>>>We’ve been called to a new adventure. Is that how we all see our future in the Christian products industry?

Our vision may remain the same—to reach all people around the world with the products and resources that spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ—but the way we carry out that vision looks very different today than it did when we began. What is this new adventure we’ve been called to? What does it look like? The adventure is the new role of Christian retail. As to what it looks like—well, that’s what we’re in the midst of determining now.

[quote]Change is inevitable—even biblical.[/quote]

We’re not the first community of people to stand in the midst of change with a vision still burning in our hearts, uncertain of how that vision will be attained. We can gain encouragement and direction from our biblical forefathers who stood on one side of the Jordan River, knowing the Promised Land was a crossing away, and yet uncertain about what would meet them on the other side.

God met them where they were, and He meets us today with the exhortation, “Be strong and courageous. … Be strong and very courageous” (Joshua 1:6-7). Now, as then, the reason for our confidence is in the words that follow: “Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left…do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it” (Joshua 1:7-8).

We may get clues about our future from what we know about our “new land”— changes in the culture, in shoppers, in technology—but our hope and our future is still deeply rooted in simple obedience to God’s Word.

 


 

Change is inevitable—even biblical. Before the Israelites were led across the Jordan, God changed their leaders. He changed the course of their mission. He led those who were faithful into a new adventure that required a new set of skills and strategies. The vision and promise remained, but everything familiar and known to the people changed.

No wonder they needed so many reminders to be strong and courageous.

How is God preparing us for change?

We’re undergoing significant change at CBA. First, as a result of taking a fresh look at how we can better steward our resources and serve our members, we’re moving into a new building. It’s just across town (not across the Jordan), but it already feels like a new beginning.

[quote]a “no-holds-barred” look at where we’ve been, what we do, how we do it, and where we need to go to serve the industry in these times of challenge and change.[/quote]

We’re also taking a deep and thoughtful evaluation of our business models and strategic direction to fulfill our promise of helping Christian-product providers achieve their mission of reaching all people. This requires a “no-holds-barred” look at where we’ve been, what we do, how we do it, and where we need to go to serve the industry in these times of challenge and change.

 


 

Changes are also in motion for the International Christian Retail Show as we focus on drilling in to the issues that affect us all and continue to reinforce the power of relationships and connection and having a place where the industry meets.

We’re expecting great things for the future and encourage a spirit of reflection, evaluation, and innovation as we all seek God’s wisdom and will.

This isn’t easy and we sometimes feel vulnerable, but we look to the same God of the Israelites at the shore of the Jordan—the God who said, “Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

And I’ll add again—be strong and courageous.