If you’ve taken a look at our website in the past week, you’ve noticed the redesign for The Christian Index. Yes, it’s a biased opinion, but I love it. And judging from the response I’ve received, many of you feel the same. Thank you so much for the emails and texts of feedback you’ve sent our way.
Of course, that doesn’t happen without a lot of work. I want to give a big thanks to our Georgia Baptist Communications department, particularly Barry Dollar, Linda Wilkins, and Lacey Graham for all their hard work. Barry, specifically, did a lot of heavy lifting to get stories that had collected on the old site from 2015 through the end of August to the new layout.
There are a few new features on the site I’d like to point out. At the top right you’ll notice our Daily Devotion. These, specifically written for Index readers, bring you a fresh word before you start the day. Across the top we’ve added categories to the menu bar to better indicate the coverage generated from myself, Content Editor Myriah Snyder, our growing collection of freelance writers, and articles from Baptist Press. Many of you have expressed missing the crossword puzzle from our print edition, so halfway down the page you’ll see a link to crosswords you can fill out on your screen.
If you’ve signed up for our newsletter, you noticed a change there as well. Myriah brought her Mailchimp skills when she arrived in Georgia a year ago from Kentucky and has given us a fresh, clean look to what many now consider “The Christian Index” (as in “I read that in The Christian Index.”). Subscribing is the simplest, most-definite way you can ensure never missing a story, and a step you can take by clicking here.
Speaking of the Index newsletter, we began a feature this week called “Around Georgia.” It is simply a few photos of one of our churches – exterior and interior shots, plus something showing part of that church’s ministry. I grabbed some pictures Sept. 2 visiting my friends at Burning Bush Baptist Church in Ringgold. I love the unique personality each church in our Convention brings and want to share that with our readers. You can help us do that by emailing us (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com) or tagging us on social media (@christianindex on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook).
There are a couple of more things to which I’d like to bring to your attention. The first began with a mistake of my own doing.
Earlier this year I asked for, and received, Bible Study materials from LifeWay Christian Resources. For many years The Index has provided background – written by Georgia Baptists – on the lessons many of you teach from their curricula. I’m in my 16th year with The Index, and for as long as I can remember the one we’ve written from is Bible Studies for Life.
Well, several months ago I didn’t realize LifeWay representatives –being thorough to make sure I had what I needed – had sent me two sets of lessons. I mistakenly passed along those from the curriculum called “Explore the Bible” to our September writer, Pastor Stephen Allen of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Carrollton.
I didn’t realize my mistake until Pastor Allen’s first lesson was published last week. Everyone was gracious – and those who use that study were appreciative – but it reminded me of how important it is to look closely and get things right. I apologize for any convenience.
Incidentally, those of you who use Explore the Bible are in for a treat. I got to meet Stephen and have lunch with him a few weeks ago. He’s a very sharp guy and fun to be around as long as you can get past all the Baylor Bears greenery in his office.
It still bothered me, though, that many of you depended on the Bible Studies for Life lessons. So, I contacted Pastor Jay Sanders of Towaliga Baptist Church in Jackson yesterday (Thursday) to see if he could write a Sunday School lesson commentary by, say … the next day. Jay, being the Superman he is, immediately said yes and wrote it during his son’s soccer practice last night. He’ll provide commentaries for Bible Studies for Life through the end of the month, at which point we’ll go back to that curriculum full-time. Kingsland First Baptist Pastor Brian Parker will be the writer at that time.
The other announcement I wanted to bring is a new addition to The Index family, at least for this school semester. Mackenzie Ford, an English Writing and Publication major at the University of North Georgia, will be joining The Index officially next week as our fall intern. One of our BCM students, she spent her summer on Send Me Now missions in France and will soon be introduced up close to how The Index works.
Thank you again for your support of The Christian Index and positive feedback on the website as well as our coverage. We’re always eager to hear from you.