Stop the Presses! It’s headline time! Can you believe it?! Fuggettaboutit!
USA Today ran two front page stories this week that–get this–involved no controversy, no negativity, no gossip, no political banter, no victims or villains and no one breaking the law!
Summer is a good time for books and book reviews, but I travel a lot and USA Today often passes for my summer reading. And this week, they get kudos for turning around the typical newspaper trend towards negativity and tabloid-like headlines.
First came a cover story about those who are giving their lives (in large chunks) to make a difference in the world. The story of Tom and Lori Wheeler’s trek–they gave up their suburban jobs to serve in Darfur for at least a year–made the front page above the fold.
“As a follower of Rick Warren, the evangelist who wrote the bestseller The Purpose Driven Life, Wheeler dreams of making Rwanda the world’s first ‘purpose-driven nation,’ it said. “Rick challenged us all to go out,(and we) wanted to serve God…to be part of something big.”
Then came a story about how churches are finally figuring out how to become more relevant to men! Seriously, it’s about time!
“Women outnumber men in attendance in every major Christian denomination, and they are 20% to 25% more likely to attend worship at least weekly,” said the story. Then it told of a church in Grapevine, Texas (outside Dallas) where the very construction of the church “was even designed with dudes in mind, from the worship center’s stone floor, hunter-green and amber decor and rustic-beam ceilings to woodsy scenes on the church website.”
The story went on to quote sources and site statistics that verify what us guys have known for a long time: churches (maybe not intentionally) seem to cater to ladies in many ways.
“They don’t know the Lord, and they don’t trust places with steeples,” said the Pastor of one of the featured churches. “They’re just struggling with the idea they have to get this or that right before they can come to Christ. I tell them, ‘You have it backwards. You come hang with us, and you’ll see.’ ”
These kinds of stories are uplifting, positive and faith-based. They are far more relevant than what some celebrity is saying or what some criminal did in some part of the country. It’s good journalism and I hope we see more of it!