It is now just over 18 months since we launched Gateway News with a deep sense of calling to provide a daily news service that would bring a much-needed Christian perspective into the South African news realm.
With no budget, no team of writers, no track record, it was a fairly daunting challenge. But God has been faithful in providing us with excellent volunteer writers and awesome advisers and partners. It has been a time of sifting and settling during which our vision and task have become more clearly defined. It actually thrills me today to be able to share that our vision is to publish news that builds faith in Jesus Christ and empowers Christians to maintain a Biblical worldview in a secular society. I can also state that by faith we see our first task as reaching every Christian in South Africa with quality, local, national and international Christian news and news from a Christian perspective.
As the Holy Spirit has shed more light on our road I have learned some lessons about the practical benefits of holding to a simple, clearly defined vision.
Our vision directly informs the news and views that we publish. Like any news service that aspires to build a reputation for credibility in an age of information overload, we aim to publish articles that are accurate, well-written and balanced. But the real cruncher comes in deciding what to publish and what to leave out. More and more often when weighing the merits of a potential article I am guided by holding it up against our vision statement. The old newshound in me may be itching to publish a juicy item of Christian news: but I may decide to drop it because it fails the vision test. Or I may get an article that makes me feel uneasy because I know it will offend some readers but as I hold it up and see that it is in line with our vision, I know I can publish with confidence.
Our vision also helps to avoid becoming a “pushmi-pullyu” organisation. The pushmi-pullyu, for the benefit of younger readers who have never come across Dr Doolittle books or movies, is a fictional creature with a head at each end — and when it tries to move both heads try to go in opposite directions. Because we are able to communicate our vision clearly with potential partners we are in the happy position of walking with men and women who are pulling together in the same direction. Seldom does a week pass without us finding (or being found by) somebody with whom we share significant common ground and a desire to co-labour. We are very aware that we need many more like-minded partners to complete our “impossible” assignment. We need more writers, more news sources, more champions to help grow our readership, more advertisers and more financial contributors. We trust that God will raise those vision partners and I invite you to contact me if you feel stirred to join us in any way.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” — Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)