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T he ind u s t r y a t yo u r f i n g e r t i p s : w w w. c h r i s t i a n re t a i l i n g . c o m

A Char i s m a M e d ia Publication

finding true fulfillment

swimming in the mainstream

Pastor and author Joel Osteen challenges readers to make a shift, move beyond barriers and find their way out of an average existence to extraordinary living, in his new FaithWords book, Break Out!. Book News, page 12

With the Dove Awards this fall, Christian retailers’ attention will turn to the music world and the growing impact of Christian music. Will you be ready if new music customers visit your store? Music, page 32

Evangelism effort means opportunity for stores Billy Graham’s ‘unprecedented’ home-based campaign expected to draw consumers to Christian retail by ANN BYLE


illy Graham is one of the most beloved, recognized figures in the United States and across the world. His faith is outspoken, his evangelistic rallies enthusiastically attended, his advice sought by U.S. presidents and world leaders. As his 95th birthday approaches Nov. 7, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) embarks on a continent-wide initiative called My Hope America with Billy Graham. My Hope America is a grass-roots effort to introduce Jesus Christ to people across the U.S. and Canada via a combination of personal relationships and media outreach. The goal is for believers to invite friends, neighbors and family into their homes the week of Nov. 7 and show a specially prepared program featuring Graham. “People think of Billy Graham preaching in large stadiums to large crowds, but those people are individuals,” said Preston Parrish, vice president of My Hope America with Billy Graham. “My Hope is that strategy continued, but instead of large stadiums, it’s in people’s living rooms.” My Hope America with Billy Graham is a sweeping campaign that offers training materials for churches and individuals, videos, webcasts and television spots. It promises to bring people into Christian retail stores, thanks to the Oct. 15 release of Graham’s 32nd book, The Reason for My Hope: Salvation (W Publishing Group, $19.99), and the music CD My Hope: Songs Inspired by the Message and Mission of Billy Graham (Sparrow Records/Capital Christian Distribution). “It’s important for retailers to understand that My Hope America has become an unprecedented grass-roots movement,” said Parrish. “Within the next three months, involvement and awareness about My Hope America will be at a peak. This is a good thing for retailers because in offering products, they’re offering quality, biblically consistent resources of interest to many people.” The Parable Group, which serves 165 stores across the country, is featuring the My Hope America product line in catalogs through the end of the year, as well as encouraging stores to pull together their own displays of Graham’s books. For Randy Ross, marketing specialist at the Parable Group, it’s about impacting the lives of people for Christ. GRAHAM, page 8

Billy Graham’s My Hope America campaign combines the impact of video with the power of personal relationships as believers share their faith with their neighbors.

LifeWay to acquire regional chain Berean‘s 17 store locations New deal enables Southern Baptist chain to serve new markets and boosts total stores to 180 locations in 28 states LifeWay Christian Stores has begun the process of acquiring Berean Christian Stores, a 17-store regional chain. Berean’s stores are located primarily in California, Arizona and the Midwest with corporate headquarters in Cincinnati. “This is a tremendous opportunity,” said Thom S. Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources, parent company of LifeWay Christian

Stores. “Berean, like LifeWay, is known for their commitment to serving church customers. This acquisition will significantly increase LifeWay’s opportunities for ministry across the country.” LifeWay currently owns b erea n , p a g e 9 163 stores in 26 states, and more inside will increase to 180 stores in 28 states after finalizing   New Mexico church store hosts a special mission-themed event, page 10 the acquisition.   Preemptive Love author gives positive news about Iraq in Close Up, page 14 Tim Vineyard, president of the LifeWay Christian   Glorious Films’ new animated musical reimagines the birth of Christ, page 20 Stores division, said his staff   In-depth books reach a broader range of readers than many think, page 26 are eagerly looking forward   Christian artists win media attention and maintain their testimony, page 28 to serving customers in the   P. Graham Dunn advises stores in establishing vendor relationships, page 32 new markets.


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CBA offers free buyer admission to ‘changing’ ICRS

Christian products leaders give ‘kudos’ to association for move to attract more retailers to marquee event CBA is offering free buyer admission to next year’s International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) in an effort to attract more retailers to its marquee summer event— and is receiving praise for the move. “ICRS is changing dramatically next year with new features, new exhibitor procedures, integrated exhibitor marketing support and free buyer admission,” CBA officials announced. “Exhibitors only need to commit to participate, with a minimal deposit to reserve space. … The earlier exhibitor commitments are received, the better opportunities exhibitors will have to optimize plans.” At this years’ show in St. Louis, Professional attendance was down 15% to 1,485 buyers. Chuck Wallington, owner of Christian Supply in Spartanburg, S.C., told Christian Retailing that the free buyer admission move was a good idea. “BEA [Book Expo America] has offered free badge admission for ABA [American Booksellers Association] member stores for buyers for years,” said Wallington, who is also Covenant Group’s founder and president. “Also, almost all of the gift market conventions—Atlanta, Dallas, etc.—offer free admission to buyers. He doesn’t see any drawbacks to the free admission offer. “Yes, I think it will increase retailer attendance,” Wallington said. “It removes yet another financial obstacle. It depends on

perience it firsthand.” the location, but we will send more folks David Lewis, executive vice president to ICRS. If it is in the Southeastern U.S., of sales and marketing for Baker Publishprobably so.” Mark Hutchinson—co-owner of Blessing Group, applauded CBA’s move. “Any new ideas to help inings, a Canadian chain of four stores based in Chilliwack, Britcrease the participation of bookish Columbia, said that “concepsellers is worth considering,” he said. “It might be even better tually, it is a good idea.” to allow free admission to any “It will increase retailer atbookseller staff person—buyer tendance only if driven well or not. and promoted strongly,” he said. “A significant increase in “[CBA must] consistently exbuyers is not likely to occur just plain the bottom-line benefits to because they are given free adthe individual retailer.” Curtis Riskey Brenda Harrison, co-owner mission, but it won’t hurt either,” of Lighthouse Christian Bookstore in BedLewis added. “To have more buyers attend, there must be sufficient value to warrant ford, Ind., said the free admission offer the time away from the store and the ex“sounds good.” “Many other gift marts are free to regpense. One free night in a convention hotel for a buyer might be enough to make more istered retailers with a tax ID number,” buyers consider attending.” she said. “I see it increasing retailer attenLewis also praised CBA President Curdance, especially if stores are in the vicinity of the event because additional personnel tis Riskey “for asking for input from many from these stores could attend without addifferent places.” “CBA seems very serious about reditional costs. imagining the ICRS show within the con“It is always nice to save money, but ICRS is one event that we find very benefines of their long-term convention conficial as an independent retailer to attend tracts,” he said. “They are talking with otheach year,” Harrison added. “We would er Christian events and organizations to send more folks to ICRS if we were in determine which, if any, would be a good the close vicinity of the event because we fit for a joint event. We believe that given think it would be beneficial for our team enough time, and they will have to make to meet, learn and see what is available tough decisions, a better event is coming from suppliers who support our industry. within three years.” We would love for them to be able to exLighthouse Vice President of Sales Ed

Joyce Meyer’s book total hits century mark FaithWords’ trade title ‘God Is Not Mad at You’ is popular Bible teacher’s latest release Bible teacher and author Joyce Meyer’s books hit the century mark Sept. 3 as God is Not Mad at You hit stores. The new FaithWords title is the 100th published book by Meyer, a No. 1 New York Times best-selling author. “I am amazed at all God has done in my life and I’m honored to be able to share His goodness in my books,” Meyer said of the achievement. “Over the years, I’ve discovered the freedom found by applying God’s Word to my life,

and my desire is to help others do the same. I am truly blessed.” Of her 100 books, 78 are still in print. The total does not include booklets her ministry has published. Fifteen of Meyer’s titles have landed on the New York Times list, including Approval Addiction; The Confident Woman; and one of her novels, The Penny, co-written with Deborah Bedford. Meyer’s top 10 best-sellers are Battle-

field of the Mind (updated edition); The Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word; Power Thoughts; The Confident Woman; Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life; Living Beyond Your Feelings; Makes Good Habits, Breaking Bad Habits; Do Yourself a Favor…Forgive; Never Give Up; and New Way of Living. Battlefield of the Mind was originally published in 1995 and has sold 3 million copies. Along with God is Not Mad at You, Meyer’s 2013 titles include a children’s book, The Perfect Christmas Pageant (Zonderkidz, September) and Power Thoughts Devotional (FaithWords, October). —Christine D. Johnson

Nizynski believes it’s “a great day anytime we can help retailers.” “Kudos to CBA,” Nizynski said. “I hope and think it will increase retailer attendance. I do not see any drawbacks. We are very happy to hear this news. We will send more folks to ICRS as we are very optimistic. We believe that when more attend, more is accomplished together in further focusing on and helping grow the kingdom.” Among the other new ICRS features are: the second year of CBA’s Cover My Expenses program to offset buyer travel costs; new exhibit areas designed to build floor traffic; new booth space configurations to maximize exhibitor area and marketing; and expanded international marketing to drive global business. ICRS 2014 will be held June 22-25 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. —Eric Tiansay

New board members lend expertise to CBA ‘Proven business success’ will benefit Christian retail association CBA’s board of directors added two new members and confirmed an appointed representative in August to bring “a strong focus on brick-and-mortar retailing and the industry’s simultaneous transition into digital business.” The Christian retail group’s members elected Vicki Geist, co-owner of Cedar Springs Christian Stores in Knoxville, Tenn., as director representing independent retailers with annual sales of more than $750,000. David Dickinson, owner of Christian Gifts Place in Wilton, Conn., initially was appointed to fill a vacated seat, but now will serve his first elected term as director representing independent retailers with annual sales of less than $750,000. DaySpring Senior Vice President of Commercialization Bill Couey was elected as gift and specialty director. Each will serve three-year terms beginning Oct. 1. “God has orchestrated an incredible group of board members for ‘such a time as this,’ ” said Sue Smith, general manager of Baker Book House in Grand cba , p a g e 8

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Guest authors create ‘huge problem’ for church bookstores

Poor communication and lack of clear administrative policies can lead to complaints, ‘diminish ministry’ of stores A quiet conflict has been growing between Christian authors and churchbased stores, one that has caused rifts in relationships and cost stores more than pocket change through the years. Many authors in the CBA marketplace undertake speaking engagements at churches in an effort to promote their

message and increase their visibility. As with any author, one of the primary goals when going on a speaking circuit is to promote and sell their books. However, when the host church also has a store, the authors’ methods in achieving this goal can raise store staff ’s hackles. The key point of contention is when authors

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bring their own copies of their books to sell, bypassing the on-site bookstore and sidelining existing ministries. “This is a huge problem, and is one about which I have heard numerous complaints from church bookstore managers,” said George Thomsen, former CBA chairman of the board and director of The Harvest Store at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif. Thomsen sees the problem as “unique

to CBA,” he said. “When an author does a book signing in an ABA store, or even a non-church CBA store, they are not selling and signing author’s copies of the book.” In what should be a mutually beneficial arrangement for author and bookstore alike, most stores end up getting little to no bump in sales when authors bring their own products to sell. “The whole purpose of the signing sales, page 7

Thomas Nelson distribution center up for sale Parent company’s plan calls for closing the Nashville facility HarperCollins Christian Publishing has placed Thomas Nelson’s 277,000-squarefoot distribution center in Nashville up for sale. HarperCollins Christian Publishing Director of Corporate Communications Casey Harrell told Christian Retailing that no date had been set for the closing of the warehouse. “As part of the announced strategic plan in November 2012, the company has begun marketing the availability of its distribution center,” Harrell said. “Last year, it was released that in order to better align with HarperCollins Publishers’ global print platform and supply chain agreement, we would be closing the facility during the winter of 2013.

