The  "Let's-Add-Value-To-Our-Business-Community, Anti-Fundraising"  Concept


Youth Group. Men's Ministry. Short Term Mission’s Team. Women's Ministry.
Christian School.
Entrepreneur Club. Senior Class Trip. PTA Group. Home Schoolers.
~ a great church-school or home-school entrepreneurial project ~


    1st LEG: Church Growth, Evangelism & Outreach

    2nd LEG
: Fund Development ($5,000 donation to church-related ministry).

    3rd LEG: Local Pastor Connecting with the Local Business Community around Church.

    4th LEG: ANNUITY CONCEPT: Opportunity to receive revenue for years to come.

~ Better than any car wash, bake sale, or just about any other fund-raising concept out there ~

(men's group, youth group, women's ministry, etc.)


up to 25,000 FREE MAGAZINES
(not one penny taken from your church budget)

Manute Bol                                   Joni Eareckson Tada


Cover photos used by permission: NBA Photos and Joni Eareckson Tada


e v e r y d a y    i s s u e s    f o r    e v e r y d a y    p e o p l e

How would you like to receive a donation of $5,000 for your
ministry, while developing a FREE outreach tool for your
church, along with an opportunity for business owners in
your congregation and community to connect with
the mission of your church?


The answer?

~ a proven, high quality magazine -- timely...yet timeless ~
everyday matters® magazine
"everyday issues for everyday people"









A local, private-labeled edition of everyday matters® magazine can be used  as an outreach tool by your congregation -- in your community -- with zero drain on your church budget.
Too good to be true? Keep reading...

This timeless magazine is designed for most any church.
 (especially smaller to medium-size churches)
...even a new church plant!

Love This Mag

"A Remarkable 32-Page Conversation-Starter"

Designed to help people start meaningful, non-weird conversations
with co-workers, next door neighbors and strangers.

::::::::::::::::  10 Month GOAL  :::::::::::::::::
One million magazines being used for outreach within 10 months








E X E C U T I V E   S U M M A R Y

1. From Joel Freeman, the originator of the idea for The Shepherd's Guide -- stated by some to be one of the the more successful hybrids of church and business in North American history.
2. A community outreach magazine designed for the modern seeker that pays for itself through advertising. Already 50,000 copies in circulation, with the goal of one million copies in distribution by the end of the year...being used to help Christians share their faith in their local communities throughout the country by the end of the year
3. A unique, win/win model for subsidizing any project (EXAMPLE: short term mission team in a local church, plus funding projects and support for the missionaries they visit.)


i. Church Growth, Evangelism & Outreach.             ii. Raising Funds.
iii. Connecting with the Local Business Community.

Whether your day is cloudy or bright
We want to help you fight the good fight.
See everything as its meant to be seen
In Everyday Matters Magazine.

  We a number of options. For instance the two editions available showcase an insightful cover article with Joni Eareckson Tada (BGEA movie, Joni) and another cover article with Manute Bol (7'7" NBA star from Sudan). And we will be creating at least 2 new editions every year.

  Everyday matters® magazine is designed to be a free educational outreach project from your church to your local community – with an emphasis on strengthening the families in your community.

  A proven, private-labeled magazine of this quality is something that the average local church can only dream about...until now.

  Nothing in the magazine is time-sensitive, which makes it an evangelistic outreach tool that can last for 18-24+ months, until the next edition. We view this magazine as a gift to local churches...in more ways than one.

   Picture Jesus with the woman at the well. He began talking about something natural to the woman – water. Water was his conversation-starter.

  And then He eventually brought the conversation around to the kind of spiritual water that quenches all thirst forever. Everyday matters® magazine is a great conversation-starter!

  Like one woman said, "I went to the grocery store to share Jesus and while I was there I picked up a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread."

  To help provide conversation-starting material, we have identified 50 felt need topics that will inform the types of articles we will publish in future editions. Here are some examples of those articles: 

  • Cyberbullying & Online Harassment

  • Raising Kids Without Raising Your Voice

  • Caring For Aging Parents

  • Men and Their Emotions

  • Benefits of Drinking Water

  • 20 Reasons You're Not Wealthy

  • Identify and Prevent Teen Suicide

  • Real Marriage: Fight Less, Love More

  • Five Things to Consider Before Disciplining Your Child

   Are you ready for something like this to impact your congregation?



