For what are we asking a few minutes of your time?
For a survey.
Let me explain. Enclosed with this issue of our magazine is a survey designed to provide our editorial staff with a subscriber’s-eye view of The Standard Bearer. Our Survey Committee has made it as easy as possible for you to cooperate in this survey by providing various categories of evaluation for you to check and by making it possible for you to send your evaluation to us without so much as spending money for postage. Besides, we are not interested in your name; in the interest of frankness and objectivity, we want this survey to be anonymous. Hence, all we ask is that you spend a few minutes to carefully read the survey, check the appropriate blanks, add your comments if you wish, and drop it in the mail.
Do this promptly, please! If you put this aside, you will lose it or forget it. Besides, our Survey Committee would like to have ample time to tabulate the results and to prepare a thorough report prior to our annual staff meeting.
And please accept this as an intrusion on YOUR time! Don’t leave it to the other fellow. The success of this survey depends on a large—if possible, one hundred percent—participation.
Perhaps a few words about the nature and purpose of this survey would be helpful.
First of all, it is not our intention to make any fundamental change in our magazine. The Standard Bearer, as its name expresses, purposes to be the bearer of the standard. It purposes to hold high the standard, the flag, of the Reformed faith. And it purposes to do so by way of expounding, developing, defending, and applying that Reformed faith, the truth of Scripture and the confessions. And in that respect, The Standard Bearer has never intended to be a Casper Milquetoast sort of magazine; it has intended, on the contrary, to be solid and firm. It has intended to serve meat, not water. And the intentions behind the present survey are not to be construed as indicating a desire for change in this respect. Any changes which might be made as a result of this survey will be within the limitations of the fundamental character and purpose of our magazine as just described.
In the second place, however, the staff is interested in producing the best we possibly can. Annually our staff meets to lay plans and make assignments and exercise some mutual self-criticism. And besides, I think it can be said without boasting that our various writers, all of whom work on a voluntary basis and who must find time for their writing in schedules which are crowded with various other labors,—our writers, with whatever weaknesses they may have, do their best to produce something worthwhile. And the fact that on the whole our people faithfully support and subscribe to The Standard Bearer is a good sign of its reception. Nevertheless, we are interested in improvement. And part of that interest is an interest in the question whether we are communicating. If our editors write, but if you do not read them with profit, we are not communicating. And to be sure, there is no sense in writing that which is not read. Moreover, while local pastors can perhaps gain some idea of how much and how well you read, and while the undersigned can learn something about these questions from occasional “fan-mail” (Yes, we get fan-mail, most of it favorable!), it is very difficult to get a complete picture. Hence, we are conducting this survey. We are not asking all of you to write us a long, detailed letter. All we are asking is that you check a few categories and fill in a few blanks. We are not asking you to flatter us; we want you to be utterly frank and as objective as possible. And once again, we are making it as easy as possible: we are even paying the postage!
I hope that a month from now I will be able to report that we received almost one hundred per cent response.
Just a few minutes of your time, please!
Today, not tomorrow!