By Mark A. Taylor
Some assume a magazine’s editor is alone accountable for the insights and errors that have appeared in its pages. But as I write this, my last editorial for CHRISTIAN STANDARD (indeed, my last piece of any kind as an employee of Christian Standard Media, known as Standard Publishing during almost all my 41 years here), I know better.
I must share credit, along with some blame now and then, with a long list of encouragers, examples, and givers of advice. And in this space I have room only to summarize.
I think first about a decades-long line of former and current colleagues, men and women serving sacrificially with excellence to achieve a simple goal, producing true-to-the-Bible resources to build the local church.
Oh, the stories we could tell! I traveled across the country with them. With them I unpacked and repacked uncounted hundreds of boxes filled with Standard items for display at conventions and workshops. I brainstormed with them about book titles and advertising slogans. I worked with them to conduct training seminars. I collaborated with them to communicate the church’s needs and wants to corporate managers whose decisions would determine our funding to serve.
They taught me how to be careful with words and with ministry. They showed me that publishing is not first about authors or editors but about readers we have the opportunity to teach and encourage and equip.
For the last 14 years I have depended on colleagues and collaborators to help with my final assignment: nurture a longtime friend—150 years old last year!—to meaningful engagement in a time of constant change. Standard’s Publishing Committee, whose names are listed for the last time in this issue, has repeatedly sought ways to continue this ministry. I have appreciated their support, but I absolutely could not have produced this magazine without the ideas and advice from its contributing editors. Before their names also disappear, I must go on record with gratitude deep and profound for their prodding, friendship, and willingness to help.
Meanwhile, managing editor James Nieman’s steady hand, calm demeanor, and concern for detail has created an excellence unrecognized—it would have been noticed only in its absence. I couldn’t have asked for a coworker more congenial or quietly competent. (Thankfully, his name will remain with our masthead!)
Even greater is my gratitude to our readers and the local churches where they serve. They represent a fellowship that grows more dynamic every year. My highest privilege has been giving their leaders a voice and their accomplishments an audience through the pieces we’ve published here.
They will continue to take positive steps, as will this magazine. And as I finally retire from my editor’s desk, I look forward to watching with you what God does through all of it in the challenging future before us.