When I felt led to start a small church magazine, I barely knew what
God had in store. That magazine released 36 years ago today, so I
thought it was appropriate to reflect on what’s happened, and more
importantly what is on the verge of happening as we move boldly into the
Many of you know Charisma started at a megachurch in central
Florida. I was working full time as a newspaper reporter then. My, how
the media world has changed! The staff found this in the archives: a
black-and-white photo of me holding a copy of The Rock, a youth newspaper that I published before Charisma.
They had me hold an iPad to show the contrast. Back then I could have
never imagined today’s iPad! Yet I dreamed that maybe somehow we’d reach
a million people. Do you know how many trees you’d have to cut down to
print that many magazines?
So from 1975—before the personal computer was invented and a time
when the electric typewriter I used was considered
high-tech—fast-forward more than three decades and now Charisma (and our other magazines) are available in digital format that’s almost beyond belief.
This is your invitation to be a charter subscriber to Charisma Digital.
In mid-September it’s available on the iPad; in mid-October it’s on the
Android. About the same time it will be available as single issues on
the Nook and Kindle.
I got an iPad a few months ago and I enjoy reading magazines on it.
It’s a pleasant experience—a lot nicer than sitting in front of a
computer screen. (I’m reading The One Year Bible every day on my
iPhone!) Of course Charisma Digital has been available online
for more than a year and still will be. We sent it as an attachment to
an email, and we sent it for free. Many of you like it. Most of you have
never seen it. We developed a horizontal format to make it easy to
read, and people in the industry even complimented and copied the way we
did things (the sincerest form of flattery).
most of the magazines available digitally are almost all secular and
many are nasty. We will be one of the first Christian magazines out
there, and our voice is needed. In the last month Al-Jazeera and the New York Times
have quoted us on controversial spiritual issues such as spiritual
warfare or Christian Zionism. This shows that our voice is being heard.
But to move ahead we need your support. In fact our vision is to get
100,000 subscribers right away. Then we’ll have the momentum to grow and
reach out even overseas and make not only Charisma available, but many other specialty magazines. The possibilities are endless.
We’re devoting our October issue to highlighting how ministries are
now using digital technologies in new and exciting ways. For example,
TBN is launching iTBN, which is like Hulu with every TBN show ever
aired. When Paul and Jan Crouch started two years before Charisma
did, they could have never imagined such a thing. I remember how they
almost didn’t make it until people caught a vision for the need for
Christian TV and its potential to reach the world.
Magazines like Charisma—and Christian Life before
us, going back to the ’40s—have been limited by the need to print on
paper and pay the post office to deliver. It’s costly and time
consuming. Now the Postal Service wants to cut back post offices, days
of delivery and also go up on rates. But now our day has come! We can go
around the world instantly via the Internet and Wi-Fi and be delivered
to your computer, Nook, Kindle, iPad, etc. and soon the iPhone too.
We put our digital version on hiatus for a few months until we could
work out a better way to deliver it to you. We’re finalizing our app
called “Charisma Media,” which is how we’ll deliver all our magazines to
you. The cost is about the same as print. When you subscribe you get
access to all the platforms so you can read it when you want to, where
you want to. And the experience includes videos, links, music and ways
to order things that aren’t available with ink on paper.
Now it’s available and I’m asking you for a show of support by subscribing now.
Our vision is to reach 1 million people with the message of the power
of the Holy Spirit, to stand for righteousness and to encourage people
to radically change their world. If this resonates with you, go ahead
and subscribe early. It’s a show of support. We’ll notify you as soon as
these new platforms are available. And if you’re not happy you know you
can trust us to give your money back.
Think of the ways we can advance the gospel. Think of the witness we
can be in a marketplace that barely hears the name of the Lord, let
alone the power of the Holy Spirit. I know you support many ministries.
We are not asking you to support us with a donation, but your subscription is a huge blessing and for me personally it will be a show of support.
A month or so ago I sent out a tweet saying we planned to launch the
digital issue and asked who was interested. Five people actually
subscribed sight unseen. (They are a part of our beta test as we perfect
the product.) So you can’t literally be the first, but you can be a
charter member by subscribing before Dec. 31. You can also help us by subscribing for friends or by forwarding this to others you think love Charisma and want to see it on the iPad and these other platforms.
The technology is changing fast. Sometimes our supplier delays or
Apple will toss a curve ball, so it’s possible these dates will be off.
But we’ve worked hard and we feel confident we can deliver a good
product. We need you to be flexible though, and help us and even give
feedback. We can’t wait to offer subscriptions until every bug is worked out.
Is this appealing to you? Do you want to be among the first? Do you
want to support our vision to provide spirit-filled journalism not only
to the body of Christ but also to the world? If so, sign up today.
Founder Charisma, 1975
Founder Charisma Digital, 2011