Wineskins Archive

February 12, 2014

A Nine Year Old Perspective (Sep-Oct 2001)

Filed under: — @ 2:01 pm and

by Mike Cope and Rubel Shelly
September – October, 2001

Granted, it would be more natural to wait a few months and give a ten-year perspective on this magazine. But the circumstance as we write is anything but natural, and the review of where God has taken this project to date is appropriate. Even more important, his Spirit is giving us new and larger dreams for the future.

The readership of Wineskins has been incredibly loyal. We thank you for staying with us through challenging and often lean times. Because we have been a hand-to-mouth operation, publication has been sporadic. You have affirmed the need for what we have been attempting to do and have been steadfast in your support.

Phillip Morrison deserves honor beyond our ability to bestow. He and his wife, Mary Margaret, have extended themselves beyond all reasonable measure to keep Wineskins alive and functioning. They retire from this project with our sincere gratitude.

The initial purpose statement for this magazine said we were committed to bold but responsible change in the church that would permit it to be more effective as a communication vehicle for the gospel. The church, after all, is not an end in itself. It is a means to the end of carrying the redemptive message of God’s work in Christ to men and women in every sector of our global village.

True to that initial vision, Wineskins itself is undergoing change. A visionary team of Christians has stepped up to purchase, guarantee funding for, and provide management skills to the magazine. The Zoe Group has taken Wineskins from hand-to-mouth status to that of a well-funded project. Publication will be timely, with six issues a year in 60-day cycles. As you see with the issue in hand, it has been updated in format and appearance. If you happen not to like some of the changes, feel free to voice your sentiment. But understand that each has been made because of best-indication research about what connects with today’s readers.

We will continue as co-editors of New Wineskins. Our joint task is to provide overall vision, select timely themes, and secure able writers. Under the new publication arrangement, we are partnered with Eric Noah-Wilson and Greg Taylor to produce each issue. Eric is the magazine’s Executive Director and is in charge of ad sales, subscription sales and fulfillment, and wider visibility for the project. He brings a business background to his task that will assure both professionalism and accountability. Greg serves as Managing Editor for New Wineskins and is in charge of all matters related to formatting, production, and delivery for each issue. He has degrees in journalism and biblical studies, has written for such publications as Christianity Today, and has just returned from a seven-year evangelistic outreach in Uganda.

Consistent with the sort of change appropriate to our time and place in history, the paper-and-ink version of New Wineskins will be linked to an Internet version. While any interested person can find out about the magazine and read some of its feature articles, subscribers to New Wineskins online will have access to additional resources beyond the printed issue, be invited to provide input and exchange ideas via online forums, and receive special updates and teaching articles between printed issues. The full web version will be available by January 2002, but basic services are now available at our site.

We at New Wineskins are in the early stages of planning occasional resource events in conjunction with The Zoe Group. Our passion is reform and renewal within the body of Christ that allows us to address the culture more effectively with the gospel; Zoe’s special concern and expertise is with worship renewal and resources. It is a natural marriage that should generate creative options over time. Through both the printed and online versions of the magazine, we promise to keep you informed.

In Jesus’ parable about the ever-fresh gospel and its always-fragile vessels from which this magazine derives its name, he warned against becoming rigid and unalterable. As we try to keep this message before others, we are listening to it ourselves.

In our original purpose statement, the editors of Wineskins pledged the production of a Christ-centered magazine with thought, balance, and challenge in each issue. We renew that pledge here. Nine years ago, we also wrote: We affirm our intent to write practically for a broad audience and not technically for a handful of academics. We promise to undergird our efforts with earnest prayer. And we covenant with our readers to be positive rather than reactive in tone. We believe we have been true to our word on all these points, and we pledge to do the same in whatever future time God grants us to serve him through these pages.

According to the testimony of our readers, Wineskins is meeting a need. It is filling a niche. It is providing encouragement and hope. It is opening vistas of creative imagination. It is giving people renewed confidence about our ability to engage today’s culture with the Word of God. We believe we will be able to do an even better job for you in the days ahead. So we pledge ourselves again to serving Christ by serving you, and we plead for your prayers and continued support.Wineskins Magazine

Mike Cope and Rubel Shelly


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