Advance the Mission

If you were adrift at sea and someone threw you a life preserver, would you grab it? Most people would do whatever it took to get that floating ring, even reaching beyond physical limitations if it meant the chance for life. Yet, how many have actually said “no” to the life preserver and resigned themselves to perish when it came to their business?

I understand we’re living in difficult times and the challenges before us as an industry—both ministry and business—can seem like a monstrous tidal wave that threatens to wash us under. But we just can’t give up the fight. What we need is that life preserver—a new profitability model that sustains Christian retail and lifts the entire industry.

CBA has been working on this model, most of which was presented at UNITE 2016 in Cincinnati (see “New Strategic Alliance Builds Retail Opportunity” in this month’s issue of Christian MARKET). In a nutshell, we’ve been working with GR Advisors and partners to bring a powerful new way for Christian stores to access exclusive cross-category product and strategic marketing to benefit the store and CBA members with traffic, sales, and customer connection.

Primary driver

What’s the primary driver behind any plan that connects authors and artists, suppliers, retailers, and customers? Content. “Content is king” is a refrain with which we’re all familiar; but how content is accessed, released, and distributed to the marketplace is rapidly changing.

The implications for us are both obvious and profound: The strategy we embrace to turn these changes to our advantage will determine our future.

Within this strategy, every area of the industry has a role to play—content creators, suppliers, and retailers— with the end result of stronger stores, higher product sales, more visibility for Christian product, and ultimately, community impact for Christ.

But the model only works if we unite as one body to seek out and produce exclusive content, support it, and fully engage with one another in the process. This isn’t just about a flashy one-time campaign— it’s a long-term, sustained effort that allows our entire industry body to function as it was intended, spreading health and strength throughout, as each part does its work (1 Corinthians 12:14-27).

We’re not alone

So, as you see, you’re not alone on the high sea of cultural change and uncertainty—we’re all there together. And it’s not a life preserver coming your way—it’s a ship that can help get us all to safety.

Get on board, help set the course, and keep sailing forward. There are people out there drowning in the waves of culture who need us.

– Curtis Riskey