Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Goodbye, DisciplesWorld

I am disappointed...but not surprised.

DisciplesWorld Magazine today released a statement that they will cease publishing and the non-profit publisher will dissolve.

DisciplesWorld has served as a source of news, information, and theological reflection for Disciples and has played a vital role in shaping our denominational identity. So, of course, it will be missed.

But I'm not surprised by this development. Print media is going the way of the telegraph. Newspapers and magazine publishers are going bankrupt at such a pace I doubt Walgreens will even have a magazine aisle in 5 to 10 years. It's sad to see such a passing. But with all the information that's available online now it's an understandable development.

I think the demise of DisciplesWorld also has something to do with larger issues facing the Church today, also. Being part of a denomination means less and less to people than it used to. People are more concerned with being a part of a particular local church where they fit than they are about that congregation's denominational affiliation. This means our editorial outlets have less of a captive audience than ever before. With a wane in denominational interest the publications are sure to suffer.

I have been a faithful subscriber to DisciplesWorld, so I must confess a bit of sadness. But I have to admit that in recent years my magazine subscription has served as little more than a novelty. I, personally, find sources of theological reflection and information through trusted bloggers more than anywhere else. And I'm venturing to guess that more and more people are doing the same.

Perhaps someone else will pick up where DisciplesWorld left off one day. Or perhaps no one will ever need to. This old world keeps on changing. So changing is what we're going to have to do.

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