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Today Devotional Reaches New Milestones

September 2, 2020

Back to God Ministry International

This year marks 70 years of God’s faithfulness to the Today devotional.

Launched in 1950 by Back to God Ministries International, the media outreach of the Christian Reformed Church, God has used Today to reach hundreds of thousands of readers across North America.

“Milestones such as this give us an opportunity not only to look back but also to take stock of new ways that God is at work,” said Jeff Bulthuis, managing editor for Today and senior content manager for ReFrame Media.

One of the new ways that God has clearly been working through Today in recent years has been through the ministry’s daily email subscriptions.

In fact, the number of email subscribers surpassed the print booklet readership last year. And just last month, Today passed 250,000 email subscribers from around the world.

When Today began it had a different name: The Family Altar. Back to God Ministries International first launched the devotional booklet to respond to Back to God Hour radio listeners who wanted to know more about the Bible and grow deeper in faith.

Although the original name has changed, the ministry remains the same and it continues to reach far beyond Christian Reformed audiences.

A Childhood Memory

“Testimonies from readers like Jill remind us that Today is still at work in the lives of families and individuals alike,” Bulthuis said.

As a child, Jill’s family read Today together every night after dinner. When Jill grew up and moved out of the house, she stopped reading, but her parents continued their tradition.

Last year, Jill’s parents passed away. Some time after—while sorting through their mail—she stumbled upon her parents’ Today renewal letter, and childhood memories of reading the devotional came flooding back to Jill.

“I saw the renewal notice for the devotional,” Jill wrote.

God prompted Jill to fill out her parent’s renewal form with her own address. Now Jill receives Today and shares it with those she loves.

“We know that our world is filled with people like Jill who grew up in the Christian faith but have stopped believing or stopped spending time in God’s Word,” Bulthuis added. “We’re so happy that we continue to share the gospel with people who are disconnected from Jesus or never had a vibrant relationship with him in the first place.”

Audio Messages

Over the years, the Christian Reformed Church has helped Today expand further into the digital world, even beyond email. Reader support has even made it possible for people to listen to Today on their favorite podcast player or on their smart speaker devices.

Read how Lois, a Christian Reformed reader in Minnesota, uses her Alexa-enabled smart speaker to listen every day in September’s issue of the Banner.