I think I’ve officially outgrown RELEVANT Magazine

This afternoon the new issue of RELEVANT Magazine hit my mailbox. I gave it the usual quick once-over, but this time I noticed something. I was thoroughly underwhelmed with the prospect of reading the new issue. I used to be excited when the new issue of RELEVANT arrived, but today my reaction was a barely audible “meh.”

I’ve been a subscriber for the better part of four years now. Maybe longer, I’ve lost track. But I’m finding myself reading it with much older eyes than I did in my mid-20s. And as such, it’s become considerably less … well … relevant to me.

Part of it is a byproduct of growing older I suppose. I find myself less in-the-know about the majority of the music they cover these days (and surprisingly enough I couldn’t care less). I’m also starting to find the tongue-in-cheek nature of “Slices” to be a bit sophomoric. And even the “God” part of “God. Life. Progressive Culture.” doesn’t seem to capture my imagination in quite the same way it once did.

I’d almost rather read Time, or Newsweek or maybe even (gasp) Christianity Today these days.

I’m not trying to knock RELEVANT, I still think they do a great job with what they do. But it’s just that what they do isn’t exactly what I want or need at this stage of the game.

Any suggestions for a replacement?


22 thoughts on “I think I’ve officially outgrown RELEVANT Magazine

  1. you like paste, right? i think you’ve mentioned it in here, before. there’s no spiritual aspect to the magazine, but i think it’s the best music mag out (harp & uncut are great, too). and of course you already know sojourners.

  2. I do subscribe to Paste. Which is a phenominal music magazine. You can’t beat the 20+ free tracks you get with each issue either. I’m just starting to get sick of the CD being on repeat in the car when the new issue comes each month and it’s time for a new one.

    So, from the pop-culture side of things, Paste covers that much more in-depth (and with a more “mature” palette).

    I got a couple of free issues of Sojourners a while back and skimmed them. I wasn’t that impressed, the magazine was a little limp for the cost of a subscription. And if you follow the God’s Politics blog you get alot of duplicate content.

    Ultimately I’m looking for a one-stop sollution for the 30-something, post-hipster, post-modern Christian. But I don’t think that exists.

    Ooh, I think I found a niche! 😆

  3. I felt the same way about this issue. I’m hoping however that this is just an anomaly. I mean, this is this first time I really felt blah about it, so that’s not too bad.

    My other subscriptions are WIRED and Paste. We get Time up here at work and I’m really considering adding it to my lineup. It’s pretty sweet.

    Ironically I was chatting w/ a former intern at Relevant the other day and he was telling me that they are holding on by a thread over there. Hope it doesn’t fall by the wayside.

  4. We’ve already been down the “the magazine you want to read doesn’t exist, so you’ll have to invent your own” road with Struck Mute. It was fun (and time/energy/money consuming) but it’s not likely I’d ever take a stab at something like that again.

    Ironically, three years ago I saw this coming and in a cover letter to RELEVANT for a marketing position I was applying for I jokingly suggested to Cameron Strang that when the day arrived we could spin off a new publication for thirty-somethings called “Pragmatic.”

    I’ve never heard of World and in checking it out it looked pretty interesting. I had a little sticker shock with the subscription price however.

  5. howabout going on an old school book reading binge…that’ll make you sick of our current culture and thus cure your need for keeping abreast of it. (insert emoticon here)

    start with:
    Francis Shaeffer
    C.S. Lewis (the apologetic works)
    for a taste of sociology and the arts.

    Then, for your theological pleasure, move into:
    Calvin’s institutes
    “Why revival tarries” by leonard ravenhill
    and “the City of God” by St. Augustine

  6. i just started getting Relevant this year. i have trouble reading it…or, skipping through the completely incohesive tidbits of info strewn about the pages, struggling to determine if an ad is for women’s clothing or a discipleship training seminar, or simply getting to a legitimate “article”.
    i am too old and pressed for time (mainly restricted to the toilet) to waste it skimming through a magazine trying to find the heavy stuff. i need a grown up magazine i guess.
    speaking of the toilet, have you ever tried prune juice? that stuff works.

  7. Shane, you’re freaking me out by feeling “too old” for RELEVANT.

    I’m at the same stage, and find myself feeling the same way.

    I read it now mostly for music reviews and to figure out what my students are thinking about (watching, listening to).

    (Now I’m really old)

    I would also recommend WORLD.

  8. See man, that’s the thing. You read it to get insider’s info on your high school students. I’m thirty two years old!!

    It’s great for college students and young adults. But frankly I’m convinced that no one over 30 should bother with it.

  9. There’s a joke about “storing up treasures in heaven, but keeping the FDIC behind your money” in there somewhere. I just know it.

    Are you “in banking” the way Michael Scott is “in finance?”

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