This is my favorite time of the year.
In many countries and cultures, this is the time for giving thanks and giving gifts. Parents and grandparents are planning, dreaming—scheming, in a nice way—of how they can put shining smiles on the faces of their children. They are eager to see those young eyes sparkle. Kids are playing their parts too—not so subtly dropping hints. In the Northern Hemisphere, where I live now, the intensity of summer has surrendered, and the harvest has been gathered. Ready at last for winter, we enjoy the amazing colors of autumn. For those in the Southern Hemisphere, where I used to live, the daylight hours have mercifully lengthened, and the chill of winter has passed. The warmth and newness of spring have arrived.
Around the globe, hope and anticipation are in the air. Whatever our faith, we sense the potential of the times.
Open almost any portion of the Bible, and you will also find reminders of gift giving and thanksgiving—from the earliest pages of Genesis, with its gift of a new, beautiful planet to humanity, to the closing scenes of Revelation, with the promised gift of a new heaven and a new earth. The Bible makes it clear that our past, present, and future are gifts from the hand of the Creator. Any heart attuned to God is a heart filled with gratitude.
At Ministry, we also find that our calendar is filled with thanksgiving and gift giving. We produce a world-class, practical, and professional journal for clergy, and friends and donors from around the globe generously provide the funds to put Ministry in the hands of thousands of faith leaders from every imaginable background. Overwhelming numbers of our readers receive Ministry as a gift through generous donors. We give thanks for this generosity, as do many of our readers. One pastor recently told us of his gratitude:
If I were to pay for all the years your excellent publication has been sent to me free of charge, I would owe thousands of dollars. It has followed me from Missouri to Kansas to Texas for more than 30 years. May the Lord bless that person or group who have made this possible.—John Chandler, Texas
If you are blessed by receiving Ministry, do us a big favor and visit our Web site, www.ministrymagazine.org, and tell us what you appreciate most about the journal. Your feedback assists us in developing an ever-improving product.
While everyone in the publishing industry has been belt tightening for the last few years, we are thrilled to tell you that every pastor who has asked for a complimentary subscription to Ministry has received it. This has not been easy, but we praise God for this—and thank our donors. If your clergy friends would be blessed by receiving a complimentary subscription, tell them to visit our Web site and request one of their own.
When you visit our Web site, please also share the topics or issues you think we should address. Take the time to tell us how you think we can improve. If you would like to write an article, let us know. Writer’s guidelines are available on our Web site.
And if, for some reason, you would rather not receive Ministry, visit our Web site and tell us to cancel your subscription. While we want Ministry to have a broad circle of influence, we would rather not send a gift if you do not wish to receive it.
Like the seasons, Ministry is also changing. In 2012, we launched MINISTRYinMOTION, a weekly podcast and television program exploring best practices for your ministry. We have already produced more than 80 programs. Each 28-minute episode features dynamic speakers, gifted leaders, and ministry professionals who bring fresh insights and cutting-edge ideas to your ministry. Some of the shows already produced include the following:
- Growing a young-adult interactive Bible study group
- Effective principles of communication
- Balancing church and family expectations
- Finding great sermon resources
- Situational awareness
MINISTRYinMOTION can be viewed on Hope Channel (DirecTV channel 368 for North American viewers) or on demand 24/7 at www.ministryinmotion.tv.
The apostle Paul said it best: “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you” (Rom. 1:8, NIV). We are continuously delighted to learn how the Lord is working in your ministries, which profoundly touch the lives of millions. Thank you for the gift of your life and service.
Anthony R. Kent
Director for Continuing Education
General Conference Ministerial Association