This editorial kicks off a month-long membership drive. We’ll be talking quite a bit about the benefits of CAPC, the advantages of memberships, and the various ways and reasons to support us. Ultimately, we’re asking you to join us in this work however you are able.
Over the last nine years of its existence, the value of Christ and Pop Culture has become clear: an independent, thoughtful, and winsome Christian model for cultural consumption. Christ and Pop Culture aims to model appreciation for goodness, truth, and beauty without thoughtlessly giving ourselves over to the baggage that often accompanies cultural engagement in Christian circles. We remain staunchly orthodox without pandering to conservative evangelical assumptions about culture and art. Our outlook and motivation hinges on the counsel of Scripture, and our operating question is simple: what does our audience need to hear?
We model cultural engagement through our daily articles. We model cultural thought and truth-telling through our weekly long-form features (readable first in Christ and Pop Culture Magazine). We model thoughtful real-time interaction with culture through conversations that take place on our podcast three times a week. But these things come at a price, and we can’t do them forever under the current circumstances.
The Goal We Have Yet To Reach
When we launched Memberships back in April, we talked a lot about the state of Christ and Pop Culture. Our stated goal was admittedly vague:
“The reality of Christ and Pop Culture is that our ideas and ambition far outweigh the amount of time we have to accomplish the end goal. In the last few years, Christ and Pop Culture has been operating on borrowed time. With the help of many others, our managing editor, Alan Noble, and I have been dedicating an inordinate amount of free time to maintain, expand, and improve this website.”
The goal was sustainability.
We have yet to achieve sustainability, and as long as that’s the case, Christ and Pop Culture will be susceptible to dramatic downsizing, or even a slow, dwindling death.
In human terms: Managing editor Alan Noble and I are currently invested and hopeful enough in the future of this site to keep doing this. Like we have said many times over, we believe strongly enough in the vision and the necessity of this outlet that we are dedicating our free time to maintaining it and pushing it further. But our lives are always changing, and so is our ability to spend our free time on Christ and Pop Culture. The same goes for our associate editors, our many writers, our illustrator, and our podcast producer.
Where We Stand Right Now
We are about halfway to what we are calling our “sustainability goal,” which allows us to pay a minimal amount to everyone who makes Christ and Pop Culture what it is. As we receive enough money, we’ll be able to reliably pay for the following:
Hosting for the site, podcasts, and other miscellaneous expenses
The $2035 you see at the top of that thermometer in the sidebar on the right represents the bare minimum it will take to pay everyone just enough to demonstrate concretely that we (and their readers) value them. Paying writers and editors will allow us to continue to set ourselves apart based on our quality. Alan and I will only receive payment after everyone else does.
Your Role in a Bright Future
Reaching this goal is just the start. I believe strongly that Christ and Pop Culture will continue to snowball into something great, and that we’ve only begun to see what is possible when an outlet like ours focuses on challenging its audience with unique, thoughtful, and essential content every day. In fact, we have very specific plans to do just that when the resources present themselves.
But that plan needs a strong foundation to build on, not the rickety, roughshod foundation of writers writing for “exposure” and editors referring to genuine, necessary work as a “hobby.”
We believe that Christ and Pop Culture is important work, and we believe that important work needs to be supported in order to live up to its potential.
We also believe in rewarding those particular individuals who choose to support it, which is why our Membership program is dedicated to making it more than worth your while:
CAPC Offerings, featuring multiple free gifts a month, including books, albums, magazines, and more.
Ongoing access to the Christ and Pop Culture Members-Only Community where people discuss the issues of the day in a sane, edifying manner, and where there is easy access to CAPC writers and editors.
Exclusive podcasts, featuring special guests having lengthy, in-depth conversations about films, events, and other pop cultural happenings
CAPC Magazine, featuring first-access to the best content we’re currently producing and a curated, beautiful reading experience
How You Can Help
For those of you who have appreciated Christ and Pop Culture from afar, we ask you to become a member, choosing between the $5, $10, and $25 level.
For those of you who are already members, we’re asking for your support in two specific ways:
1. Prayerfully consider supporting Christ and Pop Culture with a larger monthly rate than you are already offering.
We purposefully price CAPC Memberships so that anyone could support us and receive the same amount of content as everyone else. Still, we rely on the generosity of those who are able to support us with more in order to survive. By becoming a CAPC Patron or CAPC Sponsor, you’ll play major role in helping Christ and Pop Culture us to survive and grow.
If you’d like to increase your monthly payment, we’ll be sending out an email in the next day or so explaining exactly how you can do that.
2. Encourage at least two other people you know to become members of Christ and Pop Culture. If you know regular readers of Christ and Pop Culture who aren’t yet members, encourage them to take advantage of the many benefits of membership.
We believe that what we are doing is a genuine ministry to the church, and suspect that many of you may be in a position to be a significant part of that ministry by helping Christ and Pop Culture to continue to exist and thrive.
Help us to spread the word and raise the funds necessary to keep going. By the end of all this, our hope is to be completely sustainable going forward.
Christ and Pop Culture is a crucial ministry to the church in a time when Christian culture writing often glosses over complex cultural issues or uses them as weapons to galvanize one side against another. In a time when Facebook is full of headlines by sensationalist bloggers, when Twitter is characterized by a series of wars fought with words, when TV news pits Extremist Pundit #1 against Extremist Pundit #2, Christ and Pop Culture aspires to cut through all of that and offer up something that is both refreshing and true.
Christ and Pop Culture is rooted in a simple mission: to acknowledge, appreciate, and think rightly about the common knowledge of our age. That doesn’t come naturally, but it’s as necessary as ever. We’re here to help the church accomplish that goal. Will you join us?
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