Support and Subscribe to Creative Christian Projects — Or Watch Them Die
Michelangelo didn’t sculpt clickbait or pivot to video.
I don’t know what that would even look like, but my point is that the Florentine artist created work still enjoyed today partly because his creative endeavors were bankrolled by patrons.
Such is not often the case in this here content economy. We’ve grown accustomed to free access to articles and essays and podcasts; that’s what we expect when we fire up our smartphones looking for a listicle or a longread. We roll our eyes at any paywall or member-exclusive subscription fee that dare interrupt the waves of gratis hot takes we ceaselessly blast into our gourds. Why pay for access to something in particular when I can continue to consume similar things for free?
We must realize that if we continue to consume free content like this, only the advertiser-beholden and shallow stuff will endure, while the nuanced and niche stuff will shrivel and vanish. Specifically, thoughtful creative projects made by, for, or sharing intellectual sympathies with Christians — be they magazines, journals, podcasts, or news sources — will die out unless non-advertising entities (normal people like you and I) pay for it.
Guilt is rarely a good reason to take action, however. Don’t support creators because you feel bad if you don’t; support them because you enjoy their work, and you see the value their creations bring to others. Ask yourself: whose work do I value?
Consider putting a current expense on hold (deactivate the streaming service subscription, relax on those fun coffee drinks, etc.) and instead support a creative project you appreciate. Or — since the holidays are coming up — ask for a subscription as a gift (and give one away, too).
If you’re looking to support creative projects that have nuance, thoughtfulness, and lift high the true, the good, and the beautiful, here are a few ideas:
- From the Website: “Christ and Pop Culture exists to acknowledge, appreciate, and think rightly about the common knowledge of our age…encouraging and modeling a biblical presence within culture that is characterized by nuance and appreciation while resisting the extremes of thoughtless condemnation and uncritical embrace. We stand on the Gospel and exist for the church.” Subscribe Now
- From the Website: “Comment is one of the core publications of Cardus, a think tank devoted to renewing North American social architecture, rooted in 2000 years of Christian social thought. In our print and online essays and reviews we zoom in on the multiple components that make up this “social architecture”: the institutions that serve as the scaffolding and skeleton of social life. It’s our families and financial systems, politics and education, museums and labour unions, and much more.” Subscribe Now
- From the Website: “Faithfully Magazine is a fresh, bold and exciting news and lifestyle publication that covers issues, conversations and events impacting Christian communities of color.” Subscribe Now
- From the Website: “Fare Forward is a collaborative network of young Christian writers with a shared vision for thinking well about faith, reason, and vocation…Our community is intentionally ecumenical, drawing Christians from different denominations and political persuasions around a core of creedal orthodoxy.” Get It Now
- From the Website: “On Give and Take Scott Jones talks with artists, authors, theologians, and political pundits about the lens through which they experience life. With empathy, humor, and a deep knowledge of religion, current events, and pop culture, Scott engages his guests in a free-flowing conversation that’s entertaining, unexpected, occasionally bizarre, and oftentimes enlightening.” Sponsor Now
- From the Website: “Harbor Media exists to help Christians navigate a post-Christian world.” It produces the podcast Cultivated, “featuring thinkers, writers, entrepreneurs, and artists — each telling their story and describing their sense of calling, talking about how they work, and what they hope their work accomplishes.” Support Now
- From the Website: “The Hedgehog Review offers critical reflections on contemporary culture — how we shape it, and how it shapes us. We draw on the best scholarship and thought from the humanities and social sciences to craft an interdisciplinary approach that explores and illuminates the puzzles, vexations, and dilemmas that characterize the modern predicament.” Subscribe Now
- From the Website: “Image was founded in 1989 to demonstrate the continued vitality and diversity of contemporary art and literature that engage with the religious traditions of Western culture. Now one of the leading literary journals published in English, it is read all over the world — and forms the nexus of a warm and active community.” Subscribe Now
- From the Website: “Since 1993, Mars Hill Audio has been encouraging conversations about faith, faithfulness, and culture. We explore the various factors that have given modern Western culture its distinctive character. We also try to describe what cultural life — its practices, beliefs, and artifacts — might look like if it was the product of thoughtful Christian imaginations.” Subscribe Now
- From the Website: Mere Orthodoxy aims to “host thoughtful and gracious conversations about Christianity’s shape in the public square…Whether it’s arts, movies, literature, politics (yup, we go there), sexuality, or any other crevice of the human experience, we believe that the Gospel has something to say about it and that “something” really can be good news.” Support Now
- From the Website: “ The Witness is a black Christian collective that engages issues of religion, race, justice, and culture from a biblical perspective.…We offer articles that stimulate the mind and stir the heart. We give commentary on current events, music, movies, literature, the church, relationships, and more.” Support Now