The year 2020 was extremely difficult for all of us, with challenges that reached into nearly every part of life and work. With most church buildings closed down for some time, it wasn’t surprising many church leaders allowed their Christian Standard subscriptions to lapse in order to cut costs and get past the pandemic, with thoughts of reassessing the relationship at a later time.
We’ve been doing that same type of thing at Christian Standard Media—we’ve been figuring out ways to cut costs while providing the very best window into the world of church leadership and life in the Restoration Movement. During the last four years, we’ve moved from for-profit to nonprofit, completely changed the look and feel of Christian Standard magazine, moved from a subscription-based to an advertising-based business plan, merged what were previously two magazines into one, greatly enhanced our online and digital platforms, and developed the only up-to-date digital database of Christian churches. We have provided our content and database digitally and without cost to you. We are incredibly thankful that so many of our readers have stuck with us through all of these changes.
In spite of the pandemic and the attrition of print subscriptions, Restoration Movement Media (Christian Standard Media) is the closest we have ever been to covering all of our costs in providing these resources to you. So, we are asking you to be patient with us and continue to partner with us as we move forward.
Starting in May, Christian Standard will become an every-other-month print magazine. (The first bimonthly issue will be the May/June issue.) While this will reduce the total number of issues annually, we will be providing even more content through our bimonthly magazine and online. This change will substantially reduce our printing and postage costs, and it will allow us to cover our costs for the first time in many years. We plan to redeploy some of that cost savings to bolster and expand our up-to-the-minute newsgathering efforts on our digital platforms—website, newsletters, and social media outlets.
Christian Standard Media has a number of touch points with our readers: Our print and (free) online versions of Christian Standard, our website containing our magazine archive and resources, several weekly newsletters and a daily Bible-reading/devotional newsletter, ccchurchlink.com (our up-to-date interactive digital database of all of our churches), and our social media platforms. With more than 40,000 contacts in our database and nearly 300,000 interactions since January, we know there is both a need and a desire for what we provide. Christian Standard’s 155 years of rich history comes with a responsibility to not just be caretakers, but to continue to tell the compelling stories of our movement for years to come.
One additional change is to convert The Lookout from an in-magazine resource into weekly Bible studies published on our website and eventually in single yearly volumes. The Lookout’s scope and sequence leads participants on a 6-year journey through the Bible; we have completed 2 years of this journey. We intend to publish 6 total yearly volumes so that Sunday schools, small groups, or Bible studies can have more flexibility with how and when to use these lessons.
Would you help Christian Standard Media by remaining faithful in your subscriptions? Would you interact with us on social media platforms, “liking” us and sharing our articles with your friends and acquaintances? Would you encourage your church family to follow us so they can gain a better understanding of the larger worldwide family of churches connected to the Restoration Movement? Many of these actions can be done without cost.
When we work together, we are stronger and better resourced to share the life and eternity-altering message of the gospel. The Restoration Movement has always been a unity movement, and we need those cords that hold us together, even as we cherish and maintain our independence.
I want to thank The Solomon Foundation, who in 2017 took it upon themselves to bear the financial burden of preserving this magazine and its history, all of our faithful advertisers, and all of our readers who believe in this movement and want to stay current on how it is impacting our world. I also want to thank our staff, who gracefully adjust to these changes with a great attitude and who consistently employ their gifts to this kingdom work.