My wife works in the food services world. One day not long ago, a tool sharpening salesperson came in to the establishment she works at, with an intriguing sales pitch.
After explaining what he offers his prospective clients, he left a card that caught her attention. On the back, along with a list of utensils he regularly sharpens, was this little blurb— edited for length, essentially saying,
“Since we have nothing (health, skills, resources or equipment) which we have not received, and since we are simply stewards of all of that God has given us, all of our services have been offered, since 1999, for free and without any obligation!”
He then offered some options in lieu of payment for services…
“—Freely you have received, freely give: receive our services freely, and give something you make, or a service you offer, to someone else... freely. Don't let the chain of love end with you.
—Set your own rate (for our services)… evaluate what you feel our service is worth to you, or what you can afford to give for it. If this is your choice, we'll be happy to receive and provide a receipt on request for what you're happy to give. We guarantee you won't find better rates anywhere!”
My wife recognized this person's “unbeatable rates”, as he put it, because those were the rates that we first charged for advertising. The only reason why we changed it to an “almost-unbeatable” rate of $10 a month or more (someone else could charge $5 a month), is because I’d like to give some kind of monetary gift to future contributors to the site, and because there are expenses involved with producing the site.
We differ from from the salesperson because our ad space is no longer free, but we do have this in common: the concept of clients paying what they feel our services are worth. They can pay more than the minimum if they feel the effect we potentially have on their business, or the effect we have on the Christian community, is worth the added value.
Which is why last month I wrote about our goal to increase our readership to 50,000 a month. The reason for hitting this goal is simple: to attract more advertisers.
There are business people who understand the purpose and vision behind Faith News, and we’ve had many support us already. But there are others out there who will support us because of our almost-unbelievable rate. We hope this creates a situation any business person will want to take advantage of. The benefits will be that obvious.
The other reason why our rates are almost-unbeatable is because while working for YFC/ Youth Unlimited, I met many business owners that couldn’t support me financially, because money was just that tight. There are a lot of smaller businesses out there that we can help, the kind of businesses that some readers would love to know about, if they were made aware of them! That’s where we come in.
By the way, the people that advertise on our site are good, honest people that our readers don’t have to be wary of. In other words, we're not trying to get just anyone to advertise on here. We want to give our readers quality stories and quality ads.
So to reiterate a point from last month: if you find what we print to be valuable and newsworthy, and if you believe our content helps in unifying and blessing the Church, let your friends know about us, and our stories. Don't let the chain of love end with you. Some of you are doing this, because every so often I hear from people I’ve never met. It makes me happy to know that you can refer our site to friends, and that your friends are not disappointed in what they find.
But let me add a point this month: if you have a business or product that you want placed in front of Niagara's Christian community— or if you know someone who does— consider using Faith News Niagara as a vehicle to do that. We want to be a blessing to Niagara’s Christians, including those who can use some almost-unbeatable promotion!
One last thought on this: despite all this money talk, our end goal is not to buy our own island or retire early. We just see how a tool like Faith News can be used to promote and bring attention to what God is doing in our communities. It puts us in a position where we can rally Christians, and their resources, around what God is doing in our communities. We see how this position enables us to help bridge gaps in the Church, and bring down walls that sometimes exist between denominiations, churches, and even Christians. This will always be the primary reason why we do what we do. Thanks for helping us do it.
And speaking of bridging gaps... since this is my last blog post before the May edition, it's my last opportunity to talk about One Church Beamsville’s community church service (yes, it has a name now). This is the service being held at Great Lakes Christian High School on Sunday, May 1st at 10:00 AM. If you’re from the area, make sure you mark the date on your calendar! The school address is 4875 King St. in Beamsville.
One Church Beamsville, as outlined on its website, “is a movement among followers of Jesus, in the town of Beamsville, that seeks to embody the unity that Jesus desired for his people.” One Church Beamsville is not about creating one big church out of all of Beamsville’s churches; it’s about recognizing the distinctives in Beamsville’s churches, and focusing on what unites those churches.
What does unite us, as Christians? One of the pastors at a planning meeting said something profound that, in my mind, answers that question. He said one thing that Christians can agree on is the idea and concept of outreach. Evangelism. Salvation of souls. Winning the lost. Introducing people to Jesus. However you want to phrase it, whatever language you want to use, that is one idea that I really can’t remember hearing disagreements about. We might differ on how to do it, but not if we should do it.
The One Church webpage cites a verse, one that I’ve shared in the past, to make the case that unity in the body of Christ creates an environment conducive to evangelism. John 17:21 quotes Jesus as saying the following to the Father: “…that all of them may be one, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, Father, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
Jesus wants “all of them”— all believers— to be one, just as he is with his Father. And if all of us believers are one in Jesus, in the same way that he is one with the Father, “…the world may believe” that Jesus was sent by God.
We want Beamsville to know Jesus, and that he was sent by God. Our hope is that this isn’t only something that unifies and blesses the Church, but that it also will be something that fleshes out this truth about Jesus in a tangible way. We hope it helps introduce non-believers to Jesus, as they hear and see a real-life example of outside-the-box Christianity: Christians having one service at the same time, in the same place.
If you are physically unable to attend, plans are in place to provide live streaming of the service on the One Church website. The video of the service will be placed on that site so anyone can revisit the day by watching it again, or they can watch it for the first time.
Let me leave you with this article that not only talks about the upcoming service in Beamsville, but a recent service just like it in Smithville. May God’s will be done in Niagara, as it is in Heaven. May God’s will be done through One Church Beamsville.