Discipleship and the New Lookout
Discipleship and the New Lookout

By Jerry Harris

As the publisher of both Christian Standard and The Lookout, I have been tasked with reimagining the magazines and what they are supposed to accomplish. Christian Standard is primarily focused on ministry from a leadership perspective, so I know that leaders are primarily reading this. You are the decision makers, the ones with the sacred responsibility of caring for the flock of God. Like me, you want to have the very best tools at your disposal, and so providing you with the best tools is our goal at Christian Standard.

We want to leverage the power that comes from our unity by networking you into a fellowship of church families all committed to the same mission. We want to encourage you with successful models of ministry and offer you access to them, inspire you with great stories of what God is doing through his people, and equip you with practical tools to help make your ministry flourish.

When I assessed The Lookout early last year, I saw many similarities between it and the former Christian Standard. The main difference is that The Lookout had the Uniform Lesson series—also known as the International Sunday School Lessons—and associated columns and features. I knew that for more than a century, The Lookout had been used primarily as a Bible teaching tool, and so I sought to expand that aspect of the magazine to be a more relevant discipleship format that could be used in multiple ways.

I thought about a person’s need for a daily quiet time with personal Bible study, the necessity of developing an organized prayer life, and the value of a Bible reading plan. I thought it important to retool the lessons and applications with questions and discussion starters to energize Sunday school classes, small groups, and Bible studies. I thought of how important these concepts and disciplines are for the next generation and how The Lookout could fill that need. The changes you now see in The Lookout are the results of that desire.

I want to take a moment to challenge you as a leader. What if we could empower churches, groups, and individuals to implement these disciplines? How would it change the way we function as a church? How would it impact our communities and our worldview? How would it shape our gifts and abilities, our use of time, and our giving habits? What if we were unified within our churches in what we were learning in order to magnify its effectiveness in our maturity and our unity? What if that were spread out to multiple churches all reading, praying, learning, sharing, and putting into practice these discipleship principles?

God has placed you in a role as a church leader and decision maker. I would like to challenge you to put The Lookout to work in your church and in the lives of the people with whom you have been entrusted. Investing $25.99 a year (less in bulk) or encouraging your people to make that investment as a group for 52 weeks of lessons, applications, questions, Bible reading plans, and inspiring stories that apply the character and mission of Christ could pay priceless dividends for your people, your ministry, and the kingdom.

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The Lookout FAQ

When did The Lookout start?
In 1888! The magazine was originally called The Young People’s Standard when the first issue was published 130 years ago.

Why did you go to a monthly format?
We didn’t. There are 13 issues in a year with 4 weeks of material in each issue.

Why did you reduce the size of the magazine and print size?The print size is the same as before. The smaller magazine size is designed to carry with your Bible.

Why don’t you include the Bible verses in the magazine?
We want Christ followers to develop the commitment of using their own Bibles regularly. We also don’t want to get caught up in translation arguments.

What’s with the dots?
We use the dots in our design so readers and learners can keep a straight line when writing or drawing. We take styling cues from a younger generation while concentrating on theologically sound and proven content.

Do you know that printing on dark backgrounds can make it harder to read?
Yes, we do. This is an unprecedented time in human history when five generations are all living at the same time. We are doing our best to appeal to the largest audience possible, and printing black on a white background exclusively can get boring.

How long will it take to read through the Bible with this plan?
It will take one year to read through the Bible and six years to study through the Bible using our material. Imagine being able to study every verse and read through the Bible six times in six years!

Who are the churches and ministries listed in the prayer section?
They are churches like yours which are using The Lookout for discipleship.

Why was it necessary to change it? I liked it the way it used to be.
We hear you. However, we want to reach future generations with discipleship material, and the older format wasn’t accomplishing that. We need these disciplines now more than ever.

I have a question you didn’t answer.
We’d love to read it and learn from it. Send it to CS@christianstandardmedia.com.

Click here to learn more about The Lookout.

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