The RELEVANT Story
RELEVANT is a multimedia company whose purpose is to impact culture and give voice to what God is doing in and through our generation. We believe encountering God changes lives, so we look at how we can live that out in tangible and intentional ways. We talk about culture and real-life issues that other faith-based magazines might shy away from, because we believe it’s important to address the gritty stuff of life—even when it makes us uncomfortable. If it’s relevant to our readers, you’ll find it on our pages.
Since 2000, RELEVANT has been the leading platform reaching Christian twenty- and thirtysomethings. Covering faith, culture and intentional living, the stories we tell are at the intersection of where a Christ-centered life is really lived. Our magazine is not about “being relevant to culture”—it’s that a relationship with God is relevant to every aspect of our lives.
That’s why we cover faith, culture, current events, relationships, career, justice — you know, the stuff that’s relevant to our readers’ lives — from a faith-centered perspective.
We reach about 5,000,000 twenty- and thirtysomething Christians a month through all of our platforms.
We’re twenty- and thirtysomething Christians seeking God and striving to impact the world around us. We are people who want to live well—outwardly, creatively and intentionally. We are pro-Church and want to love our neighbors as ourselves. We serve the Creator, so we love great art—whether that be redemptive music, movies, books or design. We are daily seeking to show how God is at work in the world and in our generation.
We publish ideas that break stereotypes, challenge the status quo and spur a generation to know God and change their worlds. We want to engage our generation in a deeper conversation about faith, challenging people to see God outside the box they’ve put Him in. We believe in the importance of the Church and want to be catalysts for change rather than part of the mass exodus of our generation leaving it.
We also believe a lot can be learned by looking more deeply at things that challenge you. We want to build bridges of understanding. We’re tired of the us-versus-them approach of previous generations. That’s why you’ll see coverage and conversations with people that don’t fit into traditional religious molds.
Christians can’t be complacent living in a Christian bubble and never engaging the world they live in. We want to live the way Jesus did. Through relationship and love, the world was changed. We don’t think believers should be known primarily for legalism and bigotry. We believe in dialogue—about Truth, about faith, about freedom in Christ.
Cameron Strang founded RELEVANT Media Group on June 1, 2000, when he was 24. It’s a self-contained, for-profit business not affiliated with any other companies, denominations or organizations.
We published 85 books from 2001-2006 (R.I.P., RELEVANT Books), launched this website in March 2002, and the print magazine in March, 2003. In 2005, we launched hilarious and insightful RELEVANT Podcast, which features a stellar cast, notable guests and artists each week. In 2016, we debuted the RELEVANT Podcast Network, featuring a wide spectrum of chart-topping shows. Over the years, we’ve published other magazines—Radiant, RELEVANT U, Reject Apathy—and have partnered with a number of notable ministries in efforts to impact this generation. We’ve done a lot with a little.
At the end of 2019, after 101 issues, due to economic challenges and shifts in how this generation consumes media, we chose to put our bi-monthly print magazine on hiatus. We took most of 2020 to lay the foundation for our next era.
More than ever, we are committed to giving voice to what God is doing in this generation. We’re still passionate about covering the intersection of faith and culture. We’re still passionate about justice and living life well. But as culture, technology and trends shift, how we cover those things needs to change, too.
The process we went through in 2020 was essentially this: Knowing what we know now, if we were starting RELEVANT from scratch, what would we do differently? What we we do for highest impact? How would we operate? To be honest, the answer probably wouldn’t include mailing paper to people’s houses six times a year.
So, we decided to let go of some of our old business models and products to create room for new innovation. We chose to get more nimble. We wanted to create margin to do things we couldn’t do before. We also decided to finally do some substantive changes behind the scenes, like appointing an executive board. We ripped RELEVANT to the ground and rebuilt it.
