Today is a milestone for us.
On the morning of April 22nd, 2015, a small team from Midwestern Seminary launched a resource site called For the Church with hopes of producing and publishing gospel-centered resources for the Church.
Today marks five-years from that inaugural date, and we, as a team, are filled with gratitude. As the resources have grown since that first date we have seen millions upon millions of readers, published thousands of articles, filmed hundreds of hours of videos and interviews, are nearing our one-hundredth podcast episode, and have seen nearly a dozen books published through our partnership with Moody Publishers and the FTC imprint.
While it is easy to read over those numbers as simple data points, the reality is an avalanche of work and an army of friends are behind those digits. From the outset, we wanted For the Church to feel a bit different. Not that we were aiming at supreme uniqueness or attempting to revolutionize anything, we simply wanted to swim upstream from what has become the norm in the world of content production. As the digital printing press continued to publish hot-takes, hit-pieces, and moment-by-moment cultural commentary at rapid speed, we knew this was not the trajectory for FTC. Instead, we have been guided by three adjectives—practical, pastoral, and devotional. Consequently, we learned early on this vision would attract a certain type of audience, so those numbers—that avalanche of work and army of readers—is comprised of folks who have become dear to us.
With service to God’s people as our aim and these three words as our compass, these five-years have been filled with two groups of people who make this undertaking possible—readers and contributors.
To our readers and our contributors, we could not thank you enough.
As for our contributors, work that is properly defined as practical, pastoral, and devotional, cannot be microwaved. Often, the content you produce is the fruit that sprung from the soil of ministry plight, relational heartache, real intellectual quandaries, and various sources that proved difficult. On the other hand, much of your content stems from seasons of overwhelming joy, lessons in wisdom, years of service, and various sources that proved victorious. In either case, and any in-between, what is undeniable is that the quality of content laced throughout these five years is a direct reflection of your faithfulness in ministry and kindness to serve the Church in the production of these pieces.
As for our readers, it is a simple fact that FTC would be impossible, not-to-mention pointless, without you. In our day, you have what seems to be an unending buffet of digital content to consume just a few clicks away. Much of which others might say is more appealing to the eye. Click-bait articles, listicles, content produced because of platform or name recognition instead of ministry experience, these are just a few of the often-tempting items with which you could spend your reading time. Instead, you come here. You chose to sit at the feet of teachers often unknown to you and participate in our humble attempt to work against the grain with gospel-centered pieces of practical, pastoral, and devotional thought.
Again, to both parties—readers and contributors—our gratitude for you and our appreciation of you is immense.
Through the early planning stages, the launch five years ago, to perpetuating the site today, there are far too many people to thank and too many memories to share. However, we thought this would be a great place for a few members of our Editorial Council and Associate Editors to briefly share a word of thankfulness for these five years.
“I am thankful for the way FTC.co has allowed church-men and women to talk about church life, doctrine, and practice in ways that promote church health and healthy thinking. I cannot think of any way that FTC.co could be any more “for the church” than that.” – Jason Duesing
“One thing I think we should be particularly proud of is providing a public platform for wise and gifted leaders who don’t normally have one, who aren’t usually amplified by the existing big ministry outlets. Platforming normative-sized church pastors and under-known women writers, I think, has been a good niche for us.” – Jared Wilson
“As I look back on the past five years, I’m thankful that God continually kept our writers and editors focused on the gospel. There have been countless opportunities to drift, but by God’s grace, FTC stayed true to the original vision for the site, which was to equip and encourage the Church with gospel-centered resources.” – Charles Smith
“I love the unique way For the Church provides various writers with a place to serve the local Church - no platform is necessary, just excellent, God-honoring words. It has been a joy to serve, and be served, by this resource.” – Allyson Todd
“The quality resources collected at FTC.co, most from otherwise unknown contributors, speaks to the great work being done in local churches around the world by people whose names we may never know. It’s been a joy to celebrate that quiet faithfulness and to be helped along the way by timely pieces of sage advice from such gifted brothers and sisters.” – Mike Brooks
As these quotes and hopefully this brief article indicates, we are thankful. We are thankful for all of you. We are thankful that you continue to tune in and read the articles, watch the videos, listen to the podcasts, and more. We are thankful to have united together with so many gifted men and women who have served us all so well as contributors. These past five years have been remarkable and nothing short of a blessing to us, but we believe this is just the beginning.
Milestones come and go in the life of any institution or organization, but vision remains. So, as this five-year milestone moves into the rearview, we at FTC are all the more committed to our mission—produce gospel-centered resources For the Church.