Editorial: Needed: Advocates for Florida Baptist Witness
by JAMES A. SMITH SR.
Executive Editor

Article Date: Jul 11, 2012

This newspaper gives generous coverage throughout the year to the various missions causes of Southern Baptists in our state, across the nation and around the world. We are privileged to have the opportunity to tell the story of God’s work among us and in doing so we hope that our readers are better informed and motivated to make a difference for Christ. 

But there’s one time each year we have the opportunity to remind Florida Baptists of the importance of the ministry of Florida Baptist Witness and why this entity of our state convention needs your support.

That opportunity is just around the corner and you have a role to play. Would you please promote Florida Baptist Witness Sunday in your church on August 19? Although August 19 is the specially designated date for this observance, if that Sunday is not ideal for your church, feel free to pick a better date. Whatever the date, as the old Nike commercial says, “Just do it!”

In print and online we have been promoting free bulletin inserts we are making available to churches that will observe Florida Baptist Witness Sunday. The inserts are an attractive, four-color overview of the ministry of the Witness, along with comments from a pastor and another reader offering their generous remarks of support for the Witness. The insert also includes a coupon for an individual subscription offering an additional four weeks free to those who will subscribe. 

It’s our experience that pastors and other church leaders who use these inserts—along with their strong endorsement of the value of the Witness—make a huge difference in encouraging more Florida Baptists to subscribe to their only newspaper.

Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul wrote: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News of good things” (Rom. 10:15). That’s the mission of Florida Baptist Witness—we “publish Good News about God’s work that encourages, enables, and exhorts Florida Baptists to exalt God and extend His Kingdom.” 

Florida Baptist Witness offers news and reflection on matters of concern and interest to Florida Baptists not found anywhere else. The Witness is the definitive source marking the key events and news of Southern Baptists in the Sunshine State and throughout the world, offering a unique mix of coverage of missions, cultural and public policy issues. 

It’s our hope, prayer and belief that Florida Baptists are better able to serve Christ as a result of the ministry of the Witness. In short, it’s our desire that subscribing and reading the Witness will make Florida Baptists better Baptists—and better Christians.

As a regular reader of the Witness, you know about the unique coverage we provide. My hope is that our readers will be our best advocates in helping to further extend the circulation of the Witness. To ensure our continued efforts, we need to increase the number of readers exposed to this helpful tool for Florida Baptists.

It’s also important for our readers to understand the critical role subscriptions play in producing this newspaper. Although the Cooperative Program supports the Witness as an agency of the Florida Baptist State Convention, that subsidy only accounts for about 50 percent of our annual budget. Clearly, subscriptions are absolutely necessary to publish Florida Baptists’ only newspaper.

The Witness is an extraordinary bargain. The individual subscription rate is merely $17.95. For churches that provide the Witness to its members, there are several even more inexpensive rates available. For churches offering the newspaper for every family, the rate is merely $10; for churches that provide it to 10 or more families, the rate is only $11.50. Our most discounted rate is $8.50 per family for churches that publish their newsletters with the Witness

For those churches unable to provide this resource to its members, Florida Baptist Witness Sunday is an ideal opportunity to support this ministry. Ordering inserts for your church is very easy—just go online http://gofbw.com/witnesssunday.asp or call us (800-226-8584, ext. 3165). Please order your inserts today!

Thank you for giving prayerful consideration to this request and for all that you do to help promote the ministry of Florida Baptist Witness.

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