“This does not apply to the corporate offices as they will remain the headquarters for HarperCollins Christian Publishing, which includes Thomas Nelson,” Harrell added. “We remain committed to our plan of a winter closure. Currently, we have 102

employees that work in the warehouse.” Last fall, HarperCollins Christian signed an agreement with printing company R.R. Donnelley—which handles the majority of HarperCollins books—to provide warehousing and distribution services for all of its titles nationwide, reported Nashville’s The Tennessean. —Tiansay

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Zondervan moved to its current ofHarperCollins Christian Publishing announced today the relocation of its fices in 1992, and shares the building Zondervan publishing offices to a new with the corporate headquarters of Fambuilding less than five miles ily Christian Stores. An earlier from its current headquarters. report indicated that Family This transition from the Patplans to stay in the building. Zondervan recently sold terson Drive location echoes its former warehouse and Zondervan’s previous commitdistribution center in Grand ment to remain in Grand RapRapids. The company laid off ids, Mich., where the company 75 employees last summer has been based since its 1931 when it vacated its warehouse founding. and distribution center. The “Our commitment to have Mark 395,000-square-foot office and a presence in Grand Rapids Schoenwald distribution center once used remains strong, and this new by Zondervan will be divided into two location will bring new opportunities segments—a 200,000-square-foot infor the future,” said Mark Schoenwald, president and CEO of HarperCollins dustrial building and a 100,000-squareChristian Publishing. foot office building, according to its new The publisher signed a multi-year owner, Franklin Partners, The Grand lease as the new building’s sole occupant, Rapids Press reported. and will begin retrofitting plans immeThe Patterson Drive lease will exdiately for its new home at 3900 Sparks pire Jan. 31, 2014. In July, the company Drive SE. Construction is expected to notified its employees that it would not begin in the fall. be renewing its lease. —Jeremy Burns

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‘Thief in the Night’ filmmaker Russ Doughten dies

‘Father of the Modern Christian Movie’ saw 6 million decisions for Christ worldwide through his evangelistic films Christian filmmaker Russ Doughten Jr.,

best known for the 1970s’ end-times thrillers A Thief in the Night

a Facebook post on the Russ Doughten Films page this week. “We here

at Russ Doughten Films will miss him, and we will strive to and A Distant Thunder, died uphold his vision of spreading Aug. 19 at his home in Carlisle, the gospel through films.” Iowa, after a lengthy cardiacDoughten was also the related illness. He was 86. founder of Mark IV pictures Known as the “Father of and, with Donald W. Thompthe Modern Christian Movie,” the founder of Russ Doughten son, of Heartland Productions. Films was behind more than He started making evangelistic 150 projects that led to more movies in the 1950s, and nearly Russ Doughten than 6 million decisions for all of his films were shot in his Christ around the world. home state of Iowa. “Our founder, good friend and mentor Although he worked on secular has gone home to be with the Lord,” said films—most notably as producer and

director of The Blob, the 1958 sci-fi/ horror classic with Steve McQueen in his first lead role—Doughten made his mark with the “Thief in the Night” series, which dramatizes the rapture of the church and the struggles of a small band of believers against an increasingly hostile worldwide Antichrist dictatorship. Doughten appeared in all four films— A Thief in the Night (1972), A Distant Thunder (1978), Image of the Beast (1980) and The Prodigal Planet (1983)— as the Rev. Matthew Turner, a survivalist who has an elaborate chart of the endtimes events, but does not fully believe in the Bible.

The National Religious Broadcasters presented Doughten with the Milestone Award in 2002 for 50 years of achievement in communicating the gospel through movies. Doughten helped form the Christian Film Distributors Association and was instrumental in launching the Christian Film Producers Association. He also

established Mustard Seed International, a ministry that seeks to spread the gospel through translated films. Doughten is survived by his wife, Gertrude; three of his four sons; four of his five grandchildren; and five greatgrandchildren. —Tiansay

Ongoing field sales representation decline hurts independent Christian retailers Industry cutbacks in tough economic times make staying current with the latest and greatest product ‘very difficult’ for stores In an uncertain economy, with digital distribution of e-books and music coupling with online retail giants, one ongoing issue has made the work of brick-and-mortar Christian stores even more challenging: the decline of sales representative coverage for independent stores. Part of this development stems from the fact that more Christian retail stores are joining marketing groups like Parable and Munce, while others are forced to close up shop because of high overhead costs and lagging sales. Publishers and vendors have been forced to cut back on field sales representation, and chains and stores joined to large marketing groups are the most cost-

effective places to spend much of those vendors’ valuable man-hours. Independent stores not tied to marketing groups often are left on their own to find their way through the myriad catalogs and collections of their various suppliers. “It is very difficult,” said Vicki Geist, coowner of Cedar Springs Christian Stores in Knoxville, Tenn., and new CBA board member. “We have to see what’s new on our own.” Despite the fact that Cedar Springs is “one of the bigger stores,” Geist said that the “music reps have cut back,” and they “haven’t seen a Tyndale sales rep all year.” With cutbacks in those companies, she

recognizes that the decreased number of with a rep during the window they’re in the sales reps remaining “can’t possibly see all area, it could easily be three or four months the stores.” before I get another chance.” The cuts were not a one-time It’s not all bad news, though. occurrence either, as the number For some store owners, the very of sales reps is continuing to detechnological revolution that has caused so many issues for the recline. Damascus Road Christian Books in Sacramento, Calif., has tail marketplace as a whole has only been in business for three also offered a helpful method of years, but even in that time, assuaging some of the difficulties owner Telly King has noticed a caused by the present dearth of drop in sales rep visits. field sales reps. “They’re having to schedule Vicki Geist “It’s kind of a mixed bag,” things months and weeks in advance,” King said Bill Ballou, owner of The Solid Rock, said of the companies sending representaa Christian store that has been serving tives. “If I couldn’t get things scheduled reps, page 9


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responsibility ultimately lies with the churches and authors who write and sign the contracts for the events. event is to increase sales of the book “The issue reflects many church-store for the store,” Thomsen said. “The aumanagers’ concerns about the disconthors still derive a financial benefit on the royalties they receive from the sale nection between church-store mission of every book.” and church leadership policy and action,” Though this problem seems to be said Curtis Riskey, president of CBA. “It largely focused on authors, music artists is difficult to resolve the issue without incan end up in disputes with the ternal clarity about individual host church’s bookstore as well. goals, mutual understandings “Artists and authors who and common alignment that perform or speak at church drives decision-making.” events have all travel-related Some churches are already expenses paid by the church, working together with their and they usually are paid an store ministries to combat this honorarium,” he said. “Howevpractice. For example, Prestoner, when it comes to churches, wood Baptist Church in Dallas artists and authors often want has adopted and maintained exclusive rights to sales on the George a policy that ensures that the Thomsen day they are at the church.” products authors wish to sell This practice can result in bad blood at their event will be sold through the between the store, whose staff often on-site store. They formalize this in the hand-sell the author’s books, and the guest speaker contracts, thus making author. sure all parties are on the same page “The bookstore commits to stock well before the event takes place. This an author’s titles year round,” Thomalso allows Prestonwood’s store to have sufficient stock of the author’s works on sen said. “The bookstore promotes the hand to meet increased demand during product and contributes to the author’s and after the event. notoriety and success. Riskey cautions that a one-size-fits“When the church invites the author all approach may not work for every to come, provides an opportunity for church and every store, though. exposure to a large audience and pays “There is no set way to overthem well to speak or perform, it seems unfair that the author come the issue because church then tells the store they cannot leadership styles and personsell their product when they alities are different,” he said. are there,” he argued. “It does “Our church-store educational not show that the author cares classes at ICRS [International about or is willing to support Christian Retail Show] prothat store that supports them vide guidance and interaction year round.” among church-store managers When confronted with agto help individuals understand Geni Hulsey what has worked for others to gressive agents booking the help resolve the issue.” events, “churches give in because they Many of the myriad options available think they have to,” Thomsen said. to church stores have found success for There are ways to avoid this issue, church, store and author alike, reports though, and most of them start with the Geni Hulsey, a church bookstore veteran host church’s administration. who conducts those workshops at CBA’s “Church store managers should insummer show. form their business administrators that In one potential setup, following the they don’t have to accept this practice,” model illustrated by Prestonwood, “the Thomsen said. “They need to know that books are sold through the bookstore this is not usual practice for the ABA and run through the POS system of the stores, nor is it for non-church CBA store—even if a special location is crestores.” “It is OK to tell the author or artist ated to expedite sales,” she said. “This that the bookstore will be handling all is very important to the author/music sales for the day,” he continued. “This group if the store is tied into any system should be acceptable to them as they that tallies the sales of the books/music.” still make a royalty on every book sold.” Some churches handle the situation Part of the solution could lie with on a case-by-case basis, making the auCBA publishers whose authors and artthor aware that there is a store in the church and providing a choice. ists make up the bulk of the church event “It has been my experience that most circuit. published authors just don’t want to be “Publishers can insert language into bothered with it and are thrilled to find authors’ contracts that precludes them out someone will handle the details for from selling authors’ copies of their them,” Hulsey said. books at churches where a bookstore is Others take a more traditional route, on site,” Thomsen offered, adding that he where the store simply invites the aubelieved at least one large publisher has already taken this step. thor in for a book signing and meetAt present, however, most of the and-greet, with the store handling all

the sales. Sometimes the authors themselves end up taking the higher road, standing as a testament to the reason they are speaking in the first place. “There are some very high-profile authors who have come to our church, and have not insisted on selling their own product,” Thomsen said. “These authors’ primary focus in coming to the church is to minister. They want the bookstore to do well and know that when the bookstore benefits they benefit from

increased exposure as well as in royalties, though that is not their primary motive.” But when communication breaks down, the mission itself begins to erode. “Many times there is no policy and guest speakers are invited, bringing their own books,” Hulsey said. “The store manager is not involved in any way.” “The sad part about it being handled this way is that the store manager and workers feel less than a part of the ministry of the church,” she said. “It diminishes the ministry of the store.” —Burns

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  G R A H A M , from 1 “I hope people buy Billy’s books because he’s got plenty to say,” Ross said. “How can anyone refuse salvation? Once you answer that question, stores can be part of solidifying the faith journeys of those people who come to faith.” Ross points to what he calls Graham’s “legacy books,” including Just As I Am: The Autobiography of Billy Graham; Peace With God: The Secret of Happiness; How to Be Born Again; and Nearing Home:

Life, Faith, and Finishing Well; along with books such as Billy Graham in Quotes and Billy Graham & Me. “Here’s a man who has had the ear of presidents, is visible and well-respected and is still above reproach; he’s got a story to tell,” said Ross. “What Billy writes doesn’t run out.” Ross is also encouraging bookstores to create “Share Your Faith” sections and prepare new-believer products for display after the My Hope America campaign ends in November. Booksellers can include their

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favorite go-to titles for someone who has just come to faith. “Anytime you deal with Billy Graham, it’s more than just about Billy, more than just selling a book,” Ross said. “It’s selling his message and making sure that message is intact in consumers’ minds. On its best day, the Today show or Good Morning America doesn’t have the visibility of a Billy Graham campaign.” Graham has been appreciative of the role Christian retail has played in spreading the message of salvation, according to Larry Ross, spokesman for Graham and president of A. Larry Ross Com- A Thomas munications in Carroll- Nelson trade book and ton, Texas. “Though Mr. Gra- Capitol CMG ham completed his CD support public preaching min- My Hope istry in 2005, Christian America. retail stores have provided a consistent and effective channel for him to continue to deliver his message through books, which stands as an ongoing ‘crusade between the covers,’ ” Ross of A. Larry Ross said. Because BGEA is based in North Carolina, some may be surprised to learn that the United States is not the first country to participate in the My Hope campaign. In fact, 57 countries have participated in My Hope since its beginning in 2002. What began in Central America has spread across the world, most recently via campaigns in Europe, including Spain and Portugal. “We saw an incredible harvest,” said Parrish of My Hope. “Evangelical churches are a small minority, but this was an unprecedented harvest. A man gave us a check from believers in Spain to help fund a My Hope campaign in America. It was the first financial gift to My Hope in the U.S.” So far, more than 300,000 churches

  C B A , from 3 Rapids, Mich., who takes over as board chairman when George Thomsen’s term ends Sept. 30. “The governance and leadership of the CBA industry will require keen strategic planning and innovation as we move forward in redefining who we are. A snapshot of these dedicated directors will reveal proven business success, a commitment to represent and serve on members’ behalf, and a wholehearted passion to see this industry thrive.” CBA President Curtis Riskey said the board “purposely and untypically represents all industry segments because of the common mission of Christian resources.” “We want to be sure that individuals are heard, and that there is diversity at the table,” Riskey said. Geist is a second-generation co-owner

have been involved in training and My Hope events; more than 4 million Christians have opened their homes; and there have been recorded decisions for Christ from more than 10 million people. “We’re astounded by what God has done,” said Parrish. “This shows how God uses individual Christians, praying for and reaching out in love to people they know using a Billy Graham presentation.” In the 19 months of planning for the North American campaign, more than 20,000 churches have registered to participate. In August, those churches estimated that 125,000 people would open their homes in the campaign. Parrish of My Hope America is excited about the parallel release of The Reason for My Hope: Salvation and the My Hope music CD, which features a dozen new recordings by Christian recording artists such as Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Matthew West and TobyMac. “It’s a great gift that at almost 95 years old, Dr. Graham is able to reflect and write about the message he’s been preaching his entire ministry,” said Parrish. “At 95, Dr. Graham believes the central message of God is the exact same thing he’s preached his entire life.” Christian retail stores can help the My Hope America campaign. “By continuing to carry Mr. Graham’s books, new generations that never heard him preach are being influenced by the same message he faithfully delivered in arenas and stadiums for more than six decades and is still relevant today,” Larry Ross said. For more information on the campaign, visit or call 877-7MY-HOPE (769-4673).

