There is a growing concern that society has been steadily moving away from faith of any kind and as a result, fewer and fewer of the mainstream bookstores are selling religious books or articles of any kind. You may find a very small section consisting of a few shelves in a store the size of a large city block. This is just one reason why it would benefit your assembly to have a Christian bookstore on site at your church, but there are other reasons as well. Consider a few of the following and you just might be motivated to start a bookstore for your church.
Wholesome Literature – Fiction and Nonfiction
Way back in the day the ‘in-crowd’ coined a phrase that is still strong today, “Sex, drugs and rock-n-roll,” and many youth pastors and parents cringe each and every time they hear it. It says nothing for the morals we, as a society, are raising our children to uphold and as a result, that mindset has permeated the very literature that was once uplifting and Godly. If you want to offer your congregation an alternative to the filth that has permeated bookstores and theaters around the world, you can offer them wholesome literature that has been reviewed by your church council and/or elders.
Fundraising the Easy Way
Did you ever stop to consider the markup on retail books? It’s a sizeable profit those stores are making! Why not sell books and Christian gifts so that the profits can go back into the church community? You can use advertising as innovative as retractable banners that you have designed to highlight new editions to your store or sales you are currently running. These can be placed not only in the store area of your church but in the office, in local businesses if operated by church members and in some other highly visible locations. They can be set on any solid surface and can be retracted as needed. This is fundraising at its best because you will certainly make a profit on each and every item sold and the bookstore, if only open on weekends before and after services, would be ‘staffed’ by volunteers.
Bringing the Community Together
Some churches have coffee socials after weekend services in which coffee and donuts are served. Others have a covered dish pot luck one Sunday a month and others have Bingo one night of the week. What many of these congregations have found is that members tend to spend time socializing while looking through the latest books and gifts in your church store. It is one more ‘social event’ that has the potential to get members talking and discussing their faith and witnessing to others all at the same time.
Not only will you be able to raise extra funds for your congregation and your outreach ministries but you will also be enriching the lives of the very people you have vowed to serve. Give them something morally and ethically correct to read and minister to them through those words. If you haven’t thought of starting a small shop at your church, now might be the time to entertain such a thought. Society needs your witness and this is one very real way in which you can do so in a quiet and meaningful way.