Who Should Read the State Baptist Paper? comment (0)
July 24, 2014
By Bob Terry
Alabama Baptist churches should promote the state Baptist paper for all active resident families. Some argue the state Baptist paper is not necessary for all active families. Here are 10 questions to help determine whether you or the active families of your church should read The Alabama Baptist each week.
1. Do you want to know about the persecuted Church? Each week The Alabama Baptist tells the story of Christian believers who are killed or persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. Readers of The Alabama Baptist get timely information that allows them to prayerfully intercede for fellow believers who are suffering and dying because of their faith. For example, reports of the atrocities committed against Christians in Nigeria by Boko Haram were shared in the state Baptist paper years before secular media acknowledged the persecution.
2. Do you want to know the modern-day missions story? Telling the missions story is a regular feature of The Alabama Baptist. In addition to its own reporting, the paper partners with the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board to provide accounts of spreading the gospel through underserved areas of the United States as well as with unreached people groups around the world. In addition, stories about the hundreds of Alabama Baptist missions projects done across the nation and the world are a consistent feature of the state Baptist paper.
3. Do you want to know what Baptists believe? The Alabama Baptist teaches Baptist theology in a focused way through its Theology 101 feature. Each week readers are offered bite-size nuggets of theological insights about basic Baptist understandings. The result is a thorough overview of doctrinal truth compiled over a period of months and years. In addition, the paper teaches essential understandings of the Church and how Baptists work together through its ongoing articles and stories.
4. Do you want to understand moral and ethical issues from a biblical perspective? Drawing on a variety of Christian resources, hot-button issues like gay “marriage,” abortion, hunger, gambling, legalized drugs and many more are examined from a biblical perspective. Articles set forth biblical teachings and analyze how biblical principles can be applied to controversial issues.
5. Do you want to know what other churches are doing? Each week The Alabama Baptist shares reports of successful programs and ministries done by churches across the state. Readers say these stories provide ideas and insights that can be applied in their own churches. In addition to learning new ideas, the stories give readers a chance to celebrate the success of sister churches.
6. Do you want aids for Bible study? Every issue of The Alabama Baptist contains two Bible study guides. These are among the most popular Bible study helps used by Alabama Baptists. Countless Sunday School teachers use them as they prepare to teach each week. But the lessons are available to every reader and offer insight into the focal passages of each week’s Sunday School lesson. In addition, periodic Bible study features are offered such as the January Bible Study emphasis and Bible studies related to moral and ethical issues.
7. Do you want practical help with life’s problems? Christians face real-life problems just like everyone else. Consistently The Alabama Baptist provides practical guidance for issues such as protecting yourself and family members from pornography, grandparents raising grandchildren, dealing with depression and managing school anxiety. These problems are examined from different angles so readers can gain understanding of the issues as well as practical ways of dealing with them.
8. Do you want to know how what you do at church each week impacts the work of God around the world? Baptists are not isolated congregations. We cooperate with one another to minister in the name of Christ across Alabama, the nation and the world. Baptists work together in efforts like disaster relief. We minister together through programs that touch every age group from infants to the frail-aged. We unite through our resources and efforts to share the gospel so everyone will have opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel of Christ. The Alabama Baptist shares information that demonstrates the benefits of Baptists working together.
9. Do you want a trusted source of news and information? The Alabama Baptist has served believers since 1843. It has been owned by the Alabama Baptist State Convention since 1919. Today it is governed by a board of directors elected by the convention that ensures the paper remains true to Baptist principles. The paper offers the best of Christian journalism. Two of the past three years it has been judged the best Christian newspaper in the nation. Evaluations regularly cite the fair and balanced way the paper reports major issues. Amid all the shrill voices bellowing for attention, The Alabama Baptist continues to provide a trusted and reliable voice.
10. Do you want a publication that will make a difference in your life? The Alabama Baptist is a lifelong resource for the lifelong journey of Christian discipleship. Regular reading will impact every area of the Christian life. Each week’s edition will be as fresh as the events of the day and as timeless as the Word of God on which the publication is based. The paper is not flashy but its value has been demonstrated through the 170-plus years it has served Alabama Baptists.
So back to the question. Who should read the state Baptist paper? Again the answer of the Alabama Baptist State Convention is every active Baptist family should read the state Baptist paper. That is why for almost 100 years the convention has urged churches to provide the paper for all active families through the church budget. When churches cannot provide the paper, the paper’s value makes individual subscriptions necessary.
The cost is negligible through the church budget — only 27 cents a week, which is less than the cost of a postage stamp. That is a small investment to make for a resource that provides so much value. Individual subscriptions are only slightly more.
As your church observes “Read The Alabama Baptist Day” on July 27, please pray for the ministry of the state Baptist paper and encourage every active family in your church to read the state Baptist paper because today, more than ever, Baptists need their state Baptist paper.