of Cedar Springs Christian Stores. “I want CBA to continue to help independent stores,” she said. “I have been an independent retailer for over 35 years and that is where my heart is. I would also like to see suppliers more actively involved to help independents survive in this new retail environment.” Dickinson, who opened his store seven years ago, has more than 20 years of corporate experience and 10 years in consulting with Fortune 100 companies. He has been instrumental in CBA’s planning initiatives and is consulting on mobile marketing. Couey leads DaySpring’s product marketing, design, supply chain and distribution teams. He believes CBA must bring a voice for change to Christian retailing. “The need for products that bring the hope, joy and life-saving message of Jesus to people is greater than ever.” —Tiansay

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  B e r e a n , from 1 “Berean’s mission and product mix are generally very compatible with LifeWay’s, although, of course, we will be making some changes in keeping with our current standards,” Vineyard said. Berean Christian Stores was started in 1934 and purchased by Joseph and Deanna Gimelli in 2009. “Berean’s corporate and local store staffs have been excellent partners in selling B&H Publishing’s books and Bibles,” Vineyard said. “If the acquisition goes as planned, we’ll have 17 more stores for all of LifeWay’s Bible studies, church supplies and other resources.” Along with LifeWay stores, B&H Publishing Group is owned by Nashville-based LifeWay Christian Resources. “This will be good for both parties involved,” said Bill Nielsen, former COO of Berean and former top executive at LifeWay. “Over the last 16 months, Berean has shown strong improvement in virtually every business metric, and with the backing of LifeWay, their stores will only do better.” Vineyard said the acquisition was to close in September, and LifeWay staff were to begin immediately transitioning

  r e p s , from 6 Kearney, Neb., for 40 years. Sales rep visits “used to be how [companies] would introduce their products. You didn’t get a catalog in the mail.” Located in a relatively small community, the store would sometimes miss new releases since it didn’t get the best sales rep coverage even before the current decline. “With fewer sales people, there are more emails and more online presence,” Ballou said. As many consumers and retailers alike have found, the Internet can be the great equalizer when it comes to staying informed. More and more, cost-cutting vendors and independent booksellers are turning to their online relationships and databases to compensate for the lack of in-person visits. “The ones that we have, they are very good,” King said of her sales reps, with whom she communicates between visits via email and phone. “They understand the layout of our store, and they’re pretty good at letting me know what’s going to work.” With limited coverage, however, “It’s a little harder,” she admitted. That sentiment seems to be the prevailing one, even as a greater presence in digital catalogs and online communication helps to blunt the effects of the reduction in rep visits. “It’s just not the same,” said Geist. Though email can help independent bookstores stay in contact with their reps, it can’t truly replace “looking over the product, talking about the product and discussing what we can do to promote the product” in person with sales reps.

the Berean locations to LifeFla., Johnsen & Taylor Bookstore in Wheaton, Ill., and The Way Christian Stores. Salt Shaker Bookstore and Café “Our goal is to be a one-source in Wilmington, N.C. The comlocation with Christian resources pany also announced plans to for churches and individuals as open a new store in Barbourswe strive to fulfill our vision of ville, W.Va., this fall. providing biblical solutions for Former owners of these life,” Vineyard said. stores seem hopeful about the This is the latest in a series of direction LifeWay will be able acquisitions for LifeWay. In sep- Tim Vineyard to take their ministries. arate transactions this year, the LifeWay’s “core values and mission Southern Baptist chain acquired Living align with what we desire for Johnsen Word Christian Bookstore in Sarasota,

& Taylor, and we are excited to see this ministry continue to flourish within the LifeWay group,” said officials of Tyndale House Publishers, who partnered with South Africa-based Christian Publishing Co. to found the store in 2010. “We feel the community will be better served by being part of a larger Christian retail organization that is focused on retail and has a clear mission of bringing gospel-centered resources to local communities.” —Burns and Tiansay

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[ church bookstores ]

by Ginny Mccabe

Parchments supports missionaries with special event Albuquerque church store coordinates with cafe and missions department for summer series Parchments, the bookstore ies has time to get to know memat Calvary in Albuquerque, bers of the congregation and their N.M., recently teamed up guests. The event gives them an with the church’s café, Soloopportunity to share what they are doing on the mission field mon’s Porch, and missions and a chance to build their condepartment to present “Friday Nights at the Porch.” The tact lists for raising prayer and weekly event combined local financial support. Countries music and ethnic food with an that have been showcased at the evening that focused on one of mission event include Uganda, the missionaries the congregaCroatia and England. “It has become a very popular tion supports. event,” Loya said. “We get a nice Parchments Manager The ’Friday Nights at the Porch’ event takes coordination Cesar Loya said the store between departments, but drives extra traffic to the store. group of people here, who enjoy music, fellowship, learn about started doing these events in has a lot of hype to it,” Loya said. “So, that the missionary and have some great food. mid-June, running from 6:30 p.m. to 9 number has been good for us, to drive some We have missionaries join us from all over p.m. every Friday, and plans to host them extra traffic on a night that otherwise might the world.” throughout the fall as well. On average, be slow for us.” Additionally, the café serves an ethnic the event has drawn 50 to 60 people on Friday Nights at the Porch is being andish that is based on the missionary’s field a regular basis. of service featured that night. When a guest “For us, that’s a pretty good number of nounced in church services and promoted purchases the featured dish, the bookstore people to come in for an event that doesn’t through slides in the café. gives them a $5 gift card to shop at the store. feature a major artist, or something that During the event, each of the missionar-

“Whether they shop that night or not, guests walk away with a $5 gift card,” Loya said. “It might be burning a hole in their pockets that night, in a couple of days or in the future. Even if they don’t shop with us that night, we know we are making an investment in them visiting our store in the future.” One of Parchments’ handful of employees serves as the liaison between the missions department and the store, handling promotions and setting up a table for the missionary as well as leading the support team. The café also has been a driving force with its manager ensuring the food is prepared and setting the atmosphere for the night’s festivities. “It really is a collaborative, group effort, where many departments within the church are involved, but there are key people within the bookstore, café and missions department that contribute to the event every week.” Loya said.

Charis uses video to promote store

Prestonwood Kidz remodels to serve growing families

Media department approached manager to help with students’ practice

Revitalized store catering to younger set plans to expand baby section

a promotional piece any time of year. The Charis Christian Books & Gifts recently unuse of a boom camera also captured much of veiled a short promotional video that has the store’s 2,400 square feet in just seconds. proved to be a successful marketing tool. Innovative man“Our store video was the brainchild of ages the store’s website the teacher who overand placed the video on Charis’ site so it sees the middle school appears each time a and high school media user visits the page. department of our With such prominent Christian school,” said placement, the video Martha Brangenberg, is gaining traffic from manager at the Largo, people the church and Fla., store at First Bapin the community. It tist Church of Indian also appears on the Rocks. “They stream school’s website. all of our sporting Brangenberg said events, and he wantManager Martha Brangenberg she has received “posied them to be able sell banner ads and videos has heard positive comments tive comments” about to local businesses to about the store’s recent video. the video. help support the ex“When I am out in the community trying to promote the store, pense of the media department. He wanted I send potential customers to the website to use my store as an example, which was and they can get a taste of what the store is wonderful, because I didn’t have to pay like and what it has to offer from the video. anything to have it done.” It has helped so much. They can see firstThe students filmed her video for a practice session, learning how to prohand, for themselves, in the privacy of their own homes that it’s not just a book table in duce a quality video of a commercial the corner of the church. property. Charis’ video took them about “This also allows me to reach out to a an hour to complete. group of people that I would never have Brangenberg said there wasn’t much reached out to on my own,” she added. “I preparation for the store other than writing can send the video link in an email blast or a brief script, giving it a community focus post it online to a social media site.” and getting comfortable with what to say To watch the video, go to the store’s webon camera. Because there are no seasonal displays featured, the video can be used as site,

children’s Christian music CDs.” Prestonwood Kidz Bookstore on the Prestonwood Kidz plans to expand its main campus of Prestonwood Baptist section of baby products. Management also Church in Plano, Texas, strives to serve envisions more theme and seasonal tables. families by making the store a special Another aspect that the staff is considering place for them to visit. Dedicated to is how to best organize the children’s books. kids from its beginning in 2006, the “We have new fixtures that we bought, 1,100-square-foot store is undergoing a and we are updating them,” Flores said. remodel, adding fresh paint, new fixtures “The fixtures we used in the store originally and other embellishments, with renovawere fixtures that we already had on hand tions to be completed prior to the start of and were able to use. Now we are going to the Christmas shopping season. have a more cohesive look, and it is going to Kelly Graham Flores, manager and upgrade the store a lot. It will give us more buyer, said she and her staff are continually options and offer additional space for us doing research on new products, attending to showcase the books.” trade shows, looking The store stands out for interesting display with its bright colors, ideas and shopping at child-friendly spaces other children’s stores. and giveaways. Kidz carries a wide va“We want our store riety of books, toys and to be a comfortable, educational items, and hands-on place for the stocks practical items, kids and their parents,” including nap mats or Flores said. “We also blankets. have a lot of grandpar“You have to be aware if you are going ents that shop in the to keep a children’s store. We work closely department or a store with our children’s going,” Flores said. Prestonwood Kidz store is being ministry, our Christian “You can’t expect to updated for family shoppers. school and library.” keep the same things Four or five times a on the shelves and get a lot of results. Kids’ year the store hosts events that feature a products can be trendy. You want to have guest author, artist or personality, such as some of those trends, but you don’t want Miss PattyCake or the group Go Fish. to be tied to those trends, so you want to Kidz has its own entrance and checkout, carry the classics, like children’s Bibles or and is attached to the church’s Atrium store.

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by leslie santamaria [ Books & bibles ]

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Houston pastor presents practical steps for believers who want to break out of ‘average, unrewarding’ lives

Bob Fu, a former pastor in the underground church in China, tells his story of imprisonment, escape and battle for human rights in God’s Double Agent: The True Story of a Chinese Christian’s Fight for Freedom (Baker Books/Baker Publishing Group). Fu fled to the United States where he now runs ChinaAid, a nonprofit that advocates for the underground church in China, political dissidents and the people who defend them. Written with Nancy French, this softcover book is available this month and retails for $19.99.

Joel Osteen encourages ‘extraordinary’ living

anything less than the fullThe shift is coming, says Joel Osteen, No. 1 New ness of God’s plan. York Times best-selling Osteen explains that author and pastor of as a believer puts these Houston’s Lakewood five keys into action, Church. The preacher God releases floods of with the famous smile goodness and propels encourages believers who him into his predestined feel stuck in present cirextraordinary life. In regard to praying cumstances by reminding boldly, Osteen suggests them that God is about to reminding God of His move in a new way, causpromises in Scripture. ing them to accomplish “What God promised, more than they might He will do,” he writes. have ever imagined. “Because you have “You were not created been faithful and honored to just get by with an avGod, I believe and declare, erage, unrewarding, or TITLE: Break Out! God will put you in a posiunfulfilling life,” Osteen AUTHOR: Joel Osteen writes. Rather, each per- PUBLISHER: FaithWords tion you could have never gotten to on your own. … son is meant to leave ISBN: 9780892969746 What should have taken a mark on the current PRICE: $26 you forty years to accomgeneration, and it is time RELEASE DATE: Oct. 1 for believers to pursue plish God will do in a split dreams again—dreams of second. You’re coming increase, favor, promotion, contracts, good into acceleration,” he writes. ideas, improved relationships and more. However, Osteen cautions readers that This, he says, is why he has written Break the fulfillment of a dream might not happen Out! 5 Keys to Go Beyond Your Barriers and overnight, and along the way to God saying Live an Extraordinary Life, which Faithyes, “there will be nos.” Many people quit too soon, but Osteen Words releases this month. adds: “God wouldn’t have given you the The turn away from defeatist living bedream, the promise wouldn’t have come gins in a person’s thinking, asserts Osteen. alive, if He didn’t already have a plan to The keys to being breakout-minded are: bring it to pass.” believing bigger; focusing on God, not cirTo order Break Out!, call FaithWords at cumstances; praying bold prayers; keeping 800-759-0190. the right perspective; and not settling for

Gunman’s wife recounts story of Amish forgiveness The Amish will never forget the date of Oct. 2, 2006, when an armed man shot 10 girls and then killed himself in the West Nickel Mines School, a one-room schoolhouse in an Old Order Amish community in Lancaster, Pa. Five of the girls died—and the nation grieved. Since then, many stories have been told of the Amish community’s responses, which emphasized forgiveness and reconciliation. Now, seven years later, the shooter’s wife breaks her silence and tells one story from that tragedy that has not yet been told—her own. Marie Roberts Monville, with Cindy Lambert, offers her perspective in One Light Still Shines: My Life Beyond the Shadow of the Amish Schoolhouse Shooting (9780310336754, $22.99). Zondervan

releases her book this month. Monville journeyed through many dark days in the aftermath of the massacre. As she faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles and grappled with her questions, God reconstructed everything she believed about herself, her faith and Himself. Despite the difficulty she experienced, she believes that God keeps his promises. “In the days following the shooting, I could’ve only talked about the places of seeming defeat within my life,” she said. “God redeemed my life, breathing hope to the hopeless, healing to the broken and freedom to the captive.” To order, call Zondervan at 800-7271309.

