Editorial: The end of the beginning

Back in issue #1 of The Briefing, in 1988, the feature article was entitled ‘Have Evangelicals lost their way?’ With this being our final edition ever, readers may be wondering: “Has The Briefing lost its way? Is there nothing left to say?”

To quote Romans 3:10, “By no means!”

Our decision to wind up The Briefing has been driven by a number of factors, mainly to do with changes in reading and purchasing habits, and a revolution in the publishing landscape. It’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly, nor without some sadness. As we keep bumping into people who tell us just how much they appreciate getting The Briefing, and how much it has helped them in their Christian lives and ministries, we wish that we could just keep serving our subscribers in this way.

But we can’t. Financially and practically, it’s not sustainable. Even more importantly, it’s not scalable. We’re still convinced of the need for a clear evangelical voice like The Briefing, and we want to grow and spread that voice more effectively in the years ahead. A paper-based magazine is simply not the way to do that these days.

In 2015, the role that The Briefing has played will be taken up and (God willing) greatly expanded by a redesigned and relaunched version of our digital platform, GoThereFor.com. The entire archive of Briefing content will be migrated onto this new platform, with more detailed and powerful search tools. GoThereFor will also host a regular stream of new content from a range of authors and sources (including short pieces and snippets, longer essays, audio, video and more). We also hope to offer a print journal option for those who would like to receive this content regularly in paper form, rather than only digitally.

You should find more details about all of this enclosed with this issue of The Briefing, including how current subscribers can transfer to a generous subscription package on the new GoThereFor platform.

But enough on what will happen next: there’s some excellent material in this issue that we want to direct your attention to. Earlier this year Peter Jensen spoke quite brilliantly at the Nexus conference in Sydney about the model of ministry given by Paul to the Ephesian elders, recorded in Acts 20. That talk is adapted here, and is a quite stirring encouragement for us all to continue as fools for Christ, confident in the gospel, for the sake of those around us. From the same conference come articles by Phil Colgan on ministry training, and Alison Napier on how her ministry ‘DNA’ shapes what she does as a minister of the Word.

Tony Payne reflects on one of the more significant articles in the quarter-century history of The Briefing, and pushes our thinking further about the centrality of the cross of Christ. He also speaks to Phillip Jensen, the founder of this magazine, about what The Briefing set out to achieve and what challenges confront us today.

There’s more in this issue, but we’ll leave you to explore it at your leisure. As always, we pray that these articles prompt you to reflect on your life before the Lord, and to be encouraged and strengthened by his Word, so that by the power of his Spirit you persevere as disciple-making disciples.

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