Mayukha Perera’s passion for discipleship training and biblical teaching found purpose when, in 2009, he accepted the position of director of Back to the Bible Sri Lanka (BttB Sri Lanka). The mission of the organization is to communicate the message of the Bible through media and technology. Following God’s leading, he ventured into the complex world of TV and radio broadcasting, podcasting, and publishing.
Because BttB Sri Lanka’s media outreach includes magazine publishing, Mayukha was excited when he heard about Magazine Training International’s Magazine Publishing Institute in Bangalore, India, in 2011.
With four of his team members, Mayukha traveled to the conference, where he studied the business of magazine publishing. The experience was eye-opening, as he realized that although BttB Sri Lanka had taken on many “good” ministries, some of them did not help fulfill the mission of the organization.
“MTI helped us articulate our mission and purpose,” Mayukha said, “and now we are more focused.” For example, the devotional guide published beautiful stories, but Mayukha encouraged his team to fine-tune the content to be sure each devotional article not only sites a verse or passage, but provides a better understanding of that Scripture.
The training also had practical benefits for the team. The designers and editors were encouraged to improve the design and editing of the ministry’s publications. They were inspired to see what other Christian publishers were producing and developed long-lasting friendships with other conference attendees.
Since then, 15 team members and associates have attended 23 training events onsite and online and downloaded 41 online resources. This ongoing ability to train team members is important to Mayukha. “Our biggest challenge is finding qualified people to work for the ministry,” he said. “We are not able to pay high salaries for top talent.” This means Mayukha must find people with passion and heart for the ministry and develop their skills through training. MTI’s online resources help Mayukha achieve this goal of developing his team members’ publishing skills.
BttB Sri Lanka publishes seven magazines to promote biblical understanding to a variety of audiences. The three flagship Bible teaching magazines for adults are published in Tamil, Sinhala, and English. It also produces a youth magazine and a pre-evangelistic magazine for non-Christian children. The magazine became popular with Christian children as well, so the team produces a special inset to meet the needs of that audience.