Hope in Front of Me: Find Purpose in Your Darkest Moments is the memoir of American Idol finalist and Billboard Top 100 recording artist Danny Gokey (with Ben Stroup). After his young wife, Sophia, died from an unexpected heart condition, Gokey became depressed. Yet on his journey of healing he learned that although it might not be apparent, hope is always present. NavPress releases Gokey’s inspirational story at $19.99 in hardcover this month. New York Times best-selling author of The Noticer and The Traveler’s Gift Andy Andrews has written a new book coming out this month from W Publishing Group (Thomas Nelson). Written in Andrews’ unique blend of allegorical fiction and inspiration, The Noticer Returns: Sometimes You Find Perspective, and Sometimes Perspective Finds You (hardcover, $19.99) begins as Andy finds Jones, the noticer, once again, and Jones brings the gift of perspective to the town of Orange Beach. In What Happens When I Die?: True Stories of the Afterlife and What They Tell Us About Eternity, Bill Wiese, New York Times best-selling author of 23 Minutes in Hell, shares stories of neardeath experiences, deathbed visions and visits to heaven and hell. Wiese also shows how these encounters align with Scripture and answers numerous questions about the afterlife that people ask him as he speaks about his own supernatural experience. Charisma House releases this book in softcover for $14.99. B&H Publishing Group releases Set Free: Discover Forgiveness Amidst Murder and Betrayal, written by Stephen Owens and New York Times best-selling author Ken Abraham, this month. The softcover retailing for $14.99 tells Owens’ story of forgiving his mother for hiring a hit man to murder his father. After his mother went to death row, Owens did not see her for decades. Then God brought the two together again, setting them free—one literally and one figuratively—to be reconciled to each other. Called to Stay: An Uncompromising Mission to Save Your Church is the debut book by former journalist Caleb Breakey, who urges millennials not to abandon the church. He advises members of his generation on how to put their passion to use for the church and inject their desire for truth and conviction into their fellow believers. Harvest House Publishers releases Called to Stay in softcover for $11.99. Journalist Lindsey O’Connor tells her story of waking from a twomonth coma following childbirth in The Long Awakening: A Memoir. O’Connor was close to death several times, but awoke without any memory of the coma. Then she faced the daunting task of putting her life back together despite multiple severe medical challenges and discovered much about herself in the process. Her story comes out this month from Revell (Baker Publishing Group) for $17.99 in softcover. Heavy metal legend David Ellefson from the band Megadeth has written My Life With Deth: Discovering Meaning in a Life of Rock & Roll (with Joel McIver). Releasing from Howard Books this month (hardcover, $24), Ellefson’s book tells the band’s behind-thescenes story and his own uplifting journey of overcoming addiction, embarking on a life of faith and ministering to unchurched people globally through MEGA Life! Ministries, a contemporary worship service.

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close up JEREMY COURTNEY Latest project: Preemptive Love: Pursuing Peace One Heart at a Time (9781476733463, $24, Howard Books). Preemptive Love chronicles the efforts of the Preemptive Love Coalition to help Iraqi children waiting for heart surgery. What sparked this effort? My wife and I had moved to Iraq in the middle

of the war to help ease some of the pain and respond to the needs of that time. I was in the habit of taking my laptop to a hotel to do my work because the hotels often had electricity and Internet when the rest of the city did not. One day, in my usual hotel café, the “chai guy” asked me for a favor. He told me about his cousin’s daughter who was born with a huge hole in her heart and told me there was not a doctor or hospital in all of Iraq that could save her life. He asked if I could get her outside

the country and arrange for her surgery. Of course, I did what any warm-blooded, right-thinking father would do: I said no. The book chronicles some of the fear and logistical mountains that played into that response, but the chai guy ultimately won me over and we tried to help this little girl. Along the way, I learned she was not the only one, that thousands—perhaps tens of thousands—of children across Iraq who were waiting in line for these life-saving heart surgeries. Why are so many children waiting for this surgery in Iraq?

There are a few things we can say definitively—and a few things that we can only name as “suspects” at this point. The U.N. sanctions against Iraq in the 1990s are the single most devastating cause of the backlog of children waiting for heart surgery and other kinds of life-changing surgeries. As a child, watching the bombing of Baghdad, I remember learning that sanctions were a humane alternative to war. I was wrong. For Iraq, sanctions were simply war by another name. When Iraq began emerging from that era in 2003, health care was a shell of what it had once been and [the number of] children with high-risk heart disease and other birth defects had piled up. By the time we arrived, there may have been tens of thousands of these kids across the country—we don’t know—but many of them simply died before they could get the treatment we provide. On top of the fact that the doctors fled the country and the hospitals were destroyed, the rate of these heart defects was actually increasing in some places. In addition to heart defects being cited as the number-one birth defect in the world, experts have also suggested malnutrition, gestational diabetes, intra-family marriage, Saddam’s chemical weapons and chemically toxic, radioactive U.S. weapons have all played a role in exacerbating the problem. The issue has become very politicized, and it has been difficult for anyone to produce solid research to substantiate or refute many of these hypotheses. I have a strong personal interest in the causes, but I refuse to stand by idly while children die for no fault of their own. We can help train Iraqis and ultimately save tens of thousands of lives across the country while the conversation about who’s to blame is sorted out. How do you define preemptive love?







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Preemptive love is the opposite of preemptive war. In preemptive war, I get you before you’ve done anything to me. In preemptive love, I might love you before you can hurt me. [It can be] a soft word or a gift in the midst of violence, a disarming act of service where aggression was expected. In preemptive love, I love you before you love me. I don’t predicate all of my actions on what you’ve already demonstrated to me. I take the risk that I can increase trust and change our future together by loving first. Who should read this book? Everyone who has relationships! ... In marriage and our wider families, in the workplace, in school and in our many voluntary associations, people continue to be the most confounding and rewarding part of our lives. Sure, the story grabs



he twentieth-anniversary edition of this best-selling book, The Bait of Satan, includes testimonials and prayers to inspire readers to resist falling for the enemy’s deadly trap! John Bevere shows readers how to stay free from offense and escape the victim mentality.

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Life is messy. Just look at Joseph.

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BibleBeat An innovative new Bible from Tyndale House Publishers, The Wayfinding Bible is designed to help readers navigate the Scriptures by using a full-color guide at the top of each reading. The guide provides three paths: the Fly-Over Route, which takes an overview of the story of redemption in 40 readings; the Direct Route, which offers a closer look through 200 readings; and the Scenic Route, which presents the most in-depth view. Features include twopage articles with maps and timelines to give the reader context at major turning points in Scripture. Also included are colorful maps, photos and graphics. Releasing this month, The Wayfinding Bible retails for $34.99 in hardcover. AMG Publishers is adding to its bestselling Key Word Study Bible line, which enable readers to study in depth the Scriptures’ original languages of Hebrew and


[ ASK THE AUTHOR ] Lynn Austin LATEST PROJECT: Return to Me

(9780764211508, hardcover, $19.99; 9780764208980, softcover, $14.99; October), book one of “The Restoration Chronicles.” PUBLISHER: Bethany House (Baker Publishing Group). How can Christian retailers briefly summarize your new novel, Return to Me, for their customers?

Return to Me is the first in a three-book series based on the biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah. In this novel, a small group of Jewish exiles make the difficult decision to return to Jerusalem from Babylon to rebuild the city, their temple and their faith in God. Why did you call your new series “The Restoration Chronicles”?

When the people of God were carried into exile in Babylon, they began to compromise with the surrounding culture until true Old Testament faith in God nearly disappeared. Ezra, Nehemiah and the other characters in this series lead a movement to restore the Jews to their promised land, to rebuild the temple of God and, most of all, to restore the people’s faith and their

Greek. Releasing this month in the English Standard Version (ESV), the Bible is available in multiple binding options with the hardcover retailing for $49.99. Features include footnotes and centercolumn references, word study dictionaries, grammatical helps for key Hebrew and Greek words, book introductions and a concordance. A pair of new devotional Bibles, both in the King James Version (KJV), release from Barbour Publishing this month. Each retails for $29.99 in leather-like DiCarta binding: The Andrew Murray 365 Day Devotional Bible presents an Old Testament, New Testament and Psalms or Proverbs passage for each day of the year, along with inspirational selections from Murray’s writings. The God Calling 365 Day Devotional Bible features the same format for each day paired with a complete devotional from A.J. Russell’s book God Calling.

relationship with God. What first drew you to the genre of historical fiction?

When I wrote my first books, the “Chronicles of the Kings” series, I discovered how much I enjoyed researching the past, seeing the challenges and choices people faced and then showing the lessons that we can learn from history. That passion has remained the same for me. You have written many novels since your last biblical saga, “Chronicles of the Kings.” What led you to write another series of biblical fiction?

My readers asked for it! So many people wrote to me saying that the biblical books were their favorites and that they loved the way those novels brought the Bible to life. Reading and studying Scripture is one of my greatest passions, so fulfilling my readers’ request was an easy choice to make. What research did you conduct to write this series?

I began with the biblical texts, reading and re-reading them in several translations. Then I turned to the commentaries on this material, Christian and Jewish. I also read numerous history books and learned about the archaeological discoveries from this time period. I even took some courses on the Jewish faith at the Chicago Torah Network. But my favorite way to research was to travel to Israel and immerse myself in the country’s sights and sounds and tastes and places. A U s tin , p a g e 1 8

Journey into the Heart of


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Recounting his journey from captivity in Aceh, Indonesia, to freedom, Mark Geppert reveals the reality of knowing a God who never fails us or forsakes us.

No message is more revolutionary, life-changing, or misunderstood than that of the believer’s authority on the earth. Pastor Happy Caldwell reveals how every believer can utilize his or her own kingdom authority.

As Christians, we have a responsibility to impact our world. And, we have within our grasp the means to change the course of events in our cities and nations.

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Who are the four point-of-view (POV) characters in Return to Me, and why did you select them?

I chose Iddo and his grandson, Zechariah (who prophesied during this time period), because they’re listed in Scripture as being part of the first wave of exiles to return to the land. Curiously, Zechariah’s father (Iddo’s son) isn’t mentioned, which provided me with plot ideas. The other POV characters are Iddo’s wife, Dinah, and Zechariah’s friend, Yael, whom I created to provide

the women’s viewpoint of these events. Ezra and Nehemiah don’t enter the story until books two and three.

women, who initially return because they love their husbands, not because they love God.

These characters examine the nature of their own relationships with God, whether they are motivated by love or fear. Can you tell us more about that?

At one point, Iddo asks his family if they are willing to obey God no matter the cost. Why did you include this question? Does it have a broader meaning for the Israelites of that day and/or for God’s people today?

Some of my characters witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem and Solomon’s temple, and they decide to return, not out of love for God, but out of fear of His wrath if they disobey. They must learn to truly know God and serve Him out of love. The same is true for the

It took an enormous sacrifice to obey God’s call and leave the comforts of Babylon to return to a desolate, ruined land. Obeying meant giving up many of the things that had become “idols” in their

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lives and stepping out in faith to trust a God they barely knew. Today, I think we have to make daily decisions to choose between God’s call and the pull of our culture. Sometimes those decisions also have a high cost. How did the backstories you created for each character come together in such a satisfying way that is also consistent with Scripture?

I started with the story from Scripture. Once I understood the biblical events and the issues they raised, then I could create my characters and place their stories in that context. What other information about Return to Me might be helpful for Christian retailers to share with customers?

Return to Me is the first novel in a three-book series; the others are Keepers of the Covenant, which will feature Ezra as the main character, and On This Foundation, which will feature the story of Nehemiah.

ECPA Fiction Top 10

1. The Harbinger, Jonathan Cahn (FrontLine/Charisma House Book Group) 2. The Tattered Quilt, Wanda E. Brunstetter (Barbour Publishing) 3. A Vow for Always, Brunstetter (Barbour) 4. Rosemary Cottage, Colleen Coble (Thomas Nelson) 5. Home Run, Travis Thrasher (David C Cook) 6. The Living Room, Robert Whitlow (Thomas Nelson) 7. A Revelation in Autumn, Brunstetter (Barbour) 8. The Letters, Suzanne Woods Fisher (Revell/Baker Publishing Group) 9. The Guardian, Beverly Lewis (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group) 10. The Outcast, Joline Petersheim (Tyndale House Publishers) The ECPA list is compiled from sales of Christian books in hundreds of Christian retail outlets nationwide, collected using Pubtrack Christian ( Best-sellers are for the five-week cycle ending Aug. 17, 2013. All rights reserved. © 2013 ECPA.

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attention initially because it takes place in Iraq against a sometimes unbelievable background of fear and violence. But Iraq is not the story. My family is not the story. Readers keep turning the page because it is the story we need every day, but seldom hear—of loving the person we most disagree with, whether our closest loved one or our most feared enemy. It is not a marriage book, but it will strengthen marriages. It’s not a devotional for high schools or churches, but it will inspire youth groups to live and love differently as they head off into the world each day. And though it is different from most in its category, it could transform conversations about evangelism and the mission of the church.


