The Stone-Campbell Movement, of which the Disciples of Christ (my home tradition) has a lot of great slogans, such as "We're Christians Only, Not the only Christians" and "No Book but the Bible, No Creed but Christ." There is another slogan that goes like this: "We don't have bishops, we have editors." That adage emerged early on because we were in our origins a rather loosely knit group with no official structure. We did, however, have influential leaders, who while not having official titles had journals that they edited. Alexander Campbell had two such journals, theChristian Baptistand later the Millennial Harbinger. Barton Stone edited the Christian Messenger and Walter Scott The Evangelist. Later on other journals would emerge, some of which became official or semi-official organs of different parts of the movement. These included J.H. Garrison's Christian-Evangelist, which was the precursor to the Disciple, the last official Disciples journal, and Isaac Errett's Christian Standard, which still exists and is a primary magazine of what is called the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ. A number of journals emerged that were edited by more conservative elements in the movement, which gave birth to the Churches of Christ -- journals edited by Benjamin Franklin, Moses Lard, and others.
The Disciples of Christ today have equivalents to bishops -- a General Minister (Rev. Sharon Watkins) and Regional Ministers, but we no longer have an official magazine. In fact, we've been without one for sometime, but Disciples World, a separately funded and run journal existed for several years but finally stopped publication. That reality has led many of us in Disciples circles to wonder out loud about what should take its place. There doesn't seem to be any money or support for reestablishing a print magazine, whether official or unofficial. Most of the options available are electronic and all lack official sanction. There is, for instance a number of blogs that are designed for Disciples. These include [D]mergent, to which I've become a contributing writer. There are blogs like mine or that belonging to Keith Watkins' that are written by Disciples, but which have a broader focus. There are Facebook groups and fan pages, and there is The Intersection, which is part of the Ning Network. That network was launched as an adjunct to Disciples World and is the sole remaining part of that effort. It is, however, in an uncertain place, for there is concern for costs and oversight.
So, maybe we are entering into a world of many editors, none of whom have official titles or support or recognition, but who speak from within (but never for) the movement. The question is this -- how do we stay connected? How do we communicate with a sense of common purpose? We value unity and speak of ourselves as a "Movement of Wholeness in a Fragmented World" (more about this later). But if we don't have an official "organ" and there is a multitude of voices, how do we speak to the world and each other?
I'd like to open a conversation, and if you are a blogger and are part of the Disciples of Christ tradition, then give a description and leave your URL! Let's see who our modern editors are!