Tim,” you may be asking, “didn’t you get the memo? This is 2018. It’s the time of Twitter and Instagram and Facebook and Tumblr and LinkedIn. What are you doing putting together a magazine? And printing it on paper? And putting it in the mail? That is so last century.”
It’s a fair point, I guess. Certainly print publications don’t get the kind of buzz that Twitter feeds do today. But recent studies actually suggest that small, focused print publications—think alumni magazines or community periodicals—are actually doing well, and that people read them and appreciate them.
One of the reasons for this might be that social and online media have some built-in downsides. Distracting ads and links, for example, designed to make sure you don’t stay focused on any one thing for more than a few seconds. Or a built-in tendency to reinforce polarization in our culture by encouraging people to easily gather into like-minded groups and engage in name-calling with people who disagree with them.
Print publications like this one, on the other hand, offer readers the opportunity to read at a more leisurely pace, without so many distractions. And they give us, as a church, a platform for some longer pieces and articles—things that might help nourish and nurture your faith life beyond the important, but shorter, calendar-based items that tend to fill our monthly print newsletters, bulletin announcements, and Facebook posts.
So—despite the overwhelming prevalence of social media and the Internet—we actually think the magazine format is particularly timely and appropriate for us today. We’re reminded, too, that Christians have always been more than happy to use all forms of communications technology to share our story and our message (see sidebar).
We’re really excited about Inspire, and hope you like it too. If you do, then—once you’re done with it—why don’t you consider sharing it with someone else? The world needs what we have to offer here at St. Philip the Deacon, and our prayer is that this magazine will not only strengthen and edify you—but also will help some more people find their way home to this amazing, beautiful family of faith. Happy reading!
Grace and Peace,