Pastors who appreciate Christian bookstores are hungry for efficient service.

Is the Christian bookstore a ministry or a business? Is it a valuable extension of the church or simply a separate entity profiting from the boom in Christian literature?

If you were to ask Christian bookstore owners and managers, 98 percent of them would say that their stores are a ministry—a valuable service arm of the church. Yet, studies done by CBA, the Christian Booksellers Association, indicate that many Christian leaders do not support Christian bookstores. In light of this fact, we need to reexamine the role of Christian bookstores and their relationship to the ministry of the church.

Roger Lund, coowner and manager of Good News Bookstore in Olympia, Washington, said, “People come into our store looking for something to fill needs in their lives, and we are often able to help. We’ll send a book home with a pastor, too, and say, ‘Hey, read this and see what you think.’ The other day I gave a book to a pastor after strongly recommending it. He took it home and later bought a dozen copies.”

Confronted by important issues and desiring to help their people effectively, some church leaders recognize that Christian bookstores and the material they sell are valuable resources. Good Christian books expand understanding, inspire, challenge, guide, and encourage spiritual growth and evangelism. “Many authors today are getting down to the nitty-gritty aspects of Christian life and presenting them in different ways,” says pastor Timothy Grassinger of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Colorado Springs. “This is good, not only for the people who read the books, but for us as pastors. We should be familiar with a broad cross section of Christian books so we can ...

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