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Anniversaries are times for celebration and reflection. Since 1985 we’ve celebrated Charisma’s anniversary every five years, so I’ve written a column like this five times before!
If you’re new to our reading family you may not know that Charisma began at Calvary Assembly in Orlando, Fla., in 1975 when, as a 24-year-old newspaper reporter, I persuaded the elders to let me publish a small magazine “about Spirit-led living.” At first the magazine included a lot about the local church, but even from the start my vision was broader.
When you’re young, newly married, with a fresh journalism degree and no money but wanting to do something for God, what do you do? I did the only thing I could—I bloomed where I was planted. By God’s grace we published 10,000 copies of a 32-page magazine and charged 50 cents a copy.
Over the years I’ve encouraged people that God can use small beginnings if we are available to Him. But I also had a vision that maybe my magazine could grow and make a difference even though plenty of people told me otherwise.
A year or two later the Lord sent the late Jamie Buckingham to be my mentor and friend. Since then it’s been a wild ride.
My work has taken me around the world. I’ve become friends with virtually every national Christian leader. I’ve met heads of state and hosted a television program. I have been privileged to publish curriculum and hundreds of books, including materials in Spanish, and to found several magazines.
In addition, my son Cameron—who was born as we were sending the fourth issue of Charisma to press—is a Christian leader in his own right and runs his own successful media group.
Today we are moving aggressively into the digital world. When I started Charisma the personal computer had not been invented—and we couldn’t have imagined the Internet. Yet over the years as we’ve grown and expanded into new media, our vision has stayed the same: to build for God’s glory a profitable media company that connects charismatic Christians and provides resources for them so they can mature spiritually and reach the world with the gospel.
I think it’s appropriate that our anniversary issue takes us back to our roots—to the power and person of the Holy Spirit. We sense a new awakening is happening, and we want not only to cover the Spirit-filled community but also to provide analysis and to guide and influence.
None of us knows the future, but my vision is to:
- Improve the writing, design and credibility of Charisma
- Cover the Spirit-filled community with professionalism, bringing insight, analysis and clarity to issues the church and culture face
- Give Christian leaders who hear from God on these issues a place to be heard
- Help people understand and know what to do with the barrage of information available 24/7
- Do all of this in print and digitally—and in ways completely different from anything we’ve done in the past.
We will provide an experience you can’t have with TV, radio or print. Check out our new digital version of Charisma when you get it via e-mail—and download our free Charisma News Mobile app for all handheld devices by texting “Charisma” to 46275.
None of us knows what the next decade holds. Ten years from now, I expect to be in the middle of or finished with a transition to new leadership. Charisma may be entirely digital by then.
But I’m excited about the future. So, as long as God leads and gives me good health, I’ll be doing what we’ve always done—communicating about Spirit-led living.
Steve Strang is the founder and publisher of Charisma. Follow him on Twitter at sstrang or become a Facebook fan of Charisma
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