Guide, the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s weekly publication for juniors and earliteens, has announced the launch of its new website and a mobile app.
“We’ve talked about an app for Guide magazine for years,” Guide webmaster Kim Peckham said. “It was a little strange that we didn’t have one available. Sort of like a large church not streaming their worship service.
“We had online content for our audience, but we wanted to make it easier for the current generation to access,” Peckham said. “We were grateful to connect with an anonymous donor who had a real passion for ministry to young people, and that person created a path forward for this project.”
Peckham explains that for years Guide has hosted a moderated, online community that gathers at the website on Sabbaths. “Now they can do it through an app,” he says, sharing that the magazine is reaching its fourth generation with character-building stories.
The new website will also focus on stories, but it allows any user to share their own story. So instead of just reading, users are also welcome to write for the web audience. “This grew out of a feature in our previous website called Talent Showcase, where we’d present poems and stories written by users,” Peckham said. “It grew so popular that sharing stories became the focus of the updated website and app.”
The revamped guidemagazine.org emphasizes stories and story writing. A new “Story of the Week” will engage readers and help them build a strong spiritual foundation. These stories are written by both regular Guide authors and young readers themselves.
The Young Writers Course, a kid-friendly approach to writing stories, is one of the premier features of the new website. “Participants can ramp up their writing skills by taking this fun and unique online course,” Guide managing editor Laura Sámano said. “This is a great opportunity for teachers to help their students improve.” The course, created by long-time Guide editor Randy Fishell, is available for free on the site.
Also new to the website is the inclusion of previous chapters of continued stories currently appearing in Guide. Posting chapters online allows readers to catch up on any chapters they may have missed.
The new website also unveiled Thumbuddies, a digital card-collecting game. Each thumb-shaped character has good and positive traits. The eventual hope is to provide a multilevel game that finds an assembled cast of characters going on a mission endeavor. Thumbuddies can be collected and safely traded online.
Another new feature at guidemagazine.org is a vast collection of the popular Tucker Barnes & Friends illustrated features. “Tucker’s hapless but loveable approach to life is on full display,” Fishell, who writes and draws the series, said.
Visitors will continue to enjoy a variety of past features, such as videos, games, Let’s Talk discussion forum, and vlogs.
Guide magazine has always been central to the experience of growing up Adventist. The new app will extend that ministry to a new generation, editors said. The app has been released on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.