   I understand and I am very respectful. Allow me to reframe this picture. Most churches and Christian schools have a hard time connecting with the local business community (not a judgment; merely an observation).


   Some general market business owners may perceive that all churches want is something FROM them…or are going to preach AT them.


   Car washes, 5 kilometer walks, and bake sales (seriously...2 bucks for a small brownie?) really do not add a whole lot of sustainable value. They are pure, unadulterated fundraisers with little to no ROI for those who have donated. Just another observation.


    In fact, some donors might think...or even say, "Why bother with all that other stuff? Just ask me for the money."


   This magazine project provides a great way for your church to receive a donation (or offering) of $5,000...PLUS reach out with a magazine that hopefully will bring greater traffic to businesses in the community. Adding real-world value to business owners.


   It has been said: "Where God guides, He provides." Very true. Could it be that perhaps God is allowing your organization to know about this magazine project for a reason? It's a remarkable provision on a number of levels.

   Ask me about the 50/50, win/win concept -- designed to help missionaries and other faith-based non-profit organizations -- while at the same time helping your congregation advance its mission.

   Plus when the magazines are printed, it will be wonderful if a few of the church leaders (including the senior pastor) would actually be the ones to deliver 100-200 copies of the magazine to each advertiser – personally thanking them for participating in this magazine project. 


   Who knows what kind of conversations and long-term friendships might emerge from such a hands-on outreach to members of the business community?


    I actually hope that most of the advertisers are not members of your church so that you can connect with business owners in the community. I also hope that your church will place the magazine, along with all of your local ads from the magazine on your website to add value to your relationship with them -- helping to drive customers to their business enterprises.


    If I am a business owner, I might even be tempted to come on over and visit one of your services…or call your church for counsel if tragedy strikes my family.




What if you were able to utilize this magazine project as a way to give all or part of the $5,000 donation to a missionary or non-profit organization?


  The articles in these magazines are purposeful -- designed to address “felt-need” issues:

  • Cyberbullying & Online Harassment

  • Raising Kids Without Raising Your Voice

  • Caring For Aging Parents

  • Men and Their Emotions

  • Benefits of Drinking Water

  • 20 Reasons You Aren't Wealthy

  • Identify and Prevent Teen Suicide

  • Fight Less, Love More

  • Five Things to Consider Before Disciplining Your Child



   Ready for a paradigm shift?  Whatever you are thinking about a regular magazine model...throw it out the window. This magazine model is totally different -- thriving while other magazines are shutting down the printing presses and turning to digital delivery.

   Most church-sponsored magazines are designed for a Christian readership. Some church-sponsored magazines have such a religious look and “Christianese” feel to them that the average man or woman on the street may be turned off at first glance.

   NOTE: This magazine is a great way for your church to connect with the marketplace in your community – something a lot of churches do not do very well. (Not a judgment. Merely an observation.)

   We have deliberately designed this issue to have the look and feel of a professional, general market magazine, motivating unchurched people to open the cover to read its contents, check out the ads and perhaps even consider visiting the sponsoring church...your church. It is a multi-culturally astute, non-denominational resource developed to help a follower of Jesus start a conversation with most anyone.

   And that's not all: Also, you can place these same articles on your church website -- along with links to all of the advertisers in your private-labeled edition of this magazine. PLUS, writers in your congregation can publish articles (about raising kids, aging parents, cyber-bullying, etc.) for your website giving an even greater local connection to the online delivery of this magazine.

  Need an exceptional door-opener for knocking on doors in your community? Need a relevant handout for your booth at the next county fair? Need a different kind of a family-friendly resource to bulk-mail to new home buyers in your region every month -- with a letter from the pastor, inviting the recipients of the magazine to visit your church the following week?

  This unique 32-page magazine can energize the outreach of your church – paid for by ad sales and distributed FREE at grocery stores, doctor’s offices, hair salons, banks, barber shops, auto repair garages, local businesses and neighborhoods.

  It’s a win/win/win/win scenario, benefiting:

   —  your ministry receives a guaranteed $5,000! (once all 43 ads are taken)
   ---  readers of the magazine
(high quality, practical and informative articles)
   —  business enterprises
(ads for marketing their businesses)
   —  congregation
(growing in their desire to share their faith in their everyday lives)
   —  church as a whole
(more visitors, personally invited by congregational members)

...everyday people living their everyday lives...
"I went to the store to share Jesus. While I was
there I picked up a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread."