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Bestselling author Lisa T. Bergren concludes her popular Grand Tour Series, with a story filled with trueto-life issues, a struggling faith, and the solid love story her fans long for. As Cora Kensington travels deeper into Italy on her Grand Tour, forces collide, all threatening to tear apart everything Cora has worked to build over the summer.

Beloved storyteller Michael Landon Jr. partners with the talented writing of Cindy Kelley to present a captivating historical romance filled with faith and Civil War-era drama. When a woman is found wounded and suffering from amnesia it sparks a search for her past. But what is uncovered could destroy her.

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Simeon’s song of prayer sets the stage as the people await the Messiah’s coming.

Birth of Christ reimagined as new animated musical

Glorious Films presents Christmas ‘story in song’ Targeted for the Christmas season, Glorious Films releases The Promise, a dramatic retelling of the birth of Jesus using optical motion CGI (computergenerated imagery) animation accompanied by a Broadway-style soundtrack. The 44-minute production is a labor of love by Glorious Films founders Todd Shaffer, writer and director, and Ronald Mezey, producer. The film industry veterans started the company in 2010 to provide “creating quality entertainment from a strong biblical worldview that spreads a passion for the message of Jesus Christ.”

During pre-production, the film company team went through the Gospels and studied the birth of Christ in detail. They focused attention on four poetic passages in Luke that provided the basis for the musical. “The birth narrative of Jesus as told in Luke is full of musical poetry, describing the human and angelic excitement to the Messiah’s arrival,” said Shaffer. “By telling this story in song—as Luke did—we were able to put a big spotlight on these deep passages, which really capture the gospel message of why Jesus came to Earth. With its beautiful

composition, sophisticated animation style and compelling story, we believe families can sit down and enjoy this film together, watching the Christmas story unfold as never seen before.” The film’s optical animation style blends animation techniques with performances by ballet dancers and stage actors. Composed by James Gelfand and Louise Tremblay, the film’s soundtrack features the Montreal Boys’ Choir. Songs include “Mary and Joseph,” “Nothing Is Impossible,” “I Will Magnify” and “Simeon’s Blessing.” Lon Vining, outreach director for the film, believes the mixture of music and animation will help viewers remember key points from the story. “Every year individuals read or hear the Christmas narrative, but few pick up on the heart of the story,” he said. “That is where The Promise comes in. We placed great emphasis during the film’s development on blending together animation and music to help provide a connection between the viewers and the story’s historic characters. We feel audiences will get a new perspective for what each person was experiencing.” Capital Christian Distribution will partner with Glorious Films to release the fall project to Christian retail this month. Greg Bays, executive vice president at the distributor, said he is “thrilled” to join the company in the release of The Promise and called the film “a first-of-its-kind animated musical in the Christian market.” To order, call Capital Christian Distribution at 800-877-4443 or go to


My Hope: Songs Inspired by the Message and Mission of Billy Graham (Sparrow Records/Capitol Christian Distribution) will release Oct. 15 and retail for $13.99. A compilation of songs from artists including Michael W. Smith, TobyMac, Amy Grant, Israel Houghton, Kari Jobe, Newsboys and Matthew West, the project ties into the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s My Hope America campaign. Songs include “City On Our Knees,” “We Believe” and “The Cross Is My Confession.” Si Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame narrates and stars in the latest Christmas DVD from VeggieTales, Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas ($14.99), arriving in stores Oct. 19. The story follows the title character, played by Larry the Cucumber, trying to help a coworker through a rough patch during the Christmas season, all the while helping his friends discover what’s really important. The VeggieTales brand has sold more than $1.2 billion in retail revenue, including 63 million videos. Bridgestone Multimedia Group releases two Christmas-themed DVDs this month, The Nativity ($19.95, 92 minutes) and Christmas Oranges ($19.95, 100 minutes). The Nativity stars Gayle Bedall, Claudio Brook and Guillermo Murray in a dramatic recreation of the life of Christ. Christmas Oranges stars Edward Herrman and Nancy Stafford along with Bailee Johnson in the role of Rose, an orphan looking to find friendship while struggling with challenges at her orphanage during the holidays.


Singer Natalie Grant returns with her ‘most personal’ project to date

Recording artist found working on ‘Hurricane’ was ‘like therapy’ after enduring darkness of post-partum depression Five-time Dove Award-winning Female Vocalist of the Year Natalie Grant has been through a personal storm and now brings her experience to what she calls her “most personal record to date.” Curb Records (Word Distribution) releases Hurricane­, Grant’s first project in three years, Oct. 15. As a mother of three, Grant suffered with post-partum depression following the birth of her youngest daughter. Still touring, she struggled in that darkness for nearly two years until she began the creative process for the new release. With her initial plan to record 10 songs selected by her record company, she found herself inspired again. “It completely switched around and I ended up writing more,” she told Christian Retailing. “It’s just like the Lord when I planned it one way and it went the opposite, like a creative dam broke.

This record was like therapy for me.” Title track “Hurricane” was inspired by Grant’s personal life as well as the story of Jesus walking on the water in the storm. The single was released in May and has become the fastest-rising single of Grant’s career, striking a chord with listeners looking for hope while facing their own storms. Since her debut release in 1999, Grant has been consistent in her music projects and touring. Fourteen years later, she is still focused on making an impact on the culture in which her three young girls will be raised.

“This is a time when it could be easy for anyone to (stop and) say, ‘It’s been a great career,’ ” she said. “As a mom to three young girls, one of the reasons I

want fresh music and relevant messages is because of them. They’re going to be looking to the girls I’m impacting right now.” Although many of the songs are weighty, Hurricane is still upbeat in outlook and tempo. As a self-described “pop-music junkie,” Grant wanted “fresh, relevant” songs for today’s listeners. “I wasn’t trying to reinvent myself, but right now I’m more sure of who I am than ever before,” she said. “Mostly, I was overwhelmed and in a dark space, [but] this record is a result of hope. I wanted that to be reflected in this record.” Grant’s new record is ‘a result of hope’ after To order Hurricane, call coming through a dark time. Word Distribution at 800-876WORD (9673).

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nown for his straight talk on the issues of today, Michael Brown confronts the dangerous message of hyper-grace with readers, during a time when the church needs an urgent wake-up call and a fresh encounter with Jesus.


his book is the ANSWER to the challenges raised by John MacArthur and clears the air of misconceptions about the Holy Spirit. Best-selling author and respected theologian R.T. Kendall sets the record straight about the Holy Spirit’s role in the lives of believers and in the life of the church.



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Known for a life and ministry of God’s power and miracles, Heidi Baker shares personal stories to show readers how to carry te promises of God in their own lives.

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A powerful guide to prayer for anyone struggling with persistent issues in their lives. With strategies, tools, and biblical keys concerning prayer, readers will be encouraged to keep praying until they see results.

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Don Nordin shares stories of modern-day miracles and healings that occur as a result of audacious prayer, inspiring readers to do the same in order to restore their faith.


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Top audio Bible, key children’s book release Inspired By… The Bible Experience released in 2006 to much acclaim. Now the creators of that product are back with another dramatized audio Bible with star power. Releasing Oct. 1, NIV Live: A Bible Experience (9780983422990, $124.99) from Inspired Properties features performances from a cast that includes Oscar, EMMY and GRAMMY nominees and winners as well as some of today’s leading pastors. Voices presenting the complete New International Version text include actress and producer Patricia Heaton (Mary Magdalene); actor Norm Lewis (Solomon); Christopher Gorham (Jesus); recording artist and producer Kirk Franklin (Peter); and singer-songwriter Martha Munizzi (Abigail). Pastors on the project include Erwin McManus (Psalms); Miles McPherson (Angel); and Craig Groeschel (Amos). Along with dramatic performances, the audio Bible features 3-D theatrical sound and a music score by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The set includes 79 digitally mastered audio CDs, an enhanced bonus making-of DVD, free digital downloads, a mobile app and online access to bonus material.

CHILDREN 90 DEVOTIONS FOR KIDS IN MATTHEW Adventures in Odyssey Tyndale House Publishers softcover, 240 pages, $13.99 9781589976771 Oct. 1

children on a path toward regular time alone with God, and provide a sound biblical resource for parents to use with their children. Orders: 800-323-9400.

A BOY’S GUIDE TO MAKING REALLY GOOD CHOICES Jim George Harvest House Publishers softcover, 144 pages, $10.99 9780736955188 Oct. 1

The second in a series of four “90 Devotions” books from the writers of Adventures in Odyssey, 90 Devotions for Kids in Matthew makes the truths of the Bible accessible at a young age. Based on the Gospel of Matthew, the devotions in this volume aim to help start

A Boy’s Guide to Making Really Good Choices is

Order through Zondervan: 800-727-1309. Angie Smith, best-selling author and wife of Todd Smith of the Dove Award-winning group Selah, has written a special book for kids related to her daughter Audrey, whose life on Earth lasted only a few hours, but made a significant impact. Illustrated by Breezy Brookshire, Smith’s first children’s book pays homage to a plush bunny that she fell in love with while pregnant with Audrey. In the book, a stuffed animal fears her imperfections will make her unworthy of a little girl’s love, but ultimately learns that she is special and wonderfully made. Releasing in an 8-by-10-inch hardcover format Oct. 1, Audrey Bunny (9781433680458, B&H Kids) retails for $14.99. Order through B&H Publishing Group: 800-251-3225. To learn more about these and other new products, visit our wide-ranging, regularly updated Buyers’s Guide listing online at

designed to help boys ages 8-12 learn how to think through their options when faced with a decision, realize the possible consequences of their actions and develop good decision-making skills. George uses helpful stories and illustrations to walk boys through the kinds of choices they are likely to face each day—choices to listen to their parents; do their best in school, sports, and activities; select friends with care; be kind to siblings and others; help out at home; and use good manners. Through the use of reallife scenarios, he aims to equip boys to build good character—the kind that will stay with them for life and honor God’s standards. Orders: 888-501-6991.

retailer bio Who runs the store? Kelly McCoy is owner with his wife, Jill, of Enid Christian Bookstore, a Munce-affiliated store in Enid, Okla. How long in Christian retail: About 15 months. How you first came to Christian retail: My wife worked for the previous owner before we had children. I was a school teacher/coach/administrator for about 14 years. About a year and a half ago, he approached my wife and I about possibly buying the store. We prayed about it and felt God leading us in this direction. We have loved every bit of it so far. First job of any kind and your age then: I worked for my dad on the farm starting when I was about 12.

Describe yourself in three words: Easy-going, family man, Christian. Favorite hobbies: Reading and working outside. Favorite place: At home with family. Mission in life: My mission in life is to be a good husband and father, and since both kids of my kids have accepted Christ, I want to help them grow up to be strong in their faith. Favorite verse: Col. 3:23 (NIV): “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Mentor or role model: On Tuesday mornings, we have a men’s Bible study. This group has had a tremendous impact on me. Pet peeve in retail: When people just assume that using a big-named Internet store is better than using a local store. Share a recent idea or event that has worked in your store: My wife has a

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great eye for refinishing furniture. We buy and reuse old furniture for our fixtures and also put them up for sale. How about an idea that hasn’t worked? Opening early on Black Friday. We are not selling electronics so people don’t come out early for us. Which soon-to-come product are you most excited about? There are a lot of good books coming out this Christmas season. Craig Groeschel’s Fight [Zondervan] and Billy Graham’s The Reason for My Hope: Salvation [Thomas Nelson], just to name a couple. How can our readers pray for you? They can pray for wisdom, that decisions made will be along with God’s will and that our store will continue to be a light for Christ in our community Store website: Social media: Find our store on Facebook at Enid Christian Bookstore.

A QUEEN NAMED ESTHER The Beginner’s Bible Zonderkidz (Zondervan) softcover, 24 pages, $3.99 9780310740803 October

A Queen Named Esther is a retelling of the Old Testament story about a beautiful Hebrew woman named Esther. When the king of Persia is looking for a queen, Esther’s cousin Mordecai encourages her to step forward. And when the king sees her beauty, he chooses her to be the new queen. But God has a bigger job for Esther. The safety of His people rests in her hands. Can she find the courage to help save the Hebrews from Haman’s evil plan? Using art from the best-selling The Beginner’s Bible, this story is available in an 8-by-8-inch softcover format. Orders: 800-727-1309.

ADVENTURE BIBLE HANDBOOK David Frees, Robin Schmitt Zonderkidz (Zondervan) hardcover, 240 pages, $16.99 9780310725756 October

When an archaeologist on a Holy Land expedition disappears, his children are willing to try anything to find him. He and his assistant join an offbeat tour group run by two zany guides whose mission, it turns out, is to lead kids from all over the world on a life-changing quest for truth. Soon the group is visiting ancient cities, exploring key geographical sites and traveling back in time to experience biblical events firsthand—with the help of some B uyer ’ s G uide , p a g e 2 4


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b u y e r ’ s g u i d e , from 22 Really Smart Phones (RSPs), camels, jet skis, ATVs, hang gliders and other modes of transportation. The children look for clues to their father’s whereabouts and learn facts about Bible times, the people, the culture and witness historical events, including the parting of the Red Sea and the crucifixion of Jesus. The kids realize that finishing the tour just may be the key to finding their father—and learning what life is all about! Orders: 800-727-1309.

