Justin Kim, editor of the Adventist Review, took the stage on Friday, October 6th, to address the World Church during the 2023 Annual Council and highlight past, recent, and future developments of the ministry.
Kim emphasized that, though it has been around for 175 years, the publication, which distributes over 1 million copies of magazines around the world every month and has a robust online presence, remains relevant in today’s context. It is driven by its focus to stay true to its Adventist heritage and retain the “God-given innovative spirit our pioneers exhibited” by inspiring, encouraging, and educating readers worldwide to be prepared for the soon coming of Christ.
Three Guiding Principles
Providing a wide range of products, including the Adventist Review, Adventist World, Adventist Journey/Adventist World, Adventist World Digest, and KidsView, Kim went on to express the ministry is guided by three main principles: history, mission, and innovation.
In 1848, Ellen White, co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, received a notable vision which she shared in Early Writings. White wrote that “After coming out of vision, [she] said to [her] husband, [James White], ‘I have a message for you. You must begin to print a little paper and send it out to the people. Let it be small at first; but as the people read, they will send you means with which to print, and it will be a success from the first. From this small beginning it was shown to me to be like streams of light that went clear round the world.’” (pg. 125)
It was from this vision that the Adventist Review, then known as the Present Truth, was launched. Over 170 years later, today, it continues to be a pillar in the Adventist Church.
Kim reminded attendees the Adventist Review is “not another church publication, but one that has a prophetic mandate until the Second Coming of Jesus.” Taking this into account, the ministry consistently remembers its history and unique calling for inspiration, recalling its purpose as it seeks to preserve the core elements of its identity moving forward.
Said Kim,“...In times of indifference, in times of confusion, in times of apathy, why are we doing what we’re doing?... We’d like to be the magazine that prepares a people…” At its core, Adventist Review publishes material that stays true to its mission, remembering that mission strengthens identity. During a time when Adventism is oftentimes counter-culture, the magazine does not avoid challenging the status quo, but provides insights and perspectives that are both profound and engaging, while creating a space for dialogue, innovation, and mission focus. Its current mission statement, “Adventist Review creates Bible-based content, both print and digital, to unite Seventh-day Adventists, deepen their historical faith, and strengthen their unique identity and responsibility to prepare the world for the second coming of Jesus.,” clearly identifies its purpose and direction.
As Adventist Review continues to publish content on the unique aspects of Adventism, foundational biblical principles, and worldwide church developments, it will lean on innovative processes to solve challenges. As such, the ministry is currently moving toward a “Digital First” model, a means which will place them as a major pillar in the global environment. According to Kim, a Digital First model will help:
- Improve global access to content (including multilingual capabilities),
- Grow an engaged digital audience that will ultimately drive their print-based content strategy,
- Adventist Review to be nimble and timely in the content produced, and
- Increase digital traffic to create more opportunities
Why make these changes now? Kim shares,“We believe…we need to do print and digital together.” This important transition will include a five-step process to create a simplified brand structure, increase website functionality, create a media [video and print] ecosystem, increase multilingual capabilities, and fold all products into the new media ecosystem. As part of this process, Adventist Review will launch three new products produced weekly, monthly, and quarterly, respectively: InReview, counterScript, and Front Pew. Kim specifically highlighted counterScript as a new publication designed to help Adventists realize their unique identity and calling as counter-cultural in today’s context of secularism and consumerism while upholding the truths found in Scripture.
In closing, Kim urged, “I’m calling upon church leaders. Let’s work together and be in collaboration together…We cannot do this with our staff of 20 by ourselves, but we want to link with division and union leadership, and to unite the Church together on the message of Scripture and prepare our Church for the Second Coming of Jesus.”
To watch Annual Council live, go here. Find more news about the 2023 Annual Council at adventist.news. Follow #GCAC23 on Twitter for live updates during the 2023 Annual Council.