The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


February 12, 2009

Price points and faith

Several days ago I had an interesting conversation with a man who had ordered six gift subscriptions to The Little Lutheran for toddlers in his life. Because he ordered six, he qualified for the group rate of only $12.95 per subscription (a one-year subscription is $24.95). I was delighted to see that six more little ones will receive a magazine that shows them how much God loves them and that Jesus is their savior and friend. And this man was excited about giving such a gift to children in his life—and excited to get such a good price. He told me that the $24.95 price felt a little high. I've heard that many times before. So I told him what I always say when I hear that: While that price point may seem high, think about the last time you bought a gift in any store for your grandchild, godchild or child. I'm a grandma and have eight grandchildren. I don't find much that costs $24.95 or less, at least not anything of quality. And I don't find much for that price that has such lifelong impact!

Though we had a lovely conversation, it reminded me of an experience years ago when I was a young mother and pastor's wife and I worked on the annual Christmas bazaars that the women's group in our congregation sponsored. I donated hand-made items, and I also worked at the bazaar. I remember hearing potential buyers for the lovely hand-crafted things many women had made: "On, this costs way too much. I can get that cheaper at (fill in the blank with a store name)." I remember thinking that they could never get something so well-made at a store and that hours of someone's time went into the item and the price didn't even come close to what it actually was worth. In addition, the money was going to do mission work. I wondered then why it is that people expect things to be cheap at church.

I guess we each have in our heads some price point, an amount over which we just cannot go for a given item. That will differ for each of us. But what I wonder about: Do we expect more for less—or for nothing—from our church or religious organization? Do we have a double standard?

Let me say re. The Little Lutheran and The Little Christian: We are providing a high quality, sturdy, colorful magazine for children that is still affordable. We use heavy card stock and use no staples so that it's safe for the children age 6 and younger for whom it's designed.  It's a good investment in your child's faith life. Subscribe online or by calling 800-328-4648 (you may also request a promotional guide or ask to buy a sample copy). And, of course, you may subscribe six children in your life and qualify for the group rate—or join with five friends and subscribe six children. 

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