It all began when a group of mostly young adults, excited about Bible truths, got together on a late November day in Dorchester, Massachusetts, United States. The year was 1848. At that meeting Ellen White, one of the participants of the conference, received a vision that has shaped the ministry of Adventist Review (and Adventist World) for more than 170 years. After coming out of vision, she told 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.”¹
For the past 18 years Adventist World, the magazine you hold in your hands, has been part of the fulfillment of this prophetic message given to a small group of believers. With 1.5 million copies printed in seven languages every month, it adds significantly to the “streams of light” going “clear around the world.”² Add to that four additional languages offering a digital version of the magazine,³ and another 170,000 copies of the Adventist World digest printed every quarter in 25 more languages serving smaller language groups, and you can clearly see the reach of the “little paper” that was to “be a success from the first.”
There is more to Adventist World, though, than you may imagine. In this issue we’d like to introduce you to the family of Adventist Review Ministries (ARMies) products. Starting with the oldest thing in Adventism, the Adventist Review magazine, published continuously since 1849 (and with slight variations of the title name), we have embraced all kinds of media, including video, audio, social media, websites, as well as virtual reality and games, to communicate the everlasting gospel proclaimed by the three angels of Revelation 14.
MANY FACETS—ONE MESSAGE
We invite our viewers, our listeners, our followers, and—yes—also our readers to keep anchored in the Word and engage actively with a world that desperately needs to hear the good news of the soon-coming Savior who offered Himself so that we could live eternally. You will hear about our extensive news operation that helps us keep connected as we see how God works in parts of the world we’ve never visited. All news is not always good news, but as a family we learn to celebrate as well as cry together as we share in each other’s lives.
You will be blessed to hear about our extensive library of videos and podcasts that communicate the same Bible-based messages of hope as do the articles and stories in the print magazines. We are working hard to produce multimedia material that isn’t limited to English only. Many of our partner ministries around the world focus on different languages, and we are rapidly building our library of subtitled translations in several languages.
THE NEXT GENERATION
You too may be worrying about the next generation of Adventists as you consider our children, grandchildren, teenagers, and young adults. Research has shown that significant numbers are leaving our faith community. That’s why we started KidsView, a magazine for younger readers, now in its nineteenth year of publication, that Adventist Review subscribers receive for free. KidsView also reaches thousands of students at Seventh-day Adventist schools around the North American Division. We thought about the next generation when we decided to consistently use two pages of Adventist World to help grow the faith of younger readers.
You will be intrigued to hear about the work of our innovation lab and the creative ways we are developing to stay on the “cutting edge” of media and relevant to the next generation. Many of them spend significant time every day on social media. That’s where we want to meet them as well—including on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
Like me, you may enjoy holding a real book in your hand as you sit down to a good read. In 2020 we published 28 Ways to Spell Your Faith, our first volume of repurposed articles published over more than a decade in Adventist World. Portuguese and German translations of the volume are in the works.
In the following pages we hope that you will catch a better vision of the length and breadth of the ministry of our ARMies team. This ministry is not a conglomerate of disconnected initiatives or products, but is marked by intentional and close family ties designed to keep the global family of Adventists together and engaged in the mission God entrusted to that group of young adults meeting together in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
¹ Ellen G. White, Life Sketches of Ellen G. White (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1915), p. 125. ² The languages include English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Korean, Bahasa, and French. ³ The digital magazine can be read in Russian, Chinese, Kiswahili, and Papiamento.