The Importance of My Locally-Owned Christian Bookstore
It is no surprise to anyone that locally owned businesses are under a lot of pressure to survive in a challenging economy. If you are blessed to have a locally owned Christian bookstore in your community, you know what an impact they have on churches, families and individuals. Here is what best selling author, Randy Alcorn has to say about the importance of his locallly owned Christian bookstore:
“I’ll just come right out and say it; I love books, Christian bookstores and Christian bookstore owners! I grew up in a non-Christian home, then came to Christ as a high-schooler. I immediately started devouring Christian books, including The Calvary Road, In His Steps, The Cross and the Switchblade, Tortured for Christ, God’s Smuggler, and still my favorite, The Knowledge of the Holy.
My youth pastor gave me a key to his office and told me I could come in any time, and read any book I wanted. I spent hours there, but it wasn’t enough.
There was an elderly Swiss couple in the church, Bill and Martha Kunz, who owned a Christian bookstore, which was their renovated garage. Several times
each week I’d go through their shelves book by book, read chapters, and buy as many as I could afford.
Thanks to that bookstore and those dear owners, I was introduced to and discipled by C. S. Lewis, A. W. Tozer, and Francis Schaeffer, among others.
My growth as a young Christian and my training for the ministry of writing is inseparably linked to books and bookstores. I’m profoundly indebted to those who sell Christian books, as well as those who publish them. I’ve made many friends among Christian booksellers. I have a special place for the people kind enough not only to get others’ books into my hands, but for the last 25 years
to get my books into others’ hands. I Thank them for doing what they do, which I know firsthand is investing in eternity.”
Best Selling Author, Speaker, Pastor and Supporter of Locally-Owned Christian Bookstores
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Here is a real life example of a locally-owned Christian bookstore’s challenge:
“In Karen Kingsbury’s latest release, The Bridge, the well regarded author weaves details of the changes that face independent bookstores throughout the love story plot. As an independent Christian bookstore owner I have often been frustrated by the “disconnect” well-meaning people have when it comes to how they choose to spend their God given resource of money.
A case in point: Last Sunday a local pastor concluded his sermon by providing the names of specific books and resources and encouraged the congregants to purchase for further exploration of the topic. So far, so good, I thought. I reviewed the list and knew that I had the titles but would need to place an additional order so that I had multiple copies at my store, Amazing Grace. I was confident that the other two Christian retailers in Gloucester County -the Joshua Tree in Woodbury and The Way Station in Elk Township -also carry them.
What I heard next was truly astounding. Instead of suggesting that these resources be purchased locally , the Pastor advised that they could be purchased online from a secular retailer. I realize that people can choose to shop anywhere they choose, however, the Pastor never even suggested shopping locally. By the way, we have a wonderful online store with the ability to purchase online, download an ebook or have a copied reserved for a store pick-up.
Here’s hoping that 2013 is the year folks recognize the bigger picture and shop locally! After all, there are three fine Christian bookstores to choose from in this area. Yes, we are retailers- that is how we pay our bills. First and foremost, we are the Lord’s ambassadors – a ministry to the community. We pray with our customers, sometimes we even cry with them.
Can the same be said about big box retailers like Walmart or warehouse clubs or Amazon?
We are here to serve you and would humbly ask you to choose wisely whom your dollars serve. As for me and the staff at Amazing Grace, we will serve our guests with genuine care and Christ-like compassion with the best selection of Christian products at competitive prices.
To find your locally owned Christian bookstore, visit the “find a local store” tab or http://www.mtlmagazine.com/store