Church Bookstore / Resource Room

The Boulder Bookstore located on the West end of the Pearl Street Mall Nov. 11, 2008. (CU Independent file/ Sam Hall)
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Recently I was in a discussion about whether or not a church should have a bookstore or resource room at their facility. My answer was a big YES.
I’m a big fan of something like this, probably biased because I used to work at a bookstore. Here are a few reasons:

Exposing our folks to good resources.

Many are not aware of them, the demise of good local bookstores has hurt this and recommendations on Amazon don’t seem to make up for it. I want them to know quality Christian living literature. This goes for music too, folks aren’t going to solid theological music on the radio (at least in our  area).
Many are not aware of them, the demise of good local bookstores has hurt this and recommendations on Amazon don’t seem to make up for it. I want them to know quality Christian living literature. This goes for music too, folks aren’t going to solid theological music on the radio (at least in my area).

Giving theologically informed guests a general idea of our positions.

It gives some good talking points to bring up some issues that might take a while to come out. Guests often have a “where’s this guy at?” question that a resource center helps them get in the right ballpark.

Passive counseling.

Some people will never come to a church leader with a problem but will pick up a mini-book from CCEF or Shepherd Press on an issue. Sometimes it gives an insight into how to minister to them by seeing who’s picking up what booklets, “for a friend.”

Creating a culture of reading in the church.

Got this emphasis from Dever, he explains in this video.
There’s some debate about the “store” aspect, especially when it gets to the point of collecting sales tax, etc.
Here’s what we did at Emmanuel. We have one section of “free or suggested donation” for mini-books, booklets, pamphlets, etc and another section with books, resources, church emblematic stuff marked at cost and a cash box on the honor system. Books are placed depending on what the needs/emphasis are at the time and what classes/groups are going through at the time.
We created it with two big sections of attractive slat-wall in what we call a “welcome center.”
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Come Ye Sinners

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For November, our song of the month is an old hymn updated with a new tune and some fresh lyrics.

This 1700s hymn was given a new tune  and a few new lyrics in 2012 by Alex Crain.  The recording below is from the first public recording at Ocean City Baptist Church in a service in which-which Jamie and I had the privilege of attending.   Dr. D.A. Carson was the speaker for that service.
http://www.noisetrade.com/service/widgetv2/ae74d82b-493f-4ede-ae47-9a81038833ac

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Water into Wine

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So we’re playing with audio recording of sermons and have been having some very patient folks continue to remind us to get them recorded. We haven’t been able to get them recorded from our soundbooth, but we did start doing it from my laptop on the platform which sits about 10 feet from the pulpit, hence the audio quality is pretty bad.

Anyway here’s the first one.
https://soundfaith.com/embed/sermons/128546

The Preaching Hangover | Escaping the Monday Morning Funk

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Monday mornings are tough for pastors and other ministry leaders. In the past some preacher’s have called it their “preaching hangover,” Spurgeon addressed it in the “Minister’s Fainting Fits.” It’s amazing how exhausting preaching can be. There’s not really a comparison; teaching or lecturing, while tiring, do not compare.

 “If any man will preach as he should preach, his work will take more out of him than any other labor under heaven.”  ~ Charles Spurgeon

I remember hearing someone compare every hour of preaching to 4-6 working hours due to the high demand and stress emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Even though, relatively speaking, I’m still the “new kid” to this gig, here are some things I’ve found helpful in shaking the Monday Morning Funk or your “preaching hangover.” Continue reading

The Preacher’s Faults

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The minister’s shortcoming simply cannot be concealed. Even the most trivial soon get known…However trifling their offenses, these little things seem great to others, since everyone measures sin, not by the size of the offense, but by the standing of the sinner.

John Chrysostom (347-407)

Weekend Getaway to Cleveland

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The last several months of ministry have been pretty busy. Due to some ministry staffing issues, we ended up having to cancel any family vacations or getaways this summer. The kids were pretty bummed that we needed to cancel going to family camp, but we were able to squeeze in a day trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo before they had to be back in school.
Thankfully I have two awesome deacons that recognized that it’s not good for a pastor to go so long without a day off, much less a family getaway. So, with their urging and blessing we scheduled a friend in ministry to fill the pulpit so we could be reminded of what that thing that normal people have called a weekend:-).

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