When most news outlets report on a natural disaster, conflict or world events, they write the story without one important ingredient: hope.
But for the past 30 years, Mission Network News has offered another perspective to Christians who want to stay on top of what’s happening in the world. The small team of reporters based in Grand Rapids, Mich., covers current events through the lens of the Great Commission, offering a message of hope in even the most difficult circumstances.
“We’re trying to help the body of Christ have some context and awareness of what is happening in the world so they know better how to be praying — how to understand what a global body looks like,” said Ruth Kramer, general manager and executive producer at MNN.
Kramer has been a steady voice on the team for more than 24 years. During that time, she has seen some big changes in the operation.
MNN began as a product of World Concern. Later, Cornerstone University acquired MNN and moved the newsroom to Grand Rapids where the once-a-month broadcast became a daily broadcast. In 2016, OneWay acquired MNN, turning it into a virtual newsroom.
“It doesn’t look like it should fly, but it does,” said Kramer, comparing the news outlet to a bumblebee.
Through all of these changes, MNN has remained a listener-supported radio broadcast with the same goal as when it started: to report on current events through the lens of the Great Commission.
Mission Network News operates similarly to a typical newsroom in many ways. Each day, the staff makes connections with sources across the globe, getting details on international events that are unfolding.
Kramer then assigns stories to writers and plans the broadcasts for the day, and the staff goes about researching their stories and interviewing sources. By 4 p.m., they go into pre-production and production to record their broadcasts.
However, one important truth sets them apart from a typical newsroom, Kramer explained.
“At the end of the day, the bricks that we make in our stories don’t define us,” she said. “Being a member of the body of Christ defines us.”
With this distinction in mind, MNN sets out with the goal of encouraging other members of the body of Christ to make Great Commission actions based on the broadcasts they hear: pray, give, go, advocate.
When bad things happen in the world, most news outlets report the stories without a Christian perspective. MNN reports the news through the lens of hope, inspiring Christians to find their place in the story and ask God to show what He wants to accomplish as a result.
Kramer hopes listeners of MNN will pay attention to the stories in the broadcasts that get their attention. The stories that resonate in someone’s heart often reveal where God might be calling the listener to action.
As a ministry organization that actively encourages and equips listeners to fulfill the Great Commission, the team often faces spiritual attacks, Kramer said.
“We’re encouraging believers to do something more than what they were doing before,” she said. “We’re encouraging them to get out of the pew, to be foot soldiers. The devil doesn’t like that.”
Pray for the staff of Mission Network News as they face these attacks regularly.
Kramer also asked for prayers for the funding of MNN and God’s continued provision.
“There have been a lot of times where I look at it, and I’m like, ‘This is flour and water,’ “ Kramer said. “ ‘It will sustain us, keep our heads above water, keep the lights on, and keep the mic open.’”
MNN stories can be heard on hundreds of Christian radio stations, at mnnonline.com, via Apple podcasts or as a skill on Alexa by saying, “Alexa, play Mission Network News.”
Would you like to partner with MNN in their mission to keep a Christian perspective in the news? You can make a one-time gift of any amount or become a monthly supporter at owm.org/donate.