2021 Baptist Trumpet Report & Recommendations

Let me start the way I have at all the local association meetings where I had the privilege of sharing about the ministry of the Baptist Trumpet — God is faithful! The Trumpet has seen God provide all the needs at just the right time from the beginning in 1939 as the Temple Trumpet, all the way through to today. I think it is important to acknowledge, before I say anything else, that I know it is His ministry and not my ministry. If I ever forget that, you will need to find a new editor!

Some Things Are New

We have seen a few new things come along in the past year, besides a new editor! We have done our best to continue to bring your important news and information that keeps the readers of the Trumpet informed and inspired like no one else!

• New BMA Global Ministry insert — In July, we introduced a new partnership with BMAA Missions and Lifeword to share more about what God is doing in their ministries. This is planned for every other month, and we are excited about keeping our readers informed about our associational work around the world.

• New columns begin — There are three new columns that we started this year: 

We have a Lifeword column where we share content from the many authors that are posted at lifeworld.org where, every day, Lifeword shares inspirational thoughts that are meant to challenge us in our Christian walk.

“In My Own Words,” by Lifeword Executive Director Donny Parrish, debuted in July. Donny has served for so many years in a variety of roles for the BMA and uses his unique perspective to challenge BMA Baptists to be all we can be as we seek to fulfill God’s mission.

“Stand Firm and Live Epic,” by Jake McCandless debuted in September. Jake is the executive director of Stand Firm ministries, an author, news contributor and pastor of Epic Church in Springdale. He began a journey in 2012 to help believers stand firm to the challenges of their faith, and his column will seek to help our readers to “be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm” (Eph. 6:13 ESV).

• New Customer Portal — We have been working with our new circulation management system for over a year now, and we were finally able to introduce our customer portal for individual and church plan subscribers, as well as church plan managers. There are many functions available through the portal, including: updating mailing addresses, billing, subscription renewal and even adding or removing names from your church plan. If you have any questions about the portal, give us a call at the office at (501) 565-4601 or visit baptisttrumpet.com/portal.

Some Things Stay the Same

Our mission — to inform and inspire our readers — is still the same today as it was in 1939. In every issue we publish, we share:

• Reports from State Missions and from each missionary you support.

• Ministry updates and news from Central Baptist College — your college!

• News about how you are enabling the director of the State Youth Department to come alongside student ministries around the state.

• Things you need to know from across the Baptist Missionary Association on the local, state, national and international levels.

• Other important news from around the state of Arkansas.

• Inspiring stories and articles that challenge you to think about how you are living on mission for the Lord.

In addition to each of these things, we share even more information that is meant to inform and inspire until we run out of space. More often than not, we always have things left over that we couldn’t fit in the issue that week.

I share this with you to remind you of what the ministry of the Baptist Trumpet is all about. We want to come alongside you and your church to help keep you and your people informed about what is happening all around the world through the association of churches that you are a part of and support. I believe this ministry is important to help our association of churches be more united and informed about our associational work.

Some Things Must Change

While we will never abandon our mission to inform and inspire our readers with every issue produced, there are some things that are going to have to change if we are going to be able to effectively continue this mission into the future.

The theme for our Special Emphasis this year was “Building for the Future.” I am thankful to everyone who helped us meet our Special Emphasis goal, but as we look at our financial situation, there are some realities that we must come to terms with and do something about if we are going to be able to provide long-term stability for this ministry:

• A subscription rate increase is necessary. To sum up what we have found over the past year, the cost to bring a paper to your mailbox each week is 89¢. We bring in an average of 46¢ per paper from subscription fees. This leaves a deficit of 43¢ per paper. About 20¢ per issue is made up for with our regular offerings from those churches and individuals that contribute on a monthly basis. The remaining balance must be raised during our time of Special Emphasis or from any “cushion” in the bank account. To fully erase this deficit would mean a subscription rate increase of over $12 annually. I do not think it is appropriate to have that much of an increase at one time.

• Our subscriber base needs to increase. One way we can lower the cost per paper is to increase our subscriber base. The more subscribers we have, the more we can divide out the cost and, therefore, lower the per paper price. If we had an increase of 1,000 subscribers, our cost per paper would go down 5¢. My challenge is for each church in the BMA of Arkansas to be an active church plan subscriber. If each current church plan subscriber (239 churches) would simply be diligent to review and add an average of four new subscribers, we could add 1,000 subscribers quickly, not to mention the possibility of adding new active church plans. We need you to come alongside this ministry and be ambassadors to the other churches and pastors about the benefit of keeping their people informed and inspired about our associational work.

• We need people to join the Trumpet Team. No, we are not looking to hire anyone for the office staff. What we need are people who are willing to step up and give to make up the deficit for the coming year. Since 1939, the Baptist Trumpet has been able to keep the people of the BMA of Arkansas and beyond informed and inspired. We need 90 Trumpet Team members that are willing to give $39 per month over the coming year to keep this ministry moving forward on a stable financial footing. As a church, if you are not already supporting us monthly, will you commit to join our team? If you are already giving, will you evaluate to see if you can increase your monthly giving by $39 to help during this time? As an individual, will you commit to give $39 per month over the next year to the ministry of the Trumpet?

One Thing Never Changes

As I stated at the beginning of this report, I know God is faithful, and He will continue to be faithful to this ministry, just as He has been since 1939. While I know He will continue to provide because He owns “the cattle upon a thousand hills” (Psa. 50:10), I do believe we are called to be good stewards of what He provides and make the best decisions we can in order to fulfill the mission to which He has called us. These proposed changes come after much prayer, seeking advice of wise counselors and a desire to see this ministry thrive well into the future.

As I close, I challenge you with this: If you believe the ministry of the Baptist Trumpet is beneficial to the BMA of Arkansas and beyond, then please prayerfully consider how you can be a part of helping us build for the future of this ministry for His glory.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve on behalf of the churches of the BMA of Arkansas.

Recommendations From Publications Committee

• That Jeff Herring stand as nominee for Executive Editor for the Baptist Trumpet.

• That in order to help with the deficit that has been presented, a rate increase be made beginning with the first issue in December, changing from $20.25 to $27.00 (60¢ per issue) for church plan subscribers and from $23.50 to $30.00 (67¢ per issue) for individual subscriptions, with the understanding that the financial situation will be evaluated next year to see if another increase is needed to make up the deficit and provide a more solid financial base for future ministry of the Trumpet.

• That to alleviate the deficit for the coming year, we establish a Trumpet Team (comprised of 90 churches or individuals that commit to send an offering of $39 monthly for one year — $468 total), and that each church promotes this to their people.

• That each BMA of Arkansas church be encouraged to subscribe to the church plan for the Baptist Trumpet so that their people can be informed and inspired by the weekly issues.

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