"I drove to the gas station to share Jesus.
While I was there I filled my tank with gas."

"I went to the dentist to share Jesus.
While I was there I got two teeth filled."




 You want to fund an outreach to your community.
You want to provide malaria nets for a village in Africa. 
You need brand spanking new windows in the sanctuary.
You are looking for creative ways to pay off the mortgage.
Your school students are planning a class trip and need funds.
Your youth group wants to participate in a youth conference next Fall.
Your home-school students are looking for an entrepreneurial project.
Your congregation needs to install a new lighted sign out front by the road.
You want to drill a clean water well for a village in some remote corner of the earth.
You want to donate all or part of the $5,000 to a missionary or non-profit organization.
You want to provide a 50/50 scholarship for congregation members to experience their first short term mission team next summer.

You get the picture...

 Allow me to introduce myself. I am the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of everyday matters® magazine. I  have pioneered three churches (in Maine & Maryland), along with launching mission outreaches from our church to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Joel A. Freeman -- BIO

 I also served as chaplain for the NBA Washington Bullets/Wizards for 19 years (1979-'98). I came up with the idea for The Shepherd's Guide (business directory) 32+ years ago.

  As a former senior pastor (18 years) and President of The Freeman Institute (est. 1993), with travels to 55+ countries around the world...I will not waste your time. And I encourage you to ask tough questions. I am laying my credibility on the line. I designed this project, knowing what it would take for it to be viable – especially for smaller to mid-sized churches. Once we talk and you read the fine print, you will understand why I believe that this is a remarkable gift, especially for a local church.

  I have addressed pretty much every question in a confidential FAQ document. It is pretty comprehensive. Ask me to email it to you. The more questions you ask, the greater clarity you will have as to the authenticity of this project. No smoke. No mirrors. Call me...410-729-4011.

  We have done most of the heavy lifting by creating a very cool 32-page (semi-gloss paper, 9” x 6”) magazine designed to help church members start “non-weird” conversations – sharing their faith -- with people in their everyday lives.

  I want to offer you the opportunity for your ministry group to receive a donation of $5,000, along with your congregation receiving up to 25,000 copies of this magazine for FREE to distribute freely to the community. Your church will also receive a free half page ad.

  IMPORTANT: The revenue from ad sales allows us to make you this offer. Here's how you can receive the $5,000 and up to 25,000 copies of the magazine for outreach. The ministry within your church will have some very fun "sweat equity" in this project.

  The revenue produced by ad sold to business owners by your youth group, mission's team, men's ministry, or school basketball team allows us to develop the graphics, printing and delivery of up to 25K magazines to your church. Plus we will give you $5,000 for your efforts.

  SIX ways your church wins ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  1. A FREE AD: The church has a half page ad in a prominent upper right-hand spot on a page in the magazine -- strategically placed at the end of the cover interview.
  2. PRIVATE LABELED: Also, we will place the logo of the church on the lower right-hand part of the front cover of the magazine (Courtesy of XYZ Church). It's your call. We want to make sure that your local identity is clearly known to the readers on the front, the back and on the inside.
  3. ADDRESS OF CHURCH ON BACK COVER: Your church name will be on the back cover as a return address for bulk mailing. We'll need your USPS bulk mailing permit number.
  4. CHURCH LISTED ON 2nd PAGE: On the 2nd page of the magazine, the name and website of your church will be listed in your special edition.
  5. UP TO 25K MAGAZINES: A remarkable tool for outreach to your community. It's your choice as to how many you believe your church can handle for distribution -- between 15K and 25K magazines.
  6. ONLINE LINK: We hope that you choose to place the contents of the magazine and local ads on your own church website. We will provide a link from our website (EDMmag.com) to the page dedicated to the magazine on your church website.

BIG QUESTION: How do we get leads for ads in the magazine?

   I'm glad you asked. There is a difference between your warm market and your cold market. I do not want your team to work too hard. It would be great if all of the ads could be sold “warm market” – through church/business relationships -- without having to knock on doors.

   WARM MARKET: These are people and/or entities who know the church, do business with the church and/or have a business relationship with any of the congregation members. The first thing you should do is ask the pastor if you can give a 2-minute talk about the magazine in front of the congregation. We can help you with your speech if you want. In that presentation you will want to ask at least two questions:

    a). Who in the congregation owns a business and wants to advertise in this magazine?
    b). Who in the congregation has a family lawyer, dentist auto repair, grocery store, etc.?