BUTTON BIBLE New King James Version Thomas Nelson flexible hardcover, $24.99 9781400323180 Oct. 8

The Button Bible, a New King James Version edition for girls, features floral fabric print and a button closure. Featuring 24 pages of color inserts that allow for personalization, this compact Bible also includes a presentation page, satin ribbon marker, Bible timeline, Bible Verses to Know, My Favorite Bible Verses, How Do I Pray?,

How Do I Know Jesus Loves Me?, How Can I Let God’s Love Shine Through Me? and more. Orders: 800-834-7828.

KNIGHTS, VIKINGS, AND A BATTLE OF THE BANDS Karen Poth Zonderkidz (Zondervan) hardcover, 96 pages, $9.99 9780310742036 October

GOD’S LOVE FOR YOU BIBLE STORYBOOK Richard and Reneé Stearns Thomas Nelson hardcover, 272 pages, $19.99 9781400321872 Oct. 22

In God’s Love for You Bible Storybook, World Vision CEO Richard Stearns and his wife, Reneé, teach Bible stories followed by real accounts of people sharing God’s love. Kids will see how they can learn from and help people around the world. This book aims to help raise up a generation of generous, global Christians who are active in their communities and their world. With bright, whimsical illustrations by Martina Peluso, the book also benefitted from the assistance of Carolyn Larsen, author of The Little Girl’s Bible Storybook, who helped write the stories. The book also features fun facts about each child’s home country. Proceeds will be donated to World Vision. Orders: 800-834-7828.

With this volume of VeggieTales’ titles, readers can practice their reading and learn about faith. The titles are: Princess Petunia and the Good Knight, Junior Battles to Be His Best and What’s Up With Lyle?. Orders: 800-727-1309.

that God sees the poor as blessed. World Vision CEO Richard Stearns and his wife, Reneé, remind readers that we share hopes, dreams and heartaches with those who are different from us around the world. Most of all, God walks among us—all of us. The authors have traveled the world visiting poverty-stricken areas, but discovered joy even in dire circumstances. This gift book is a 90-day devotional giving readers a personal view of Christ in the lives of parents and children who have little, yet are rich in His spirit and love. Orders: 800-834-7828.


GIFT BOOKS HE WALKS AMONG US Richard and Reneé Stearns; photography by Jon Warren Thomas Nelson hardcover, 288 pages, $19.99 9781400321865 Oct. 22

He Walks Among Us: Encounters With Christ in a Broken World reminds readers

Perry Stone Casa Creación softcover, 272 pages, $11.99 9781621364245 Oct. 1

La cabra de Judas reveals the keys for handling and dealing with seasons of betrayal, disappointment, discouragement and unforgiveness—especially from those we love the most. The Judas goat, from which the book is named,


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Tw e l v e - y e a r old Andora “Andi” Boggs and her 14-year-old sister, Bethany, move to rural Ohio to live with their eccentric twenty-something aunt after the sudden death of their parents. While dealing with grief, Andi discovers proof of another Andora Boggs in the family tree whose existence was hidden in a Depression-era trunk in the attic. With help from her new friend and neighbor, Colin Carter, Andi is determined to find out who this first Andora was and what happened to her. Orders: 800-727-1309.

FIRST DATE Melody Carlson Revell (Baker Publishing Group) softcover, 224 pages, $12.99 9780800721312 Oct. 18

Best-selling author Carlson starts a new series, “The Dating Games,” about five high-school girlfriends with one goal in common—a date for homecoming. Orders: 800-877-2665.

Christians talk a lot about sin, especially the “bad” sin of society, but often overlook the sin in their own lives, such as pride and self-righteousness. Bridges’ study of tolerated sin and God’s remedy is adapted for teens in Respectable Sins: Teen Edition. Each chapter features a “Your Turn” study guide with scripture, discussion questions and prayer prompt. The “Guide for Group Leaders” shows how to adapt the book for a nine-week group study, and the “Are You a Respectable Sinner?” survey aids review. The book takes a two-part approach with a primer on sin and redemption and a chapter-by-chapter exploration of specific sins. Orders: Call 800-366-7788 or fax 800343-3902.

UNDAUNTED: STUDENT EDITION Christine Caine Zondervan softcover, 208 pages, $9.99 9780310743101 October

In Undaunted: Student Edition, author and activist Caine uses her dramatic life story to show teens how God rescued her from a life where she was unnamed, unwanted and unqualified. She tells how she overcame abuse, abandonment, fear and other challenges to go on a mission of adventure with faith and courage. Her personal stories inspire teens to hear their name called, just as she heard her own—“You are beloved. You are the hope. You are chosen”—and to go into a dark and troubled world to bring hope, create change and live completely for Christ. Orders: 800-727-1309.

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Amanda Flower Zondervan hardcover, 224 pages, $10.99 9780310737018 October

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¿Qué sucede cuando muero? is a detailed exploration of the afterlife that offers real-life experiences supported by the Bible. New York Times best-selling author Wiese (23 Minutes in Hell) answers questions and explains phenomena such as near-death experiences and deathbed vision, which many people have relayed to him after he spoke about his own trip-to-hell experience. Orders: 800-987-8432.

Relationships can be difficult, especially for Paige Alder. Just when she begins dating nice guy Tyler, who should reappear but her best friend’s older brother, Luke? Even though he broke her heart years ago, Luke still stirs up confusing feelings, making what should be an easy choice complicated. What’s a girl to do? This second book in the “Paige Alder” series will help young girls work through important issues such as forgiving others and obeying God. Orders: Call 800-366-7788 or fax 800343-3902.

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comes from the term for an actual goat that is trained to work at a slaughterhouse. The Judas goat gains the trust of the other sheep, but when the time comes, leads them to slaughter. Known to many through his Manna-Fest television program, best-selling author Stone makes a correlation between this goat and people who are close to us, but betray us. Orders: 800-987-8432.


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[ by th e book ] Academic & Reference

Scholarly titles reach more than the academy

Books that are ‘built to last’ have enduring value to many a thoughtful Christian reader BY KEN WALKER


Baker Academic

IVP Academic

Moody Publishers

ric Metaxas’ 2010 biography, Bonhoeffer, packed an unexpected sales punch for publisher Thomas Nelson. reaching New York Times best-seller status. Now, an October scholarly release on the legendary Dietrich Bonhoeffer likely will create retail interest beyond academic circles. The reason: Bonhoeffer the Assassin? (Baker Academic/Baker Publishing Group) challenges the widely held view that the German theologian participated in a plot to assassinate Adolph Hitler. “As the authors show, it is difficult to believe that Bonhoeffer would so quickly abandon his ethic of peacemaking demonstrated throughout his writing,” said Bryan Dyer, marketing manager for Baker Academic and Brazos Press. “The book is a needed corrective to a prevalent notion in the increasing popularity of this significant Christian figure.” The book’s three authors— Mark Thiessen Nation, Anthony G. Siegrist and  Daniel P. Umbel—don’t subscribe to the conspiracy view, but rather argue that Bonhoeffer maintained his commitment to peacemaking until he was put to death by hanging about three weeks before the end of World War II. The Baker title will be followed next month by The Bonhoeffer Reader, a collection of Bonhoeffer’s theological writings. The title is from Fortress Press, part of Lutheran publisher Augsburg Fortress. Gavin Stephens of Westminster John Knox Press (WJK) isn’t surprised by the recent proliferation of titles on Bonhoeffer, saying the increase “should help people see what a rich and complicated thinker he was.” Not only does this interest demonstrate how scholarly inquiry can branch into wider circles, but Jeff Crosby, executive director of sales and marketing for InterVarsity Press (IVP), said reference materials possess considerable backlist potential. Crosby said it is not uncommon for second-year net unit figures for IVP Academic titles to be as high or higher than IVP’s trade books. “That results from it taking a bit longer to be recognized among the members of the academy, to garner peer reviews in key journals and to be adopted by professors,” Crosby said. “Some of the textbooks are slow out of the gate,” agreed Stephens, WJK’s sales and marketing director. “They reach sales momentum when they make it to the backlist. Other books—particularly bigidea monographs—can reach higher numbers in their first year.” Chris Reese, a freelance writer and editor with Moody Publishers, sees a budding community of Christians outside academia who also are interested in apologetics. One of Moody’s forthcoming titles that illustrates that is The Soul: How We Know It’s Real and Why it Matters by J.P. Moreland, releasing in March 2014. Some trade titles that may cross over into academic are How to Talk to a Skeptic by Donald Johnson (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group, October); Big Bang Big God by British scientist Rodney Holder (Lion Books, Nov. 1); and iGods by Craig Detweiler (Brazos Press/Baker Publishing Group, November). “Their numbers and interest have grown in large part in response to the writings and media influence of the ‘new atheists,’ ” Reese said. “These kinds of books are more important than ever as Christians interact with ‘religious nones’ who have no background in the Christian faith.”



In an effort to help believers “rightly divide” the Scriptures, biblical explorations and expositions represent a mainstay of this genre, with numerous titles hitting the market this fall. Among these releases are The Psalms by Andrew Schmutzer and David Howard Jr. (Moody, October); The Old Testament is Dying by Brent Strawn (Baker Academic, October); and Feasting on the Gospels—Matthew edited by Cynthia Jarvis and Elizabeth Johnson

(WJK Press, Volume 1, November; Volume 2, December). Other November releases are Biographical Bible by Ruth Tucker (Baker Books/Baker Publishing Group) and Visions of the Apocalypse by Bruce Chilton (Baylor University Press). This month Zondervan will release the first two of its 43-volume “The Story of God Bible Commentary” series, which launches with two installments, The Sermon on the Mount by Scot McKnight and Philippians by Lynn Cohick. McKnight and Tremper Longman are general editors of the series, which will span a decade. Barbour Publishing will release a pair of Bible resources during the first quarter of 2014: Navigating the Bible by Christopher Hudson (February) and The Complete Bible Companion (March), an updated volume of study helps, one-year reading plans and other tools. Other forthcoming titles are 100 Tough Questions About God and the Bible by Stephen Miller (Bethany House, April) and The Moody Bible Commentary written by the faculty of Moody Bible Institute and edited by Michael Rydelnik and Michael Vanlaningham (February)—a commentary five years in the making. IVP Academic has two November releases that review the nature of evangelical biblical interpretation, The Lost World of Scripture by John Walton and The Future of Bible Interpretation by Stanley Porter and Matthew Malcolm. B&H Academic, an imprint of B&H Publishing Group, has a pair of November resources planned as well. Illustrated Bible Survey by Ed Hinson and Elmer Towns includes introductions to 66 books, photos, maps, charts and other study aids. An Introduction to Biblical Ethics by David Jones explains the nature, relevancy and structure of moral law as revealed in Scripture. Those volumes follow October’s release of a revised edition of Theology of the Reformers by seminary dean Timothy George and The Anabaptists and Contemporary Baptists by theology professor Malcolm Yarnell.

ENGAGING THE MIND The kickoff of the school year and church programming makes fall a major season for academic books, observed Baker’s Dyer, adding that seminarians and pastors launching sermon series need thoughtful resources. “Getting these books out in front of these customers is helpful not just for sales, but for making sure they have access to the finest resources created by the brightest minds in the Christian academic world,” he said. That includes such books as Baker Academic’s recently released third edition of Christian Theology by Millard Erickson, which Dyer said has had a huge influence on seminaries and churches. Reese said two enduring titles that represent accessible introductions to theology for laypersons are The Moody Handbook of Theology and Charles Ryrie’s Basic Theology. He also recommends retailers remember the “tribe” of evangelicals who gravitate toward academic books and such popular authors as John Piper, D.A. Carson and N.T. Wright. Reese favors promotions aimed at students and academicians getting into the new school year. “It’s rare to see a display devoted to academic books, but that would be beneficial,” he said. These books are “built to last,” with higher price points and longer life cycles, said WJK’s Stephens. “Represent the core backlist well,” Stephens said, who believes a strong in-store selection “is crucial for driving traffic and will help stores differentiate themselves from online sellers.”

  by the book: NONFICTION FOR 2013 November: Auto/Biography; December: Devotionals and Prayer.










