It’s Not About You, al


In my very first editorial in March 2008, I posed the question, “Why is this magazine still alive?” After two years as editor, I think I finally figured out the answer: Because it doesn’t need to be.

For 24 months I have felt the pain of other editors who have struggled through the same old questions: How can we stop the downward circulation spiral? How will we engage a new generation of readers? What new features can we add to appeal to a broader audience? What whiz-bang marketing strategies can we implement to revive our dear, declining publication?

In recent months the desperation has intensified as countless magazines and newspapers have either transitioned to online-only publications or completely closed up shop. Mere survival has been the frantic goal of sinking publishers as they cling to their last remnants of paid circulation flotsam. That’s not a very good place to be, nor a very compelling reason to continue.

So what finally liberated alife from this torment? One heaven-sent realization: It’s not about the magazine. Never was. Never will be. It’s about the message.

Yes, that’s right. You really don’t need this magazine to be a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. The Alliance doesn’t need it to expand its work into the world’s darkest places. And God certainly doesn’t need it to accomplish His purposes. Sad, but true. And probably not the motivational pep talk you were expecting from the editor.

But we all need the message. Penned by the Author of all that ever was and will be, the message grips and shapes us; prepares, equips and encourages us. It reveals the Author’s worthiness and faithfulness, His purposes and His plans. His power and His provision, His patience and His persistence.

On October 29, 2009, the C&MA Board of Directors approved a recommendation to transition alife from a paid subscription–based periodical to a complimentary publication. This bold action was taken in an effort to deliver the Alliance message to a broader segment of the U.S. Alliance family. Why? Because the deeper life in Christ (John 15:5) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18–20) are the two strands that form C&MA DNA—and the basis for this magazine. And completing the Great Commission will require the mobilization of every fully devoted disciple.

As long as alife remains true to its mission and message, we need not fret over circulation numbers or subscription income. We are no longer compelled to arm wrestle over limited resources to keep this magazine afloat. God has entrusted alife with His message. alife must entrust Him with its future.

You are holding the first complimentary issue in the 128-year history of this magazine. Under the deepening conviction that God’s people shouldn’t have to pay to find out how He is at work and how we can join Him, The Alliance will now provide alife to you at no cost. All we ask in return is that you treasure His message as a sacred source of encouragement and empowerment and heed His Spirit’s call to care for the physical and spiritual needs of the world’s lost and wandering.

We have long felt that there is room for a magazine presenting the work and progress of the whole Church, at home as well as abroad, and especially the evangelization of the neglected, with as much comprehensiveness and thoroughness as we have endeavored to give to the records of Christian missions. —from The Word, the Work and the World, January 1882 A. B. Simpson, founder of The Christian and Missionary Alliance and first editor of this magazine

Starting with this issue, alife will

  • increase its page count from 24 to 32,
  • be published every six weeks and
  • be distributed at no cost to as many U.S. Alliance households as resources will allow.

If this is your first issue of alife, we welcome you, and hope that this magazine proves itself a worthy channel for the message it carries.

If you’d like to support the ministry of alife by getting it into the hands of more people, please call toll free, 1-877-284-3262 (and choose option three), or e-mail me at alife@cmalliance.org.

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