  Obviously congregation members will not have those names with them at the church service. Tell them you will be using the church directory to call every member of the church throughout the next couple of weeks, asking them for contact info of the people they do business with on a regular basis. Dentists, doctors, auto mechanics, lawyers, insurance agents.

  Call each business connection, letting them know they are in an elite group that gets first rights for the ads in this special edition.

  The next part of the warm market is to ask the church administrator for all of the entities the church does business with right now and has done business with in the past. EXAMPLE: Who did they buy the stone from in their flower patch? Who paved the parking lot? Who provides health, property and vehicle insurance for the church? Who provides maintenance for the church vehicle(s)? Who installed their new windows last summer? Who installed the new carpet in the foyer? You get the picture.

  Remember, the $5,000 coming to your ministry from this project is going to supply funds for whatever you are wanting to accomplish. Business owners who are familiar with the integrity of your church will want to help you accomplish your goals. Plus, their business will be showcased in a very practical magazine. Everyone wins...

  COLD MARKET: Once you have exhausted the warm market, it may be that you will not even have to enter into the cold market. You might sell all the ads in the first few days. But if this is not the case, there are business owners in the region who pass by the church building every day. They know the building and congregation exist and will be happy to participate by purchasing an ad – especially once they understand the distribution model of their local edition of everyday matters® magazine.

   The members of the ministry adopting this project will be energized to ask business owners in the congregation and in the community to purchase an ad. Authors in the congregation will want to market their books. Plus there even might be some people who will want to purchase an ad space in the memory and honor of a loved one who has passed on. There are a number of options...

  All you have to do is sell 43 ads to business owners within your community -- forty 1/8 page ads and three cover ads (inside front, inside back and the back cover). Your ministry group will receive a guaranteed donation of $5,000 after the last ad has been sold.

  Plus, your church will receive FREE up to 25,000 copies of the magazine...to be used as an outreach tool. You can't beat it!!!

  REAL WORLD EXAMPLE: Our church printed 25,000 copies of this magazine. We sold all of the ads within 3 weeks during a tough economy. And all we had was a mock-up of the front cover to show potential advertisers...along with our big smiles.

  In contrast, you now have a completed magazine to show potential advertisers an example of the finished product. That's too easy!!!

  About 65% of the ads came from businesses outside the church. They loved the concept! But, as mentioned above, I believe that just about all of the ads can come directly from warm contacts within and through your congregation.

And that's all there is to it...

  The latest statistics on church membership indicate that there are approximately 350,000 churches in the United States, with an average membership of 75. This magazine is perfectly designed for smaller to mid-size churches around this average size.

 *ATTENTION SMALLER CHURCHES:  We also know that some smaller or more rural congregations may feel 25,000 copies are way too much for them to handle. If that is the case, the market research we have conducted indicates that 20,000 or even 15,000 magazines is still a great ROI (Return On Investment) bargain for the advertisers. So we will provide the number of magazines within the 15K -25k range that works best for each local church.

  When handing the magazine to a co-worker, a neighbor, or a stranger in everyday life, a congregational member can mention, “Check out the ad for our church on page 9. If you visit, I’d love to sit with you and introduce you to some of the other people.” Plus, members of the congregation will now have a practical tool for reaching out to people with conversational evangelism.

  Using the magazine, church members grow in their passion for sharing Jesus wherever they are...in an easy-going manner that makes it effortless in starting an interesting conversation and doesn't turn people off.


"Former NBA Chaplain Offers Evangelistic
Conversation-Starters in a Tech Crazy World

click here to read article


Everyday Matters Magazine's "Doing Good While Doing WELL" Project

Click on photo to the left to learn about the remarkable, human-powered water drilling rig that is
literally transforming access to clean water in developing nations throughout Africa.

Help sponsor a Clean Water Drilling Rig for Africa.
By Africans for Africans. No donation is too small


  The everyday matters® magazine model is different. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Timeless content, with a felt-need emphasis designed to strengthen families.
  • Content driven magazine.
  • Self sufficient project -- ads sold covers donation, graphics, printing and delivery of up to 25,000 copies to church building.
  • Win-Win-Win general market appeal.
  • Advertisers LOVE it!!! Distribution continues until all copies have been distributed in a credible manner...even if it takes 18 - 24+ months to do so.

