Those of you who have been with us for a while, dear readers, know that until the first case of coronavirus infection in the country was announced in March, we existed purely as a print newspaper, with very little online presence.
With the government advising people to stay at home to contain the spread of the virus, we decided to take our work online because distributing physical copies of the newspaper was no longer feasible.
Our last hard copy issue was in March, which coincided with our 15th anniversary. We plan to go back to print when things get back to normal, but we will also continue posting fresh stories on our website.
However, whether we are producing physical copies or posting stories online, our mission remains the same.
When I launched the SHEPHERD in March 2005, the idea was to have a Christian newspaper that would tackle various issues in the Church. But I did not clearly define those issues. Yes, I had a vision, but it wasn’t succinct.
Over the years, that has got clearer and we are now sure why we exist or why we do what we do.
Our mission at the SHEPHERD is to help believers cultivate a closer walk with Christ by publishing stories that encourage, challenge, and give hope. This is the lens through which we judge the articles to be published or rejected.
When deciding whether to accept or reject a story idea, the first question I ask is: How will this article serve or help our reader? Will it encourage him to keep trusting in God’s faithfulness? Will it provide insights that could challenge him to action? Will it offer hope concerning God’s redemptive work in a fallen world?
Because we believe God has a say over every aspect of our lives, we promote a biblical worldview in all our reporting. Our greatest desire is to always be out there with the people of God to witness and report how He is using them to make a difference wherever He has placed them.
We want to write stories that show how God is working in the daily lives of His people – in their careers, marriages, families, callings; even in afflictions such as illness and persecution – to show His glory.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful, at a time when all we hear and read in the major news outlets is doom and gloom, to have a trusted information source that goes behind the dark side of things to bring out the beautiful stories of what God is doing?
For example, in this issue we have a story about Christian entrepreneurs who, with the help of Christian mentors, have chosen to do clean and ethical business in a sea of corrupt individuals and corporates.
Those brothers and sisters are modelling what Christian life is supposed to look like even in the marketplace. They are demonstrating that Christianity is actually a lifestyle, not a Sunday morning ritual. They are evangelising to a lost world through their actions.
Yet such uplifting stories never get covered anywhere. Why? Maybe because nobody cares. And the Lord is asking: “Whom shall I send?”
These are the kind of stories the SHEPHERD is called to cover and we strive to do so factually, professionally, prayerfully, passionately and unapologetically. It is our calling. It is our mission. It is our work.
Are there Christian lawyers standing against a pro-abortion law in the works? We want to highlight their stories so that other believers can stand with them in prayer and in kind. Do you know any believers who are risking it all, including their own lives, to take the gospel to dangerous places? The SHEPHERD wants to tell their story.
Do you know of people feeding orphans on a meagre income without expecting anything in return? Those are candidates for coverage by the SHEPHERD. How about those churches welcoming weary refugees at border points? Their good works should not go unreported.
In short, the SHEPHERD is filling a void that no other media can. I believe ours is a timely ministry and I challenge you to join hands with us so that together we can show God’s goodness in a mean, dark world.
Do send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.