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ICRS: Charles Stanley urges church store staff to 'be filled with the Spirit' Print Email
Written by Ginny McCabe   
Tuesday, 24 June 2014 11:32 PM America/New_York

CharlesStanley-ChurchStoresChurch store managers, staff and those considering entering the church store market gathered Tuesday during ICRS at the Church Store Connection Center for a time of education, networking and fellowship. Charles Stanley offered the keynote message during the Church Store Luncheon.

Dr. Stanley, senior pastor of First Baptist Atlanta and founder and president of In Touch Ministries, encouraged the church store personnel.

“I know you are the ones that make it happen in all of these bookstores, and I am very privileged to be able to speak to you just for a few moments,” Stanley said. “I’ve been a pastor for 57 years, and I’ve read a lot of books. I’ve been in a lot of bookstores. I’ve written a few books. When I think about the whole issue of books and bookstores, I think about all of the bookstores I visit.”

Truth is clearly what is top of mind for the longtime pastor.

“When I think about the 57 years I’ve been in ministry, I really only have one goal, ultimately, and that is to get the truth of the gospel to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, in the power of the Holy Spirit,” he said.

He inspired attendees, calling them to be “fearless,” “good listeners” and “look for ways to meet customers’ needs.”

“When someone walks through your door, they are very important,” he said. “It’s your responsibility. You need to be filled with the Spirit of God, just as much as any pastor.”

He said bookstores should be a “happy place” and it boils down to “how big your heart is.”

“Smile, offer a warm handshake, or a word of encouragement. Let customers know you are happy to help them.” Stanley said. “You’re not just a store manager, you are a missionary, chosen by God.”

Dr. Stanley received a standing ovation from the crowd, upon his arrival to the luncheon as well as at the conclusion of his message.

Two workshops also were offered this year. A morning session, “Back to Basics,” was led by a panel of church store managers: Rachel Savage (The Chapel Store, Melbourne, Florida), Janet McKinley (The Bookstore at First Baptist Church, Atlanta) and Jeanne Terrill (New Hope Church, Manvel, Texas).

An afternoon workshop, “Café Conundrum,” was led by Susan Chipman and Carolyn Bilger (Granger Community Church, Granger, Indiana) They offered advice on how to start a café, or coffee bar and provided tips on how to manage an existing café. 

Vendors were also given an opportunity to share about their products during the workshops.

According to church bookstore consultant and event organizer Geni Hulsey, the purpose for the center was to give church bookstore workers an opportunity to connect with one another.

“Connecting with one another is vital," Hulsey said. "Operating a church bookstore and issues within the store are different from an independent store or a chain store.”