  The sale of ads is important for the funding of the printing for your local edition. But everyday matters® magazine is primarily "content-driven." Most publications like this have a mere 30%-40% content and 60%-70% ads.  

  In contrast, everyday matters® magazine has over 75% of it filled with excellent content and less than 25% ads. Our model is designed to work so well that advertisers will clamor to be a part of future editions. Why? Because there are fewer competing ads. That means more "eyeballs" per ad! An advertiser's dream.

  The magazine does not have the plan of salvation in it because it is designed to be a conversation-starter for followers of Jesus who can look for opportunities to share their faith. Their personal story and the plan of salvation is in their hearts.

How is the magazine distributed?

  Here are a few practical ideas:

  • After each service or Bible study, congregational members grab 10-20 magazines to serve as conversation-starters in their everyday lives. "By the way, feel free to take a look at our church ad on page 9. I'd love to invite you to visit next week. I'd be glad to sit with you and to introduce you to some of the other members of our church."

  • Twenty magazines in a doctor's office will go like hotcakes. Congregational members will adopt certain places of business to make sure that quantities of magazines are restocked in grocery stores, doctor's offices, hair salons, auto repair shops, etc.

  • The 43 business owners who have purchased ads will give away 100s of magazines. "Here's a magazine you'll love. By the way, feel free to check out our ad on page 18. We make the best widgets in the country!" 

  • Hundreds of copies of the magazine can be bulk-mailed to new home buyers and or to all of the home owners within a limited radius around the church building...every month. A letter from the pastor can be included with each magazine, inviting the recipients of the magazine to visit the following week -- with the promise of a free gift if they mention the magazine as the reason for their visit.

  Imagine a young mother at a fast food restaurant, with her young child next to her. You sit down at the next table. A few minutes go by and then the child suddenly proclaims loudly, "Mmmm, these fries are good!" You look over. The mother smiles broadly with a mixture of pride and embarrassment and you both make some small talk about the crispiness and tastiness of the fries. You then give her a magazine. It all happens so naturally and doesn't feel rushed or pushed.

  "Thank you," she responds. She looks at the cover and immediately comments, with a laugh, on the title of the article, Raising Kids Without Raising Your Voice. "I could have used this article this morning!" she says with a bit more laughter. This could very well be the way to start an interesting conversation about raising children.

    A conversation-starting article

  As she turns to the article she mentions that having a child has changed her life in many ways. She is surprisingly open.

  After a few minutes of give and take you hear yourself responding to a specific thing she has just said, “Yes, I remember my own children growing to the age when they were asking a lot of questions. Their inquisitive minds were working overtime. And it was exhausting sometimes! They would ask stuff like, ‘Who is God?’ or ‘What happens after we die?’ or ‘Where is heaven?’ Those were tough questions to answer. (pause) By the way, how would respond to questions like that if your daughter were ever to ask them?”

  Interested in learning more about a ministry in your church (men's, women's, youth, etc.) raising $5,000 and your church receiving FREE up to 25,000 copies of everyday matters® magazine for outreach and distribution? Email me. Tell me a little bit about what interests you,  including an overview of your church when you request more details. Ask for the FAQ document to be emailed to you.

  Do you want an actual review copy of the 32-page magazine? If so, indicate that in your email to me...along with the best mailing address. The magazine will be mailed out to you right away.

  By the way, everyday matters® magazine is a great win/win concept for church-related entrepreneur clubs. Check out the emc2 entrepreneur club website to learn more.

  THERE IS ANOTHER OPTION: This magazine project is growing and expanding! If you live in in an area where an account executive resides, that person can take care of selling all 43 ads for you. It's your choice. I am sure that you can understand that the person selling the ads has to be paid for their time and energy. If this is a better option for you…your church will not receive the $5,000 donation (I will use those funds to pay the account rep). Your organization will still receive the private-labeled quantity of magazines you want for outreach.

  ATTENTION CHURCHES in Canada, Australia, NZ, Singapore, South Africa, parts of Europe and many of the Caribbean nations. Please let me know if you are interested in doing this magazine project in your country. Email me. I look forward to the reality of Bible-believing churches all over the English-speaking world utilizing this unique model for outreach...for such a time as this. It's all about making Jesus famous!

  (I am very open to the "anglocizing" that will be needed to make the wording of the magazine work in some parts of the world like UK, NZ and Australia, etc.)

  Thank you for allowing me to parachute into your day...

