A Stream Milestone: 50,000 Stories Published!

By Al Perrotta Published on May 27, 2022

Break out the balloons!

Earlier this week, The Stream celebrated the publication of our 50,000th story. As the first staffer ever hired by The Stream, I can tell you that if I were wearing socks at the moment, they’d be blown off. Fifty thousand stories. First off, thank you.

While we treasure every single Streamer, I’m especially grateful today to those who have been with us from the start, when we were trying to find our voice. Finding that sweet mix of wisdom and accessibility. Serving the average Joe and Jane who has a passion for their country, not trying to impress the Beltway crowd or even conservative elites. (The irony being, the more we worked to reach and bless you, the more our stories seemed to impact movers and shakers.)

At a meeting the other day, one of our merry little band wondered what story has been our most successful. In terms of hits, the answer is Pia de Solenni’s “Open Letter to Jennifer Lopez and Shakira,” written after their raunchy performance in Super Bowl LIV in 2020.

Whose Map?

But the truth is, we don’t know what our most successful story has been, and won’t know this side of heaven. We serve a Master who doesn’t count clicks or track Facebook likes or retweets. We briefly had a writer who insisted a string of hit pieces on a particular politician would “put us on the map!” “Yeah,” I said. “But whose map?”

Make no mistake, we have some writers on the Stream — to say nothing of our publisher James Robison — who could generate a whole lot of secular and media attention if we wanted to. But the only thing that matters is, “Are we writing today what the Lord wants us to write?” And if we keep to that, then we did our job. We remain on His map. The only one that matters.

Nancy and the Irate Reader

A good example. A few years back, Stream Senior Editor Nancy Flory wrote a little story that did not do well by Google Analytic standards. The story was also so innocuous it should not have raised any ire. Yet a young man ripped into it in such a personal way (not like an obnoxious bot) that Nancy felt compelled to reach out. Turns out the young man was struggling with his sexuality, and was both embittered and confused and angry at church people. Nancy lovingly engaged with this young man to the point the young man was not only apologetic, but marveled that a Christian would be so kind to him. He said it changed his perspective on Christians.

So tell me, was the Jennifer Lopez open letter the most successful of the Stream’s 50,000 stories or was Nancy’s? Or perhaps it was the Jason Jones and John Zmirak story on Syria that apparently helped sway minds in the Trump White House, fending off a disaster? Or some story that came and went in the never-ending rush that offered hope to someone at the end of their rope? Or helped lead someone to Christ? Or helped convince someone to choose life over abortion? Or helped equip a pastor to serve his congregation in a way that will have generational impact?

Thanking Our Contributors

In addition to Stream staffers past and present, the Stream has been blessed with amazing contributors. Too many to name and too great a thanks to express in one article. And what a range: from vice presidents of the United States to a bartender in Napa Valley. U.S. senators to military housewives. Top notch academics to a retired airline pilot.

All keeping to The Stream’s “10 Principles” … and Al’s 11th Principle: “Don’t be boring.”

We do have to give a special shout-out to Dr. Michael Brown. A man who is so prolific I am convinced he must have two sets of hands simultaneously writing two stories at a time. His stories are so consistently good and timely that in our early days, half (or more) of the week’s top stories would be his.

Also, hearty thanks go to our friends in the fight, Daily Caller News Foundation, The Daily Signal, FEE, Breakpoint, et al, who allow us to reprint their stories without delay. An extra big thanks to Gov. Mike Huckabee, who not only lets us reprint his columns immediately, but is a great friend of our parent ministry, LIFE Outreach International.

Thanks, Folks Across the Street … and an Apology

Here’s a simple fact. We never would have gotten started … let alone survived … let alone gotten better and better … let alone reached 50,000 stories … without the passion, vision and unyielding support of James Robison. The evangelist leader’s idea of partnering with Catholic academic Jay Richards for a conservative Christian commentary site that united across denominational lines on shared principles was simply divine.

Anglicans, Catholics, Baptists, Orthodox, Messianic Jews and Charismatics. Together. And by God’s grace, it has worked!

Even through the tough times, Rev. Robison has been steadfast in his support. And boy, does he retain his passion for what we do. James can be doing a lot of things with his time at this stage in his ministry and life. He doesn’t need to be calling different ones of us at all hours, to offer suggestions, work on an article of his own … or just to say how much he loves us. Man, if you don’t think that matters when you’re worn and frustrated by the state of the world and convinced what you’re doing isn’t making a dent — it matters.

Please Support The Stream: Equipping Christians to Think Clearly About the Political, Economic, and Moral Issues of Our Day.

We also have to thank the rest of the people “across the street” at LIFE Outreach. We were the strange relatives who suddenly came to town. A Cousin Oliver, if Cousin Oliver raised more ruckus than a heavy metal band. We were a pain. But they did what they needed to do to help us. Thankfully, we got our act together, and have become fully embraced into the LOI family.

Well … one office might be mad at us. I’ll tell you why in a second.

Just Getting Started

Now for the good news. We may have hit 50,000 stories, but we are just beginning. 50,000 is loosening our arm. Taking a warm up jog. Spring training event.

The new Stream season is about to start. One that’ll see our stories more widely spread. Our voice louder. That’s because we have managed to pry away from across the street the amazing Gayle McDougall to be our social media coordinator. Yeah, it took plenty of draft picks and plenty of forgiveness on the part of Building A. But she’s coming over and the impact will be off the charts.

Gayle will have plenty to do. The world will be providing plenty of source material. (The days of summer lulls are over.) Our prayer is that God will rest upon The Stream and you will continue joining us for the trip.

Here’s to the next 50,000!

 

Al Perrotta was The Stream’s first staff hire and is currently the Managing Editor.

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