In July we sent out our last newsletter; in that letter, we addressed the need of starting a publishing ministry. We were first inspired to do publishing in February of 2015 when the Review and Herald shut down, and it was our desire to help fill the need that was produced; therefore as a ministry, we embarked upon the journey of learning the printer’s trade.
Along this journey, God introduced us to some incredibly talented and knowledgeable men who are experts in their fields. God brought into our path a man who has been a paper connoisseur for the last 20 years. One day he talked with us for about four hours while we were in his store. We had brought a box of example publications that we wanted to start printing in the future. He answered every question that we could think of, with ease!
Another man we met, came from a generational line of Adventist publishers. If I remember correctly, he said that he had owned his first printing press when he was 7 years old! Now he is semi-retired after a life-long career working in various managerial positions at Pacific Press Publishing and Remnant Publications. This man had dedicated His life to publishing the very tracts, lesson guides, and booklets that we desired to produce and was willing to walk us step by step through each project we endeavored to do. While we were asking him how to do publishing, he was so patient with us through each conversation we had together. He never spoke even one discouraging word.
With our last newsletter, we mailed an example of our Daniel 2 pocketbooks. This was the first publication we decided to produce on a large scale. We were printing, folding, stapling, and sending out these publications using the resources, tools, and equipment that we had. Much love and energy went into each one of those little pocketbooks!
After camp-meeting in August, we soon found that the people’s great demands for publications could not be easily met with our current method of publishing. One day, as we were printing, folding, and stapling these publications by hand; we began speaking to one another about a man in the 1800s who inspired millions of people to accept his teachings and dedicate their lives to a religion he started. His was not a singular case, instead there have been many others throughout history who have influenced millions with a message. As we thought about the magnitude and great importance of the message God has given us as a people, to give to the world; we began to ask ourselves the question: “How can WE reach millions of people with the Everlasting Gospel?”. As we stood there in our assembly line folding thousands of publications by hand; something just didn’t seem right about the approach we were taking, with such a far-reaching goal in mind.
The more conversations we had with our new professional publishing friends, the greater our realization became that in order for these men to be where they are today, they had to dedicate their whole lives to just one portion of the publishing work. They found success in these fields because they focused on one thing, and did it well. Our friend, who had spent his whole life learning the printing trade, could not answer questions on binding. Neither could our friend, who knew so much about paper, answer questions on printing equipment. They were experts in their fields and that’s what they did best.
The professionals at nearly every business we visited were so happy to share their valuable expertise and knowledge with an interested group of young people who were asking many eager questions about their profession. We would often hear them say: “Printing is a dying art.” “Not many people are printing as much these days.” “Most people are moving to electronic publishing.” “There just isn’t very much demand for print jobs anymore.”
Every time we finished a new publication we couldn’t help but evaluate how much time and expense went into each step of the process. It was impossible for us to reproduce publications with the affordable or sustainable speed and efficiency necessary for reaching the amount of souls that we desired to reach, in these last days.
The more we studied in God’s Word the importance of publishing, the more we saw that this work was indispensable. Soon the Lord began challenging our minds and expanding our understanding of what constitutes the publishing work.
Imagine with me if Facebook were a country, it would be the 4th largest in the world. Now suppose we want to use this social media network to share a written Bible study; the button to make it go public to the world is called ‘Publish’. On Google+ (another online social media network) the button to make the Bible study go viral to the world is also called ‘Publish’. On YouTube, the name of the button to make our videos go public to the world is. . . you guessed it! ‘Publish’! Now, with the click of one button, we have the ability to publish the Word of God to millions of people around the world, like the leaves of autumn! This is ‘Modern Publishing’ my friends.
A concern we see with traditional publishing is that the amount of souls we can reach is limited to the quantity of publications we print. Even if we outsourced the production of our publications through established publishing houses, the expense, inefficiency, and limitations of traditional publishing, make it less than practical for us to reach the amount of souls that need to be reached with the light of the Everlasting Gospel. Therefore, we decided to “publish something better”. We call it “Modern Publishing”.
While Walks with God Ministries is still a publishing ministry, we have prayerfully decided that it is far more effective, time efficient, and practical for us to stick with what we do best; being an Online Media Ministry. We are not only still publishing the word of God, but now, in just a short space, we have already been able to expand our outreach to tens of thousands more people who would have never seen the message through the printed page alone. Through Modern Publishing Work, we have been able to share the gospel with almost every continent in the world, from countries like Brazil in Latin America to Uganda in Africa, Canada in North America, several European countries, Australia, India, and China! Even hostile countries – previously thought of as inaccessible like Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia are increasingly responding to our online evangelism endeavors and methods. Each country listed here has contacted us personally to let us know of their great appreciation for the efforts we have put forth in laboring for their countries! The experts have spoken, again and again; we are living in a digital age. So many people in this generation are transitioning to a more electronic medium for reading and researching every day. Should we not, as Jesus did, reach the people through their most familiar associations?