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GENI: Keeping the passion alive PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 09:14 AM EDT
A message from Geni Hulsey, president of the Church Bookstore Network:

A single word has been rattling around in my head and in my heart of late: passion.

I think it is because I saw so much of it last month at The Gathering 2010. I saw it in the faces of attendees as they told me about their stores, about things that had happened this last year—souls saved, people ministered to, children learning about Jesus.

I heard, too, about the financial struggles they were having, along with trying to build relationships with other staff members and the desire they had to improve in these areas.

I also found it in the stories vendors told me about why they had created the products they brought to The Gathering. And in the stories of the authors and artists who took part in our special evening reception, as they told us how they had come to write their stories or created their art.

But, always, I heard the passion for what they doing.

It started me thinking—what is passion and why do we call Christ's crucifixion "the Passion of Christ"? The plain and simple truth is the original definition and usage of "passion" was directly connected with the crucifixion. It meant suffering, agony—specifically, Christ's suffering and agony on the cross.

But there is a relation between the original meaning of the word and its present-day usage, which usually means strong emotion or zeal. Some scholars believe that the 13-century journey to the word's current meaning included a stop at a Latin word, passio, meaning "affection of the mind" or "emotion."

I would never be able to equate any "passion" that humans may have with the Passion—the suffering, the agony—of our Lord. But when you look at the evolution of the word, it truly embodies what I see and hear on a daily basis from those involved in the church bookstore ministry.

THE GATHERING 2010: More moments PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 09:07 AM EDT
If you were at The Gathering 2010 and want to relive some of the special moments, or were unable to be there and would like to get a taste of what you missed, check out our photo and video galleries online. You will find snapshots from the event and be able to see what church bookstore representatives who were there appreciated about it.

Go to

Wednesday, 12 May 2010 08:55 AM EDT

CBA's big summer show in St. Louis, June 27-30, includes two sessions specifically geared towards church bookstores—on Tuesday, June 29-as part of the educational offerings.

"Using Social Media to Market Your Church Store" will look at how church stores can integrate social-media tools already being used in the church to help build a stronger community around the store.

"Aligning Church Leadership With Your Ministry" will examine how to ensure that church leaders understand and are on track with the direction of the store.

For more information, go to

INSIGHTS: Effective endcaps PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 08:50 AM EDT

by Michelle Amster

There are several key things to remember when planning an endcap display, which, when applied, will cause a noticeable increase in sales of products positioned there.

First, if your current book island units do not have slatwall end panels, you need to have them installed. You can either contact a fixture company or have them made by a local builder. Make sure that they are finished with molding all around the slatwall so that it doesn't look like an afterthought.

Next, make sure that you have the correct shelves and tools so that you can put all kinds of product on the slatwall end panels. You can either use acrylic or metal endcap shelves, which are available from several display companies.

Book displays: End panels can highlight smaller book categories that can easily be overlooked. Consider categories such as audiobooks, large print books, books for senior adults or Bible software, as they are normally smaller categories in small- and medium-sized stores.

The other main way to take advantage of slatwall end panels is to highlight new books or best-selling books, or feature an author or a category.

PICTURE OF THE WEEK: Creating with color PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 08:46 AM EDT
Picking out a color or style from a featured product can be an effective way of building an eye-catching display for the item—as here at The Garden store at Houston's First Baptist Church in Houston. Though the products grouped together are quite different, they work well because of the unifying color.
ADVICE: Dear Betty PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 08:43 AM EDT
Where should we feature audiobooks—with the books or on a separate spinner?

There is no easy answer to this. Audiobooks are a niche product, and you have to determine where the target customer is most likely going to look for them. In my store, we use spinners. It gives the visual impact of seeing the whole selection at one time. It's attractive and adds importance to the category.

There are those of the opinion, however, that the audio version of a book should be placed next to the hardcover or trade paper version on the shelf. My only objection to this approach is that they can become lost on a heavily filled bookshelf.

You may find that your customers respond to cross-stocking, but whatever style of shelving you choose, remember that most audiobook customers are serious readers. Some use audiobooks to make good use of time spent commuting, and others with vision problems may prefer this method of enjoying a book.

In order to make this section pay for itself, you will have to market your audiobooks. And don't be afraid to carry some classic books and even Bibles.

Got a question for Betty Bookstore? Write to her at

CHURCH LIFE: Tuning in to teens PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 08:40 AM EDT
To better serve your church's teens with resources that will help, you need to understand their hopes and dreams—and where God fits into them.

According to a recent survey by The Barna Group, the most common aspirations of teenagers are related to education and their professional pursuits, with completing a college degree their top-rated future priority.

Questioning a nationwide sample of more than 600 teens and asking them to describe what they think their life will be like roughly 10 years from now, as young adults, the researchers learned:

College and career: In all, 93% of teenagers said they would either definitely or probably obtain a college degree by their mid-20s. In terms of career, 81% of teenagers felt they are likely to have a "great-paying job" by the time they are 25.

God and global: Having a connection with God and international travel emerged as second-level priorities. Nearly three-quarters of teenagers felt they would have a close personal relationship with God (72%) in the next decade or so. About seven out of 10 youths (71%) said they will definitely or probably have traveled to other countries by their mid-20s.

Family and church: Most American teenagers expected to be engaged in the traditional institutions of marriage and church involvement (58% and 63%, respectively). However, only a small percentage felt certain about these outcomes in their own lives: 29% of teenagers said they believed they would definitely be "actively involved in a church or faith community."

Current church attendance appears to be a better predictor of future religious activity than is a teen's religious affiliation. Among weekly attenders of religious youth groups, 60% said they definitely will be involved in a church in the future, which compares to just 22% of teens who attend less frequently and 14% among teens who never attend such religious functions.

Source: The Barna Group

-To read the full report, click here.

ANSWERS OF THE WEEK: Sermon recordings PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 08:37 AM EDT
We asked: How do you handle your pastor's recorded sermons?

At RiverTree Christian Church we have a bookstore and a library located near our church's welcome center area. In the welcome center, church attendees may pick up a complimentary copy of the day's sermon on CD (and any other CDs in the current series or past month). All sermons are free to download and listen to from our church Web site as well.

In the bookstore, customers can order sermon CDs of past sermons for $2 each, which are available for pick-up the following week. In the library we catalog one copy of each sermon that is given at our church. These may be checked out (borrowed) for free for two weeks, along with the other 6,500 items in our library.

Diane Busch
Manager, RiverTree Christian Church Bookstore
Librarian, RiverTree Christian Church Library
Massillon, Ohio

Our department produces the sets for the bookstore and online store sales. We have all of our series available for purchase online on CD, DVD or MP3. We have all of our series available on CD and DVD in our bookstores, too—we still sell several from years back.

We work with our design department on graphics and then our post-production department on masters for the CDs, DVDs, and they actually load the MP3 to the server. We have a lot of success with our sermon sets.

Bobby Williams
Director of resource ministries
Gateway Church

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Summer stand-ins PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 08:35 AM EDT
Staff numbers can be depleted during the summer season. How do you handle opening hours when staff or volunteers are going to be away?

Share your experiences and thoughts with others at

Wednesday, 12 May 2010 08:34 AM EDT
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."
3 John 1:4, New International Version
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