-and-how of journalism are truths — from the verities of the cosmos to trivial details.
May this companion site prove to be an ark for carrying such seeds far and wide.