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[ M usic ]

Making waves in the mainstream

Christian artists seeing favor on the national stage offer retailers an opportunity a Christian album had hit No. 1 on the allgenre chart in 15 years and only the third time in history. housands of fans will flood large In the last year alone, Matthew West arenas on the West Coast this Januappeared on Katie; For King & Country ary. When the lights go down and made its late-night debut on The Tonight the smoke makes its way to the rafters, rauShow with Jay Leno: Skillet rocked on cous applause and cheers will fill up domes Conan; Mandisa performed three times where professional athletes scored victories on Good Morning America; and Jamie only the night before. But it won’t be U2 or Grace, TobyMac and Amy Grant were all Coldplay taking the stage. The applause will featured on The View. be for Christian artists and the cheers will The lines are blurring, be directed to the One it’s all and Christian music is no for as the Winter Jam Tour longer confined to the walls Spectacular heads out on its of the church. Rather, it is annual three-month trek. going head-to-head with For the past three years, mainstream music, shatterthe popular multi-artist tour has topped Pollstar’s Top 100 ing walls, defying naysayers Tours chart, meaning it’s the and testing limits. A variety largest first-quarter tour of of factors come into play, any genre in the world. This but perhaps the most obviyear alone, Winter Jam saw ous is the fact that today’s a record-setting 42 sellouts, Christian music is equally as hitting 44 of the country’s good sonically as anything in largest arenas and playing to Matthew West secular music. a combined total audience of For a genre that’s alnearly 554,000 people. Pepsi will serve as ways been defined by lyrical content verthe tour’s leading sponsor in 2014. sus sound, it’s also important to note that In the past 13 months, two Christian Christian artists are now singing about all releases have topped the Billboard all-genre aspects of life, making their songs more charts: TobyMac’s Eye On It (ForeFront) universal, all while writing from a Christian and Chris Tomlin’s Burning Lights (sixperspective. A song that tells a good story has the ability to make a connection regardstepsrecords). When Eye On It became the best-selling album in the country the less of the belief system of the listener. At week of Sept. 5, 2012, it was the first time the end of the day, a good story is a good



Christian recording artists Mandisa and TobyMac visit with co-host Robin Roberts (center) on set of ABC News’ ‘Good Morning America’ show. story. Good art is good art. Christian artists are telling stories people want to hear and creating art that’s resonating with a broadening audience—and mainstream culture is taking notice.

THE PITCH It’s important for Christian retailers to pay attention to when and where Christian music is popping up in the mainstream. If something is labeled “Christian,” even nonbelievers are looking to the Christian subculture to provide product, both online and in store. High-profile public relations has become the new gateway to mainstream audiences. Retailers need to pay attention to where the music they sell in their stores

How Christian retailers can turn mainstream attention into sales With more Christian artists popping up in the mainstream, it presents key opportunities for retailers. Here are a few tips to keep in mind in regard to your music section: ››  Pay attention. Make sure your store’s music buyer is receiving press releases from music labels. Be aware of when and where Christian artists are featured in mainstream media. Do your homework. Read articles online. Watch television appearances. Seek out the magazines and newspapers where Christian artists are interviewed. Learn as much as you can. ››  Champion Christian music. With every media appearance, you have a chance to support Christian music in your community. Is a Christian artist featured in

your local paper? Cut out the article, and hang it on a bulletin board near the music section so your customers can see it. Has an artist been featured on a high-profile news show? Feature the interview and/or performance on a loop beside a display of their CDs. Get creative. ››  Become an expert. More than just selling music and knowing the release dates of popular albums, have a few key people on your staff who are passionate about music and who can do more than just sell an album. Choose some key support staff who can provide background on

the various artists represented in your store. Be the place consumers come to learn about Christian music, not just purchase it. ››  Be prepared when opportunity knocks. To maximize opportunities surrounding high-profile publicity, be sure you have ordered the right amount of stock and consider placing the featured artist in a high-traffic location. Make customers aware of the reason you’re featuring the artist. Create a sign that says, “As Featured on The Tonight Show on Wednesday Night” Have a stack of magazine and newspaper clippings on a table near the display that lauds the featured band.

››  Act as an “entry point” for non-Christians. If a nonChristian is intrigued by the music, there’s a possibility that if they find out it’s a Christian artist, they will come to your store looking for the product. This is a great way to invite new traffic into your store, and to introduce people to Christ. While it’s true that many non-believers would likely first go to a mass retail chain, quantity may not be as readily available in that chain’s Christian/gospel section. That’s where you come in. Never underestimate the ways customers find your store, and be ready to offer them quality, friendly assistance when they come. You never know when you might be someone’s first example of Christ.

is appearing, whether in a highly circulated magazine or newspaper, on a morning news program, in a popular television show or in the credits of an upcoming film. While there’s not always a direct correlation between publicity and sales, it definitely presents an opportunity for increased sellthrough, and retailers should be ready. “Morning TV still tends to be where sales increase following appearances,” said Velvet Kelm, owner of the boutique PR firm The Media Collective, which reps some of the biggest acts in Christian music, including MercyMe, Skillet, Steven Curtis Chapman, Chris Tomlin and TobyMac. “Sometimes you don’t see any movement at all, but I do believe it impacts the overall perception [and] image of an artist and drives further media interest even if the sales do not immediately follow.” As publicists look for opportunities to “pitch” their Christian clients to the media, it’s important to align artists with outlets that are natural fits. Sometimes, it’s the artist’s story that grabs the attention of media gatekeepers, but other times, it’s an artist’s sales history. Bozeman Media represents a roster of Christian artists ranging from Aaron Shust and Jason Gray to Building 429 and Montell Jordan. Owner and veteran publicist Janet Bozeman said her pitching approach looks different for every artist and every media outlet. “If it’s one of the late-night music shows, the music would have to be a fit for the program with strong sales and Billboard chart numbers playing a big factor in a booking decision,” Bozeman said. “If you’re looking at more of a talk program or a mainstream magazine, then the story angle will play a bigger role, but the editors [and] bookers will still need to know the artist has had good success in the marketplace. The mainstream outlets are looking to drive up MAINSTREAM, page 30

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  M A I N S T R E A M , from 28 the fact that it’s a Christian artist, but you can’t use ‘Christianese’ terms in your pitch,” she said. “You have to relate to that booker/ editor and speak at their level, while at the same time not compromising the integrity of an artist’s ministry.” Zach Kelm adds that mainstream gatekeepers are always surprised by the loyalty and passion of Christian music fans, an important differentiating factor. “Because our artists can have large fan bases without having all of the drivers that

r e i d r o l ls

numbers just like we are on the music side.” While it’s a mix of numbers and connecting points, an overarching narrative is always going to be a significant factor. That’s why it’s important for retailers to know the stories behind the albums they’re selling and the artists they’re representing. For Matthew West, who was recently interviewed by Katie Couric, West’s song “Forgiveness” has resonated with listeners because it’s based on a true story about a woman whose daughter

Skillet reaches mass audiences but maintains their outspoken testimony. was killed by a drunk driver. Years later, while the driver was in prison for taking a life in the accident, the mother visited him, told him she forgave him and actually appealed his sentence, cutting it in half. The powerful real-life story behind the song struck a chord and became an attractive selling point for the bookers at Katie. “From the beginning of our discussions, they loved the story behind ‘Forgiveness’ and wanted to find a way to make it work in the show,” Kelm said. “Ultimately, they also loved how Matthew has told so many people’s stories in song. They even had him write an in-depth blog on Katie’s site about this song and the process of making The Story of Your Life and Into the Light.” For other artists, like Switchfoot and Needtobreathe, the fact that they are making waves in two markets is a compelling story in and of itself. Skillet also has seen success in dual markets. When handling a crossover act, Zach Kelm, owner of Q Management, which represents rock acts Skillet, Decyfer Down and We As Human, contends the best way to reach consumers is to meet them where they are instead of asking them to come to you. “You want to market where those audiences live (where they spend their time, buy their music, get news and info, communicate with their peers, etc.), and, therefore, you have to point your marketing where it will be effective,” he said. Bozeman admits it’s a delicate balance attempting to juggle aspects of faith with the aims of mainstream media outlets. She asserts that an artist’s faith is what cements them in the Christian genre in the first place, but that there are many ways of telling the same story depending on the audience. “For mainstream media, I never hide

mainstream artists normally get to attain the same number of fans, it instills a level of loyalty and passion,” he explained. “In turn, that level of passion for an artist is an

Jamie Grace attractive selling point of our genre to the mainstream culture and its gatekeepers.”

The Opportunity While Christian artists are becoming more accepted by mainstream culture due to compelling stories and loyal fan bases, social media has also changed the landscape for artists. “We are all connected like never before, which brings about unique opportunities,” Q Management’s Kelm said. “If an artist or song strikes a chord, it can get exposure and traction in a variety of ways versus in the past where it could only really succeed if it garnered crossover radio [success].” In addition to high-profile PR, intentional social media efforts and traditional methods like touring, advertising and radio impressions, artists have more opportunities for film and television placement than ever before. Songs from The Afters, Britt

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hopeful trend I have seen is when Christian artists have multiple mainstream interviews/appearances, as that’s when an artist has truly broken through on the mainstream side.” Logos Bookstore Music Buyer Mike Hawver, of Kent, Ohio, maintains that lyrical content drives mainstream exposure. He poses the insightful question: “Do you think the mainstream is truly becoming more accepting of Christian music/artists or just those songs/artists that don’t necessarily talk about Christianity?” While songs with universal topics or veiled references to faith might have a better

chance at mainstream success, it’s not just the “crossover” acts garnering attention. Chris Tomlin was lauded by TIME magazine as “most likely the most often sung artist anywhere.” Jamie Grace appeared on The View because hosts Sherri Shepherd and Elizabeth Hasselbeck were fans of her song “Hold Me.” President Obama took it upon himself to ask Natalie Grant to sing at the White House because of her advocacy work for human trafficking. The reasons for opportunities vary, but the reality is the same. “The same opportunities have existed for Christian retail for years, and we’ve

taken advantage of them,” Hawver said. “We’ll continue to love people as they come into our doors for the first time and to point them toward a CD or book that will help them in a relationship with God.” The playing field is leveling. Culture is taking notice of Christian music, and the best thing Christian retailers can do is seize every moment. Although increasing sales is the end goal, it’s also important to realize retailers have the chance to be a cheerleader for this genre of music. The opportunity for Christian retailers remains—to be a beacon of light in their community.

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Nicole, TobyMac and Francesca Battistelli have all recently been used in commercials, TV promos and shows, and movies. John J. Thompson, director of creative and copyright development at Capitol Christian Music Group, said Christian music has become a positive option for music supervisors. “The gates have significantly opened for Christian artists over the last decade because music supervisors have discovered that it’s not all Bible study material,” Thompson said. “In many ways, faith-based music is the best choice for supervisors because there are no profanity issues, the music tends to be uplifting, and there are rarely samples that need to be cleared.” Thompson also observed that the abundant number of options for awareness and placement today can be a detriment. Consumers are overwhelmed by information, making it hard to grab their attention. However, in the end, marketing and publicity efforts converge to create an overall brand—which translates into sales. “It’s best to think of sync placements as part of the process of generating awareness, and not a slam-dunk victory in and of themselves,” Thompson said. “The public’s attention is so fragmented there is almost no show or film that everyone sees. But especially in the case of developing new artists, the extra exposure can be very helpful.” One media appearance is a win, but every foray into the mainstream is a building block. Case in point: Needtobreathe. In 2011, Taylor Swift, arguably the most popular artist in today’s contemporary music scene, personally asked Needtobreathe to open for her on her record-setting Speak Now tour—simply because she was a fan. That high-profile slot catapulted the underthe-radar band into the spotlight and onto late-night television. The rock band, which has been named the Gospel Music Association’s Group of the Year multiple times and garnered a string of hits at Christian radio, made the late-night rounds, performing on Leno, Letterman, Fallon and Conan. “Multiple appearances have the impact to really reach people,” said Bozeman. “Before long, I think the music will start to resonate with people new to Christian music since the music is as good as anything in the mainstream world, while at the same time it offers comfort and support with the lyrics.”


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As long as the content is faith-based, there will always be a barrier of some sort between mainstream and Christian music. The topics and perspectives of Christian music can be, at times, controversial to a non-believing audience, and generally speaking, secular gatekeepers have an obligation to ruffle as few feathers as possible when booking talent. It’s not a perfect science, but the tide is turning in favor of faith-based artists. “I definitely feel it’s opening up more for Christian acts than when I first started working in the Christian music industry 13 years ago, but it’s still not happening as quickly as I would like to see it happen,” Bozeman said. “The most

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[ industry for u m ] issues, ideas, insights, innovation

What should a retailer look for in a vendor?

Forging partnerships with suppliers will be an important key to your store’s success


eering across the landscape of the CBA marketplace, the industry is littered with hundreds upon hundreds of products to sell, vendors to work with and programs to execute and market. But with the dawning of the digital age and, essentially, a new type of consumer, traffic is down for many stores, and sales are struggling due to a lack of interest in in-store book and music sales. Naturally, stores have branched out into other categories to fill the sales void. Some have added boutiques with fashion jewelry and scarves, cafés with coffee and dessert, and specialty merchandise based on the History Channel series The Bible or A&E’s infamous Duck Dynasty. Such additions to the typical product mix help to differentiate Christian retail from its big-box competitors. But, is it enough? Paired with exceptional customer service, are Christian retailers able to carve out enough of a niche through these new offerings? It’s safe to say that while this is a definitive step in the right direction, the answer is no, it’s not enough to thrive in today’s retail environment.