The new era of RELEVANT will entail four major components:
- Our daily content at RELEVANTmagazine.com. In September 2020, we launched an all-new website. In addition to the daily content our audience has come to know, the site, which you’re currently reading, now features daily devotionals, new content newsletters, and daily video content. And we always have more big plans in the pipeline.
- Our podcasts. We’ve been podcasting since 2005 with the weekly RELEVANT Podcast. In 2020, we introduced a new cast, including Jamie Ivey, Derek Minor, Jesse Carey and Cameron Strang, and took the podcast to twice a week, publishing every Tuesday and Friday. In addition, we’re continuing to work on new shows to add to our RELEVANT Podcast Network, from The Dharius Daniels Podcast and American Awakening, to a totally reinvented RELEVANT News and other exciting shows debuting every season.
- The magazine. This is the big one. In 2020, we went to the drawing board and asked ourselves what was the best way to deliver long-form, journalistic content in this new era. We publish features and daily short-form content every day at RELEVANTmagazine.com, but there’s something different about magazine content that’s worth settling in with, spending more time with. And that’s why we’ve been committed to print for so long — it’s the sort of content you want to keep, read and then keep on your coffee table (90% of our subscribers kept a copy of RELEVANT for almost a year).So, here’s the plan for our new era: Every two months, we’ll publish a new digital issue at RELEVANTmagazine.com. It will have a cover story, top-tier contributors, profiles, interviews and substantive think-pieces. The articles will be long-form. It’s the kind of content worth keeping … which is why, yes, we’re also planning on printing it. Once a year, we will be producing a RELEVANT annual, a print publication encompassing the best RELEVANT magazine content from the year. Something big and thick you can keep on your coffee table.
- RELEVANT+. For our subscribers, this fall we’ll be launching RELEVANT+, a subscription that will take your RELEVANT print experience even further. Yes, that means a content paywall is coming. (Don’t worry, there will be a free registration that gives non-members free content every month.) But RELEVANT+ members will get full access to the magazine content, our full 17-year magazine archives, and all current content. Members will also have an ad-free reading experience (!). And they’ll get other exclusive content, from podcasts to video to live stream events and more. Our team is at work on RELEVANT+ now, and more info will be announced soon. And yes, any print magazine subscribers who paused their subscriptions last year will automatically be transitioned to their remaining term of RELEVANT+, plus a free year on us. (Thanks for sticking with us!)
We’re so thankful for all of you who have been part of the RELEVANT journey over the last 20 years. Behind the scenes, this year we’ve been so hard at work setting up our new era, we know we haven’t launched many new things publicly yet. And despite that, somehow, our audience has grown 30% this year. We don’t get it! But it makes us even more excited for you all to see what we’ve been working on, and what we have rolling out in the coming weeks and months.
While we have big dreams and bold plans, obviously with how quickly things change, nothing is set in stone. We’re holding everything with open hands. We just want to make sure everything we produce is missionally clear, uniquely us, and makes a positive difference. Sometimes methods have to change, and products may come and go. But calling doesn’t. Mission doesn’t.
What We Believe
If you’re at this website you’re probably on a spiritual journey. Christianity is not a destination. No one has it all figured out. And because of that you’ll find the articles in RELEVANT ask questions a lot of others won’t, which is something we feel is vital to our spiritual growth. We need to never stop pursuing Truth and authenticity with passion.
But we do believe. We believe that eternal life and the only true freedom is found in Christ. We believe a relationship with God changes things forever. You are not the person you used to be after you find Him. You may not be perfect—we’re all sinners, after all—but you don’t live the way you used to. Jesus told us to be in the world, yet not of it. We’re supposed to stand out and make a difference. We’re supposed to live for something bigger than ourselves.
That’s not something we can magically attain overnight. Following Christ and figuring out what it means to be like Him is a lifelong quest. It’s the hardest, longest and most rewarding thing we will ever undertake. It is what will define us—not only in this life, but the life to come.
For more information about Christianity, we recommend checking out the Bible (it is the source, after all) and finding a good local church where you can meet other people like you.