The late Grand Ole Opry host Roy Acuff used to tell performers, “Sing the one that got you here.”

He knew the Opry crowd wanted to hear the hits and sing along with the familiar words.

However, if no one ever sang a new song, there’d be no new hits to become classics.

So the balance is to stay close to the familiar and trusted while venturing into the new. That philosophy is playing out with the exciting July 1 launch of Good Faith Media.

Have you changed over the last 37 years? If you’ve logged that many miles of living, the answer is surely, “Yes!”

While remaining the same person throughout life, each of us changes through times and circumstances.

Times were certainly different in April 1983 when the first edition of “SBC Today” rolled off the press. There was no accompanying website, no blogs, no social media.

The new, independent, national newspaper had its primary focus squarely on a denominational crisis. Reliable, unrestricted information about the issues at play were needed and welcomed.

Then, in the aftermath of the Southern Baptist Convention succumbing to fundamentalism, the publication gave voice to those shaping a new future rooted in historic Baptist principles of freedom.

A better name was needed for this refocused mission: “Baptists Today.”

That was the name of the publication when I took editorship 20 years ago with the charge to lead the publication into a hopeful future.

With the help of many, and through significantly changing times, the publishing ministry of Baptists Today Inc. expanded and evolved even more.

The journal took on a fresh, magazine look with original content including informative and inspiring features and thoughtful analysis of issues impacting Christian faithfulness and congregational life.

Along with the journal, expanded offerings – a Bible study curriculum, books, resources and group experiences – were all rebranded as Nurturing Faith.

A confession: This was not the result of a well-designed and orchestrated strategic plan. Rather, we just stayed nimble and alert, seizing good opportunities that arose.

Last year, a remarkable new opportunity surfaced – thanks to the vision of the Baugh Foundation and the facilitation of others – that would strengthen our efforts by bringing the resources of Nurturing Faith and those of EthicsDaily into one new organization. Enter Good Faith Media.

However, through all the evolution and expansion over the years, and now moving into this new realm, not everything has changed. The grounding values and purpose remain.

At the busy intersection of a shifting culture and evolving technology, we hold fast to the long-held commitments to truth telling, critical thinking, biblical justice, individual dignity, freedom of conscience, religious liberty and a free press.

These principles are rooted in our Baptist heritage but, most importantly, in faithfulness to our primary call to be followers of Jesus. It is his life and teachings that we seek to elevate above all other allegiances.

Good Faith Media gives us a broader, bigger, better platform for doing more effectively what we’ve long been called to do. With your support, we will do so faithfully.

Sure, some things will change, but our mission remains the same. We’re still singing the one that got us here.

We haven’t changed our tune, but the band is bigger and some new voices have joined in. And we’re going to add some verses to the familiar chorus.

Come on, sing along!

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