     100,000 Blessings,
     Joel A. Freeman, Ph.D. -- BIO
     Editor-in-Chief, everyday matters® magazine
     Private line: 410.729.4011  Cell: 410.991.9718   Email

P.S. The everyday matters® magazine model is our expression of love for local churches.  Also, if your church is looking for seminars on a wide range of topics, visit CHURCH CRAZY.


In the development of the magazine there are three aspects that we have anticipated:

  We are all growing in what it means to share Jesus with others. None of this is static. Hopefully the person who is terrified with the thought of sharing his or her faith today will be less timid a year from now.

   1. Some Christians are absolutely frightened about having direct contact with people when sharing their faith: No direct contact with people is required. Quantities of magazines can be placed in grocery stores, doctor's offices, etc. We trust the Holy Spirit to draw readers to the church ad on page 9, encouraging readers to visit the following week where they will hear the clear gospel message. The church ad is placed in that prime spot because it is right at the end of the cover article.

   2. Some Christians are ready and willing to share their faith and are looking for openings to do so: The primary purpose of the magazine is to be utilized as a tool for starting a conversation. Like Jesus, with the woman at the well, a follower of Jesus can start talking about one of the real-life topics covered in the magazine. They can then watch how the Holy Spirit opens the doorway to share their faith in Jesus.


   I have read over the magazine several times and tried to weigh the pros and cons of our church lending its name to it.  While I applaud your attempt to put Christian literature into the public arena, I frankly do not see the benefit that something like this would be for our people.  Although it is attractive and well-produced, its content is less evangelistically-oriented than what I would want to place in the hands of those whom our church hopes to reach. 

   In other words, unless I missed it (and I have looked several times) as an outreach tool there is no mention of Jesus Christ or how one can know Him as Savior and Lord.  That is the mission of our church, and I don’t see how the magazine helps in that regard.  The “self-help” articles are just that, providing no direct biblical counsel.

   I am familiar with none of the contributing writers, their credentials, or their relationships with Christ.  Therefore, I am leery in recommending them to our folks.
   Even the ads do not call attention to Jesus.  Bottom line, one is able to read this and never know that he is reading a “Christian” magazine.  It is more on the order of Guideposts or Readers Digest than a means of making Christ known to the nations.
   Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to review the publication.  I hope these words will be received in the spirit in which I share them. I am open to talking with you.



   Thank you so much for taking the amount time you have taken to review the project and also for responding so completely with your comments. I am impressed and very honored by your attention to this project.
   You raise some excellent observations that deserve a response. Perhaps I have not provided enough clarity about the purpose of this rather “out-of-the-box” project. I will be as succinct as possible.
Four main purposes of the magazine:
   1. OUTREACH, EVANGELISM and CHURCH GROWTH – What is the best way for members of our congregation to start a meaningful conversation with an unsaved family member, co-worker, neighbor or complete stranger?” That was a question I asked when I was pastoring. I also took great pains to train our people to share the Gospel in a relaxed manner, once an authentic conversation was started.
   I may not have developed the final answer, but this project has been designed to help Christian leaders do what they do so well...without taking one penny from any church budget.
   A number of years ago I embarked upon a quest to develop a resource that would provide a non-denominational, contextualized way for reaching people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The good news of His coming to provide forgiveness of sins through the shedding of His blood for all who will believe (Colossians 1:14; Romans 10:9). Lived on earth. Crucified. Rose the third day. His sacrifice was payment for our sins, which provide the ticket to eternity with Him in heaven. He demonstrated power over sin, death, Satan, demons and hell. Now that’s good news!
   The magazine is a resource -- deliberately designed to be a tool for everyday Christians to engage people in meaningful, non-weird conversations without the picture of a pastor or a picture of a church building or some other religious symbols on the cover...or the 4 Spiritual Laws/Roman’s Road...or articles about theology showcased throughout the publication. People at street level are turned off by that packaging. However, most church magazines I see have those elements in them. It seems to me that those types of magazines are designed more for Christians than anything else. It is my belief that we as Christians preach and sing to ourselves far too much.
----- JESUS with WOMAN at the WELL -- The model for the magazine is Jesus with the woman at the well. He first engages her with something natural...water. Jesus didn’t come out of the gate wearing an “I Am The Messiah” T-Shirt, asking her where she would spend eternity if run over by a camel. Ha. Water was something to which she could relate. And then the conversation shifted to a well that never runs dry.
   I am hopeful that the leadership of any church that does this magazine project will teach their people how to share Jesus effectively once a meaningful “water” conversation has been initiated.
   The articles are specifically designed to engage all sorts of people in conversation -- men, women, teenagers, millennials, boomers, professional, blue collar, et al.
   What about the authors of the articles? Excellent question. I conducted the interview with Ben. One of the other articles is from a woman who is Jewish (wrote a terrific article on child raising). Two other articles are from experts in cyber bullying and taking care of aging parents. Archibald Hart...a terrific Christian Psychologist...wrote the article about men and their emotions.

