By Michael Ireland, Senior Reporter, ASSIST News Service firstname.lastname@example.org
SEVERN, MD (ANS, May 27, 2015) – Are you ready for a paradigm shift in your thinking about outreach to your community?
Joel Freeman, who is a former senior pastor and team chaplain of the NBA Washington Bullets/Wizards, has a revolutionary idea that could help churches in their evangelistic efforts.
“We live in a modern world where technology seems to be hindering or even replacing our human interaction. Watch people sitting in a restaurant at the same table. Limited conversation. Just sitting there looking down at their smart phones…smiling…while texting each other,” Freeman told ANS.
“You’ve been on an elevator with several people. Everyone is staring at the ‘floor indicator’ above the doorway, hoping that a conversation doesn’t start before reaching their designated levels.”
As a lead pastor of 18 years and basketball team chaplain for 20 seasons, Freeman would like to help change all that — with a magazine.
“Yes, a magazine. Don’t worry, I am very much aware that paper magazines are being jettisoned from the print world to the digital universe,” he said.
Joel’s project is bucking the trend. “You’re going to have to throw out pretty much every magazine model you have ricocheting around in your head right now. My realistic goal is to have one million 6” x 9” conversation-starters in circulation within the next ten months.”
Joel’s product, Everyday Matters® magazine is a remarkable resource – which he describes as “kind of like a 2 ounce missionary — designed to help church members start meaningful, non-weird, ‘Jesus-with-the-woman-at-the-well’ conversations with co-workers, next door neighbors, and complete strangers…in their everyday lives.”
“This intriguing project is a gift that keeps on giving to congregations throughout America,” he said.
He continued: “Many congregations with shrinking budgets are still looking for creative ways to connect with people in their respective communities. Perhaps a youth group wants to send out a short term mission team next summer. Perhaps a men’s group wants to build a ramp for a wounded veteran who lives down the street. Perhaps a women’s group wants to purchase all of the necessary solar-powered equipment for a missionary to show the Jesus film in some remote region of the world. You get the picture.”
Freeman, who is the originator of the idea for The Shepherd’s Guide Christian business directory (stated by some to be one of the more successful hybrids of church and business in North American history), is providing an unparalleled opportunity for congregations to receive up to 25,000 private-labeled magazines — while also receiving a minimum donation of $5,000 for their efforts…without draining one penny from their church budget!
CONNECTING WITH THE LOCAL BUSINESS COMMUNITY
Freeman adds: “Most churches and Christian Schools seem to have an awkward relationship with the local business community. Business owners in many communities have the sense that all churches want is something FROM them…or are going to preach AT them.”
If that is a problem in your community, Freeman would like to help change all that.
He stated: “This 32-page magazine can energize the outreach of any 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,” he said.
The special edition magazines benefit churches in several ways: ** The church ministry receives a guaranteed $5,000! (once all 43 ads are taken)
** Readers of the magazine get high quality, practical and informative articles
** Business enterprises get ads for marketing their businesses
** The congregation grows in their desire to share their faith in their everyday lives
** The church as a whole gets more visitors, personally invited by congregational members
Freeman stated that, according to Barna Group research, there are 350,000+ churches in America, with the average attendance around 75. This project is especially designed for smaller to mid-sized churches (75 – 975 members), with budgets and logistics that do not permit them to be able to afford to create a world-class magazine designed for evangelism, outreach and church growth. “Larger, multi-campus churches can do the same edition for each campus,” he explained.
Freeman has a ‘warm market process’ for connecting with the local business community. He said: “Do the math. If only 20 congregation members identify five businesses they deal with (e.g. dentist, doctor, electrician, plumber and insurance agent, et al)…the obvious result is 100 connections with trusted members of the local business community. An easy script to write.”
According to Freeman, Joni Eareckson Tada and Manute Bol are on the covers of two of the first editions of Everyday Matters® magazine and 2-3 new editions will be developed each year.
“This means that smaller to mid-sized congregations can develop a new magazine every year. And it gets easier every year thereafter, with advertisers clamoring to get into each successive edition,” he said, adding: “Each edition of the magazine is carefully crafted to be 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.’”
Freeman explained that Jesus started talking with the woman at the well about something to which she could relate…water. “And then the conversation shifted to a well that never runs dry.”
Using that ‘natural-to-the-spiritual’ evangelism model, Freeman has identified 50 ‘felt need’ topics that will inform the types of conversation-starting articles he 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
“Nothing in the magazine is time-sensitive, which makes it an evangelistic outreach tool that can last for 12-18 months, until the next edition,” said Freeman. “Advertisers love the concept.”
Freeman states: “I view this magazine as a gift to local churches…in more ways than one. And I have the infrastructure on the back end to facilitate all of this on behalf of every church in America. The future vision is for this conversation-starting project to expand to Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and across the United Kingdom…along with each edition redesigned for the Spanish-speaking world.”
Freeman is a ‘serial entrepreneur’ with a heart for others. The magazine is his brain child. Joel grew up in Alberta, Canada at Prairie Bible Institute. While serving as a senior pastor for 18 years, he pioneered three churches that launched mission works in Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. He has traveled to well over 50 countries around the world and lives in Maryland. Married, with four adult children. Joel admits he is “an off-key singer and an extremely bad dancer.”
He concluded:” (This) remarkable magazine project is designed to help churches connect authentically with the local business community and then to collaborate by distributing 25,000 free private-labeled magazines throughout the community for evangelism, outreach and church growth…and also to receive a donation of $5,000. Everything is accomplished without taking one penny from the church budget.”
Interested in an outreach project for your church? View the website and then contact Joel Freeman for more info: www.ChurchGrowthMag.com
Freeman also offers a job opportunity with annual 6-figure (pre-tax) potential. Joel is looking especially for bi-vocational pastors or anyone with a shepherd’s heart (independent contractors). View the website and then contact Joel for more info – www.BivoMag.com
Photo One: Joel Freeman discusses the magazine on TV. Photo Two: Manute Bol is featured on the cover of Everyday Matters. Photo Three: Michael Ireland
Michael Ireland is a Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, as well as a volunteer Internet Journalist and Ordained Minister who has served with ASSIST Ministries and ASSIST News Service since its beginning in 1989. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China, and Russia. Click http://paper.li/Michael_ASSIST/1410485204 to see a daily digest of Michael’s stories for ANS.
** You my use this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Services (www.assistnews.net).