Wednesday, June 22, 2011

WordAlone Invests Entirely in Sola Publishing

Reprinted from the WordAlone Website (posted June 15, 2011)


Times of difficulty and crisis are ones that often call us to hard decisions. For people of faith, this makes it even more critical that we seek to live in trust and obedience. Such is the case facing WordAlone as an organization at this time.

As servants of Christ, we are called by our Lord to be faithful managers and stewards of all that he has entrusted to us - not only in terms of our material resources, but even more importantly, in his Word as "stewards of the mysteries of God" (1 Corinthians 4:1). Jesus explained the kind of planning and foresight that he requires of his stewards. He said:

Which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.' Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.  (Luke 14:28-32 ESV)

For many years, WordAlone has sought to serve as a faithful gathering of disciples and workers in God's kingdom. Often with very limited resources, WordAlone has engaged in the battle for truth again and again, and has never shied away from taking a stand for the sake of God's Word. Over the years of its history, WordAlone has also laid a foundation and built many strong and significant ministries that continue to serve the larger fellowship of orthodox Lutherans. The Lord has used WordAlone to provide for the future of fellow-believers in this new Lutheran landscape. The faithful stewardship of WordAlone has borne fruit in many ways among us.

Yet, with all that it has been able to accomplish, WordAlone has never forgotten that it is accountable in its stewardship to Christ himself. Throughout our history, we have prayed that when the time came for us to pass that stewardship on to those who follow, we would graciously commend the resources that God has given us as a legacy to the continuing ministry of Christ's Church. That day has now come.

For several months, WordAlone's resources for ministry have slowly been shrinking. While we maintain a high level of trust and appreciation from our constituencies, many WordAlone folks have naturally started investing their support into building for the future with new congregations and mission opportunities. This is as it should be. But this shift in focus has meant that there is less and less money available for WordAlone itself to continue our "transitional support" ministry. To put it frankly, after several months of cutting salaries and expenses, our funding has finally been depleted and WordAlone cannot continue in its present form.

The Board of Directors, as stewards of WordAlone's resources, has concluded that the time has come to limit WordAlone's continuing ministry to the one area where we can best be of service to our fellow disciples, Sola Publishing.

Sola Publishing is a growing and thriving ministry that has emerged out of WordAlone's commitment to solid Biblical and confessional preaching and teaching, and it has become increasingly obvious that this much needed ministry is the best gift we have to serve the broad constituency of our friends in faith, including LCMC, NALC, CALC, CORE, and other faithful Christians who want to stay grounded in God's Word. With an eye to the future, WordAlone will be investing all its resources and energy into building Sola Publishing into a full-service publisher, able to meet the needs of our expanding fellowship of congregations. We hope that you will continue your support of this essential ministry, which focuses on the best gifts that God has given us.

At the same time, the Board has expressed its intention that WordAlone should not continue to operate under a deficit or incur additional debt, nor should the larger organization continue to be subsidized by Sola Publishing, which needs support for its own development. The Board has therefore decided:

1.  The executive positions of President and Vice President of WordAlone must regrettably be eliminated. Support staff will be reallocated where possible.

2.  WordAlone's existing auxiliary ministries will be bequeathed to our partner ministries where they might best be used to serve our larger constituency.

3.  WordAlone will work to fulfill, in good faith, the financial commitments incurred over the past few months, and back-compensation of its employees.

4.  WordAlone will continue to exist, exclusively doing business as Sola Publishing.

While these hard decisions are not made easily, we acknowledge that the command of Christ to serve the ministry of faithful stewardship is not optional. Our Lord expects us to use wisdom and responsibility in seeking to serve him daily in a faithful and effective manner.

As WordAlone moves forward as Sola Publishing, we ask for your financial support in this transition. We ask for your prayers and encouragement, as we continue to minister in the legacy of our namesake - Sola Scriptura - God's Word alone.

Yours in Christ,
The WordAlone Board and Staff

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