Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Advice For Christian Standard.

I like  the Christian Standard   magazine.

It starts with the whole statement:

CHRISTIAN STANDARD has been resourcing Christian churches since it was founded in 1866. Now it is the principal magazine connecting these congregations in the farflung, nondenominational fellowship whose congregations are usually known as Christian Churches or Churches of Christ.

My prayer is it continues to be a voice for the Restoration Movement and its principles, not so much focused on resourcing,(More so connecting) nor glamour.

So here  some things I see can be improved:

I.  The current Christian Standard can  almost be mistaken for Christianity Today or some other publication and not so much on the Restoration Movement. Be that voice for the RM.

II. There tends to be 2 editors writing. I like their writings and voice, sometimes I wish they write as one voice.

III. It tends to be catered to the 5 - 15% of churches in North America rather than the 85% of churches that are 150 or less in attendance. (In fact it devotes 2 issues to mega churches, and medium size churches ...yet those struggling churches ... seem to be ignored)

IV. The writings seem more to ideals rather than practical in the trenches. (I see they are getting away from this though)

V. I'd like to see more practical tips, advice - not hey - buy our latest VBS, book etc. (We know your stuff from Standard publishing is great  - you don't have to sell it to us. The interviews are Great. This helps, and the News Buzz.)

(My applause does go to them on the them being on the Word of God this year)

Here's where I would improve the Christian Standard:

I. If you are resourcing - do it. Your website has a place for downloads - but there are none. Links are far and inbetween, and with our social media content - share it. No links to Christian Churches, info, colleges etc.

II. Feature other blogs, twitters, facebook pages of the week etc. I think the Church in the news feature is great but can be enhanced.

III. I knew the old Christian Churches today site was good but utilize it. CS has no link to that but has a good one to "Stake." This feature and website is a great tool.

IV. Have some good criticism and features you like ... like articles and links to other publications such as RH, Stone-Campbell Journal - even some from our Acappela brethen.

V. Online feature of not only Sunday School lessons but maybe more interactive. Like how are you using the material practically? There have been some great blog posts by some of our RH movement professors online ...might make a good feature.

VII. Make the Restoration Plea more visible in your website - not just the above statement but links or things about the history of the Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ. I think it is a mistake to not learn from where we come from to where we need to go. Otherwise, resourcing us - means nothing ... than just being another publisher selling goods. (and I know that isn't what CS, or RH wants to be known for)

These are just some thoughts from a minister in the trenches. I like the ministry of the Christian Standard and the Restoration Herald - both voices are needed. I appreciate the highlights of NACC, NMC and other features. Much like anything in ministry - let's see how we can improve and be better with what God has entrusted us with.

So often people tend to be very critical and negative of things .... sometimes it is good to hear people tell you "Keep up the good work."

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