This year, Just Between Us magazine celebrates 25 years of equipping and encouraging women for a life of faith. Founded in 1990 by international speaker and author Jill Briscoe, Just Between Us has served as a lifeline for women in the U.S. and overseas. What began as a humble newsletter just for pastors’ wives has since become a four-color, 48-page quarterly publication for any Christian woman desiring to deepen her faith and service, available worldwide.
Just Between Us got its start in the form of a digest-sized magazine called Sunday to Sunday, published by Christianity Today, Inc. In 1990, the magazine was bought by Preaching Magazine in Florida, taking on a newsletter format edited by Jill Briscoe. In 1994, Briscoe took over the publication, bringing it to Milwaukee, Wis., where it has been published ever since. At that time, it evolved again into a magazine format with the new name of Just Between Us. In that year, average orders were 52 per month – and today, has grown to more than 350.
With headquarters in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Just Between Us is run by a team of six part-time staff and more than 50 volunteers. Shelly Esser is the editor. Their combined efforts make the ministry possible. Volunteers range in age from 20 to 87, all giving of their time and talent to handle everything from subscriptions and marketing to web development and management. “Support is so important when you are working toward a goal, a vision,” said founder Jill Briscoe. “Not only do you have different talents that can fill needs – this person knows technology, this person handles mailings, this person provides counsel – but you have the support of each other. You are all working toward a common goal; you are united.”
In the beginning, publishing experts told Briscoe that running a magazine would never work this way, because publishing is so hard. But Briscoe had a dream for a tool to encourage women serving around the world who were discouraged, feeling alone, and under-resourced. As a result, she moved ahead anyway. Against all odds, Just Between Us makes its way around the world every quarter to become the lifeline Briscoe envisioned so long ago.
From humble beginnings, Just Between Us has become an internationally recognized magazine, with over 8,500 paid subscribers in all 50 states and over 65 countries. An additional 14,000 women subscribe to a monthly e-newsletter and e-devotionals, and thousands more read through websites and articles translated into Japanese, Portuguese, Vietnamese, and many other languages. Just Between Us has partnerships with women all over the world due to Briscoe’s extensive travels.
“Seeing (women) grow in their faith has been wonderful,” said Briscoe, reflecting on Just Between Us’s history. “I’ve had people tell me that having JBU, receiving it in the mail, is like having a friend come through the door…it’s a blessing. It’s very humbling. It’s amazing what God has done with our little publication.”
The magazine will host its Just Between Us Conference with Jill Briscoe on Sept. 22 to 24, 2015. The conference will be held at Forest Springs Camp & Conference Center in Westboro, Wisconsin.
Learn more about Just Between Us at www.justbetweenus.org.
-- Posted July 9, 2015