   Since I am not trying to teach theology in the articles, I select articles that are designed to engage people in “Jesus-with-the-woman-at-the-well” conversations. Articles in future editions will be about parenting, teen suicide and other felt-need issues. You may never know the pain of a stranger until he or she is engaged in conversation. 

   This project is designed by me...a former senior pastor for 18 years...who wanted to create a resource for smaller to mid-sized churches who probably would not have the financial horsepower to create a world-class outreach resource like this. I have the infrastructure set up to do all of the heavy lifting on the back end of this project – setting ads in their respective places, printing and shipping magazines, and creating new editions for future use by your church.
   2. AUTHENTICALLY CONNECTING YOUR CHURCH WITH THE LOCAL BUSINESS COMMUNITY – It is my observation that most churches seem to have a rather awkward relationship with the local business community. Rather than going to business owners asking for donations of sheetrock, paint, carpet and finances...I am thinking that it is so much better to come to those business owners with “We want to help drive traffic to your business. We also will be placing your ad on a special place on our church website, with a link back to your business. Plus, we will be showcasing every business at least once in our church bulletin. How can we better serve you?”
   Wow! If I am a business owner who hasn’t darkened a church door since that last wedding or funeral. And I go through a personal tragedy 6 months later. I will have your number on my speed dial when calling for help.”
   I am actually hoping that most businesses who come on board with this project are either unchurched or unsaved. What a great opportunity to cultivate genuine relationships with these business owners. Perhaps you will end up launching an entrepreneur club as an outreach to business owners within your church and the community. Who knows what can come of your collaboration with local members of the business community...
------- FREE GIFT -- I am also hoping that the pastor can write a short open letter with a picture of the church on it...inviting readers of the magazine to visit the church. At the bottom of the open letter you can place a coupon for a free gift. Perhaps you can order 2-3 cases of, let’s say, a Chuck Swindoll book. Ushers can hand a copy to first time visitors who provide a coupon fro the magazine. That way you are measuring the ROI of the magazine.
   3. FUND DEVELOPMENT – This is a very exciting aspect. Some churches abhor fund raising. Some churches love fund raising. Either way, this project forks. This is the anti-fundraising project, with two main components:
   a). Part of the reasons for the ads is to provide a natural vehicle for connecting with the local business community. I am hoping pastors do not miss this important opportunity.
   b). Another reason for the ads is needing an economic engine to drive the project. No ministry without a business side to it. I wanted to create something that would not need to take one penny from a church budget. Instead I wanted to add funds of this magnitude to a local church.
This project embodies the annuity concept. The hardest part of the project is the first edition. I would dare say that a year or 1.5 years later, 90% of the advertisers will be clamoring to get into the next edition.
   4. A PURPOSEFUL PROJECT: There are many stories of groups doing car washes, bake sale, selling chocolate bars, 5 kilometer walks and still only having raised a mere $613.75. And I am wondering about the purposeful aspect of projects like that.
   This project provides a real-world way to teach life lessons. Think of a youth group wanting to send a mission team to Honduras. The youth pastor can use this project to discuss some valuable lessons before, during and afterwards: Dealing with rejection. Dealing with objections. Encouraging each other when things don’t seem to be happening fast enough. Perseverance. Starting a project and then finishing it. The group satisfaction of a job well done.
   If, for instance, a group of teenagers learn to “sell” they can be successful in any other pursuit in life. (Anyone who is married “sold” somebody! Ha.)
   Plus, this has much more meaning than any other way to raise funds. Why? Because the group within your church that adopts this project will get the satisfaction that they are not only raising funds but they are also providing a tool – up to 25,000 magazines – to help the entire congregation to step outside their personal comfort zones...inviting people to church, sharing their faith and reaching out to the community with a relevant and refreshing, “non-churchy” resource church members can be proud (and motivated) to share with others.



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