I love magazines. Sometimes I think that I blog because I'm pretending I'm a magazine mogul. It's been a lifelong regret that my college class schedule didn't allow me to take the Magazine Publication class offered at my school. It's the one that got away.
Reading the most recent issue of Christianity Today has me enraptured all over again. What is it about magazines in print form that still charm us, even when everyone's getting their news and gossip online?
Musing in this vein caused me to wonder, is there an excellent magazine for Christian teachers in public schools?
I've seen many publications for Christian teachers who teach in Christian schools. I've seen dozens of fine publications for teachers of all sorts who teach in public schools. But where's a magazine specifically geared toward public school teachers who hold to the Christian faith?
Why would such a magazine be important? For the same reasons blogs like this one and books like Dalene Vickery Parker's are important. Because Christian teachers in public schools need encouragement and help from each other. Sometimes they need perspective. Sometimes they need legal advice. Sometimes they need assurance, or fresh ideas, or a reminder why they're in this calling to begin with.
Could such a magazine make a go of it? Would it succeed and thrive? I don't suppose anyone in publishing would recommend launching a print magazine of any kind right now. The market for magazines is not steady, with print subscriptions down significantly. Online subscriptions are on the rise, though, experts say. One of the biggest hurdles is competition from free online media, complete with video content. According to Thad McIlroy on The Future of Publishing, "The shift of ad dollars to the web is perhaps the biggest problem facing broad-circulation magazines today."
I don't know if my imagined magazine would succeed in print form in today's market. If someone would launch it, though, I know what it should look like.
The magazine would be glossy and image-filled. Everything in its pages would offer encouragement, beauty in the midst of harsh realities, and direction for Christian teachers in public schools. Profile articles would follow teachers who are navigating the stormy waters of America's schools well. Intelligent reporting would cover the news on religious freedom issues, education trends, and conferences worth attending. And many voices would be heard, with many perspectives on the issues that face teachers today. It would be a magazine for every Christian who teaches in public schools.
I don't know why the blog post on this topic right now. Like I said, it's on my mind. But so is Luke chapter one, where two women were blessed by God and given children miraculously even as their little corner of the world experienced a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Maybe this magazine is not a reality yet, but maybe God will bring it to pass. Maybe I need to start praying.
What magazines do you love? Does a magazine like the one I'm describing exist? Please leave a comment.