SCBC WILL LAUNCH NEW LIVEIT MAGAZINE IN JANUARY 2014
That’s the name of the new online, interactive monthly magazine produced by the South Carolina Baptist Convention (SCBC) staff to launch in January 2014. LiveIt replaces its printed forerunner, FOCUS, and LiveIt gets its name in support of the new SCBC theme, Great Commission Living, which was approved by messengers at the November 2012 annual meeting in Columbia.
Of LiveIt, Roger Orman, one of the associate executive directors for the South Carolina Convention and who gives leadership to the Communications & Mission Development Team, says, “We wanted a product that continually reminds us to live out Christ’s Great Commission to us in Matthew 28:19. All of our work as South Carolina Baptists points toward making disciples of Jesus Christ, and this new magazine, even in title, reminds us to go live out the Great Commission. Live it, live the Great Commission.”
Since the launch of Empowering Kingdom Growth (EKG) in 1992, South Carolina Baptists have been particularly focused on the Great Commission with a convention staff focus on serving churches. A part of that church service has been and will continue to be communicating with church leaders and communicating resources and services.
In 1992, about a decade before most churches were on board with Website communication, the SCBC used direct mail products to communicate with churches. Those products included the Church Staff Leadership Packet or Pastor’s Packet; a monthly, themed four-page publication titled Church Staff Digest; and, later a quarterly product titled Resource Quarterly.
In 2008, the convention consolidated those direct mail products into FOCUS magazine, a quarterly publication supporting the convention’s them of Experiencing Kingdom Life. In March 2012, Orman’s office expanded FOCUS to a monthly publication with content themed around subjects like missions, collegiate ministry, evangelism, church health, and church planting.
“While LiveIt will be an online magazine, we aren’t completely walking away from direct mail to our churches,” Roger says. “About the 15th of each month, we will mail an abstract version of the magazine to our database of more than 16,000 church staff members and key church lay leaders. The mailer will include the SCBC calendar and digested stories. Those who are interested can then go online and view the expanded, online issue of LiveIt.” LiveIt will be compatible with all desktop computers, Droid and Apple smart telephones and tablets, and Amazon’s Kindle.
“The new product will not be thematic like FOCUS has been,” Roger says. “Moving away from the thematic approach allows us to have news and resources in front of church leaders in a more timely way. We are going to focus on suggested ‘how to’ information, possible ‘pot holes’ one might want to avoid, points to ponder and discuss, and very practical information. It’s going to be exciting.”
It’s also going to be very different. Using online technology and all its capabilities, LiveIt will include:
• Links to downloadable PDF documents on the convention Website;
• The ability to forward magazine stories to church members and friends in ministry and share those stories through social media;
• A customized video platform so that video, as appropriate, can take over the entire magazine page;
• Regular features such as church administration, women’s ministry, youth ministry, evangelism, prayer, and discipleship to mention a few; and,
• Interactive components designed to encourage participation, including: RSS feed of Twitter communication sent out from within the magazine; a convention calendar that is updated in real time; instructional videos built into the system; and, animation that can be used to emphasize messages.
“Even though the monthly mailer won’t go to every South Carolina Baptist, every South Carolina Baptist will have access to the magazine and anyone can subscribe to an e-mail distribution list,” Roger says. “The monthly e-mail will remind everyone when an issue is live on the Internet. Viewable on a desktop computer, smart phone or tablet, each giving a customizable interpretation of the data, the LiveIt magazine will be at one’s immediate access through mobile apps (Apple, Android, or Kindle) and by way of one’s computer.
Roger says, “Even after the magazine is launched, the digital format allows the convention staff to easily capitalize on the full potential of digital communication. We will easily be able to continue growing this product and make it better. One of those ways, coming in 2014, will be online learning videos that will serve church leaders.
“The goal of this product is to continue the convention’s legacy of servicing and resourcing churches as churches seek to communicate the Great Commission under the theme of Great Commission Living,” he says.