by Justin Lonas
Must come to an end, so the saying goes, but it is often so that the Lord can use them in a different way.
This time has come for Pulpit Helps magazine. The December 2009 issue will be our last printing, but we're only moving in a new direction, not going away.
What's Happening, and Why?
Our story is little different from that of the many other publications, both Christian and secular, which have stopped printing over the past several months. Our costs have rapidly outpaced our revenue, and advertisers are increasingly unwilling to purchase print.
Additionally, we are reaching a far smaller audience than we once did-Pulpit Helps' subscriber rolls have decreased by nearly 50% in the last 5 years.
The end result is that the magazine has for all of 2009 run a deficit of several thousand dollars each month, and our parent organization, AMG International, can no longer afford to make up the difference with ministry funds. We've cut costs wherever possible and tried our best to draw in new readers and otherwise increase revenue, but the broader economic situation has frustrated all our efforts this year.
Even though print is no longer an option for us, Pulpit Helps' vision to equip, encourage, and challenge all who study and teach God's Word will be given new life as Disciple, an electronic-only publication designed to serve you and your churches at a much lower cost to our organization. AMG will begin producing this bi-weekly e-magazine in December, after Pulpit Helps' last issue has been mailed.
Disciple will feature regular columns by many of the writers who have encouraged you for so long in addition to opening up many new avenues for discipleship from respected theologians, pastors, authors, missionaries, and AMG's family of Christian workers serving in all parts of the world.
Additionally, we are in the process of building a searchable database of all 34+ years of sermon starters, illustrations, and bulletin inserts from Pulpit Helps at www.sermonhall.com.
This decision to bring this chapter of the story of Pulpit Helps to a close has not been made lightly or quickly. This shift to a low-cost publication means that all of our support staff will be losing their jobs when the last issue is completed, and all of us would greatly appreciate your prayers through this time.
What about My Subscription?
We'd love for every one of you to stay on with us as subscribers to Disciple and members of sermonhall.com, but we recognize that not everyone has access to a computer or is comfortable reading online.
With that in mind, we have arranged with Christianity Today International for you to finish out your subscription term by receiving 1) their flagship publication, Christianity Today, or 2) their quarterly ministry publication, Leadership Journal. If you'd like a new source of fresh sermon materials, you can also choose to become a member of 3) their sermon website, www.preachingtoday.com.
As a paid Pulpit Helps subscriber, you will receive the full term of your subscription through whatever avenue you choose. Please e-mail email@example.com with your selection no later than November 5, 2009.
If we don't hear from you, you will automatically be given access to Disciple and sermonhall.com for the duration of your subscription term.
Thank you for your faithful support through the years-we wish each and every one of you the best for God's glory in your ministry, and we hope this change will give us many years to continue serving you.