FIND EXCITING PRODUCTS In a world that is breeding a consumer who is becoming more difficult to please, thanks to online product offerings that are highly customized and unique, it is essential for the CBA industry to take action. The Christian retailer must continue to discover and purposefully seek out vendors who not only bring their best, but also bring more to the table. The task at hand is to find vendors who consistently release fresh, quality products, provide excellent customer service and elicit a spark of excitement among consumers. While many products in the CBA industry are timeless, industry leaders must continue to adapt to a consumer culture that may no longer place as much of an emphasis on quality customer service as it once did—and is becoming progressively bored with run-of-the-mill products and services. To address this need, Christian retailers must remain sharp, identify customer trends and act quickly. Partnering with vendors that are committed to new product development and a pursuit of industry excellence is a win-win. Finding and building relationships with vendors that are mindful of the future and being at the forefront of the industry is a key piece of the retail puzzle. When strong, smart partnerships exist between vendors and stores, customers will take notice, traffic will increase,

and improved sales will result. As a vendor, P. Graham Dunn works hard to analyze sales and reveal to customers products that provide proven sell-through. We not only disseminate this information at store level, but also internalize it and take what we learn to develop new products that are engaging and exciting. New, on-trend product is key, but don’t discount quality either. Identifying vendors that consistently provide an excellent product, deliver on their promises and are able

ANTHONY BURDETTE Marketing Manager P. Graham Dunn

“When strong, smart partnerships exist between vendors and stores, customers will take notice, traffic will increase, and improved sales will result.” to keep store shelves full is essential. When competing in the fast-paced game of retail, stores lack the time and resources to struggle alongside a vendor with replenishment issues, overdue delivery times and inconsistent products. Once you find a vendor that produces and distributes great product, begin building a relationship that if done right, begins to resemble a partnership.

PRIORITIZE KEY PARTNERSHIPS The Christian products industry has an extensive history of passionate and deliberate relationship-building. This aspect is unique to CBA, and one that is essential to the survival of the industry. P. Graham Dunn takes pride in the relationships that have been built in the CBA marketplace since the origin of the company. Founder Peter Dunn built many relationships through the years that led to our growth and devel-

opment—relationships that we strive to build upon and enhance. It is a company priority that we make ourselves accessible to our dealers and open to their feedback via trade-show presence, store visits, our on-site dealer conference and through email and phone contact. As a vendor, we also benefit, gaining first-hand feedback from stores that pass along their learning from listening to customers and analyzing sales. P. Graham Dunn takes dealer feedback seriously, and works to identify commonground solutions. Recently a visit to Hackman’s Bible Bookstore in Pennsylvania gave us an opportunity to reconnect, discuss business, hand off some new product and fixtures, and leave with smiles and bags full of pretzels for the road. It’s next to impossible to quantify the value of these relationships, but they keep us excited about what we do.

GROW YOUR PASSION Excitement is contagious. It’s no secret that word-ofmouth marketing is the purest and most effective form of advertising. When selling products that you absolutely love, it’s nearly impossible to keep quiet about them! At P. Graham Dunn, we love the products that we manufacture and sell, and we do our best to pass along this passion through our product offering, promotions and sales representatives. A perfect example of this practice in action is our personalized laser-engraving program, which was initiated years ago out of our sole retail location in Dalton, Ohio. Early on, we could see that the effect this product had on our customers was overwhelming, and we were determined to pass along this opportunity to our dealers. In the past few years, we have worked to develop a program that can be placed in just about any store and is a simple, yet unique product line that excites customers. This is just one example, but there are hundreds of products out there that can bring excitement to your store. Finding extraordinary vendors is not easy and will not happen overnight, but it will pay off. Drumming up vendors that keep their products fresh, treat you well and elicit excitement will not only elevate your product offering, but also your business and bottom line. Although P. Graham Dunn is a vendor, we too maintain a 20,000-square-foot gift shop on our premises, and we take the aforementioned steps on a daily basis to keep our customers coming back. We’re always on the lookout for new vendors and products that are unique to our store— and items that customers just cannot find anywhere else. This is what makes our store different, and it can do the same for yours!

VOLUME 59 \\ NUMBER 10 OWNER/publisher Steve Strang ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Michael R. Briggs Chief Operating Officer Joy F. Strang Editor Christine D. Johnson News Editor Eric Tiansay VP Production Wendy Leech Production Coordinator Shelly Duff graphic Designer Linda Gillotti Advertising manager Cliff Morales Media Ad Traffic supervisor Erica Heitz AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT DIR. David Manning

Customer Service Nettie Parks EDITORIAL CONSULTANT Mary Manz Simon INDUSTRY ADVISORY BOARD Bill Greig III, president and CEO, Gospel Light, Ventura, Calif. Ed Nizynski, vice president of sales, Lighthouse Christian Products, Schaumburg, Ill. Steve Laube, literary agent and president, The Steve Laube Agency, Phoenix Kim Pettit, executive director and CEO, Christian Trade Association International, Colorado Springs, Colo. Sherry White, senior buyer, American Wholesale Book Co., Florence, Ala.

David E. Austin, executive vice president of sales, marketing and product acquisition, Bridgestone Multimedia Group, Alto, Mich. RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD David Almack, U.S. director, CLC International Kirk Blank, president, Munce Group, Indian Rocks Beach, Fla. Mark Hutchinson, president, Blessings Stores, Chilliwack, British Columbia Bill Nielsen, chief operating officer, Berean Christian Stores Rose Seeley, retail services director, Cottonwood Bookstore, Los Alamitos, Calif. Lorraine Valk, owner, Parable Christian Store of St. Joseph, St. Joseph, Mich.

Christian Retailing (ISSN 0892-0281) is published monthly by Charisma Media, 600 Rinehart Road, Lake

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C h r i s ti a n B e st- s e lle r s CBA List 1 Gods at War Kyle Idleman (Zondervan) 9780310318842 2 Jesus calling (hardcover) Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson) 9781591451884 3 Not a Fan Kyle Idleman (Zondervan) 9780310331933 4 Jesus calling (large print deluxe) Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson) 9781400318131 5

Happy, Happy, Happy Phil Robertson (Howard Books) 9781476726090


the circle Maker Mark Batterson (Zondervan) 9780310330738


Follow me David Platt (Tyndale House) 9781414373287

8 KJV Standard Lesson Commentary 2013-2014 (softcover) (Standard Publishing) 9780784735312 9

Unglued Lysa TerKeurst (Zondervan) 9780310332794

10 Heaven is for real Todd Burpo, Lynn Vincent (Thomas Nelson) 9780849946158 11 The Jesus Storybook Bible Sally Lloyd-Jones (Zonderkidz) 9780310708254 12 The Duck Commander Family Willie Robertson, Korie Robertson (Howard Books) 9781476703541 13 Jesus Today (hardcover) Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson) 9781400320097) 14 The Harbinger Jonathan Cahn (FrontLine/Charisma House) 9781616386108 15 Multiply Francis Chan, Mark Beuving (David C Cook) 9780781408233 16 Crazy Love Francis Chan, Danae Yankoski (David C Cook) 9781434705945 17 The 5 Love Languages Gary Chapman (Northfield Publishing) 9780802473158

ECPA List 1 Jesus calling (hardcover) Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson) 9781591451884 2

Kingdom Woman Tony Evans, Chrystal Evans Hurst (Tyndale House) 9781589977433

3 KJV Standard Lesson Commentary 2013-2014 (softcover) (Standard Publishing) 9780784735312 4 KJV Standard Lesson Commentary 2013-2014 (large print) (Standard Publishing) 9780784735329 5

Jesus calling (large print deluxe) Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson) 9781400318131


The Meaning of Marriage Timothy Keller (Penguin Group USA) 9780525952473


Jesus calling (deluxe) Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson) 9781404187825


The 5 Love Languages Gary Chapman (Northfield Publishing) 9780802473158


Jesus calling (women’s) Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson) 9781400320110

12 NIV Standard Lesson Commentary 2013-2014 (softcover) (Standard Publishing) 9780784735350 13 the circle Maker Mark Batterson (Zondervan) 9780310330738 14 Not a Fan Kyle Idleman (Zondervan) 9780310331933 15 Love does Bob Goff (Thomas Nelson) 9781400203758 16 NIV Standard Lesson Commentary 2013-2014 (large print) (Standard Publishing) 9780784735367 17 Gods at War Kyle Idleman (Zondervan) 9780310318842

18 KJV Standard Lesson Commentary 2013-2014 (large print) (Standard Publishing) 9780784735329

18 Jesus Today (hardcover) Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson) 9781400320097)

19 Jesus callinG: 365 Devotions for kids Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson) 9781400316342

19 The Harbinger Jonathan Cahn (FrontLine/Charisma House) 9781616386108

20 Radical David Platt (Multnomah Books) 9781601422217

20 Becoming Myself Stasi Eldredge (David C Cook) 9781434705358

The CBA list is based on actual Christian store sales for July 2013, reported to CROSS:SCAN, the largest source of Christian retail product sales. All rights reserved. Distribution and copyright © 2013 CBA, the association for Christian retail.

Top Top SellerS SellerS 1 DAy Soul Soul fAST fAST 1 40 DAy Cindy Cindy Trimm Trimm 9780768440263 9780768440263 2 HoSTing THe THe preSence preSence 2 HoSTing Bill Johnson Bill Johnson 9780768441291 9780768441291 WomAn THou 3 ArT looSeD looSeD expAnDeD expAnDeD eDiTion eDiTion 3 WomAn THou ArT TD Jakes 9780768403008 TD Jakes 9780768403008

The ECPA list is compiled from sales of Christian books in hundreds of Christian retail outlets nationwide, collected using Pubtrack Christian ( Best-sellers are for the five-week cycle ending August 17, 2013. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2013 ECPA.


DVD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

10 Heaven is for real Todd Burpo, Lynn Vincent (Thomas Nelson) 9780849946158 11 Happy, Happy, Happy Phil Robertson (Howard Books) 9781476726090


MONUMENTAL Word Films (Word Distribution) Home run Provident Films (Provident Distribution) Maclarry & the stinky cheese battle VeggieTales, Big Idea (Word) the penniless princess VeggieTales, Big Idea (Word) the Woodcarver GT Media (Capitol Christian Distribution) the BIBLE Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (Provident) The Mark (Pure Flix Entertainment) a tribute to howard & vestal goodman Bill & Gloria Gaither and Their Homecoming Friends, Gaither Music Group (Capitol) Courageous Provident Films (Provident) brother white (Pure Flix Entertainment)

music 1 2 3 4 5 5 7 8 9 9

The Struggle Tenth Avenue North, Reunion Records (Provident Distribution) come to the well Casting Crowns, Beach Street (Provident) Rise Skillet, Word Records (Word Distribution) a tribute to howard and vestal goodman Bill & Gloria Gaither and Their Homecoming Friends, Gaither Music Group (Capitol Christian Distribution) (tie) Into the light Matthew West, Sparrow Records (Capitol) (tie) wow hits 2013 Various artists (Word) Best Days Tamela Mann, TillyMan (Infinity Music Distribution) God’s not dead Newsboys, Inpop Records (Capitol) (tie) you satisfy my soul Onething Live, Forerunner Music (tie) Burning Lights Chris Tomlin, sixstepsrecords (Capitol)

The Music list is compiled from Christian retail store sales; the video list is compiled from a national sample of mainstream and Christian store sales for week ending August 25, 2013. © 2013 Christian Retailing and SoundScan Inc. Collected, compiled and provided by:

AvAilAble AvAilAble from: from: 4 4 culTure of of Honor Honor Danny Silk Danny Silk 9780768431469 9780768431469 5 WHen HeAven 5 WHen HeAven invADeS invADeS eArTH eArTH Bill Johnson 9780768429527 Bill Johnson 9780768429527 6 6 HinDS’ HinDS’ feeT feeT on on HigH HigH plAceS plAceS DevoTionAl DevoTionAl reviSeD reviSeD Darien B. Cooper 9780768442021 Darien B. Cooper 9780768442021

7 7 loving our our KiDS KiDS on on purpoSe purpoSe Danny Silk 9780768427394 Danny Silk 9780768427394 8 8 meSSiAnic meSSiAnic JeWiSH JeWiSH SHAreD SHAreD HeriTAge HeriTAge bible bible 9780768403176 9780768403176 9 9 lADy lADy in in WAiTing WAiTing reviSeD reviSeD Jackie Kendall Jackie Kendall 9780768441062 9780768441062

This This list list is is generated generated from from sales sales of of books books nationwide, nationwide, including including Family Family Christian Christian and and statistics, statistics, for for the the year year long long cycle cycle ending ending the the week week of of August August 4, 4, 2013. 2013. © © 2013 2013 Destiny Destiny Image Image Publishers. Publishers.

FAl l Ti t l es from I nt erva rs it y pr ess

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978-0-8308-3774-8, $17.00 Available November 2013

978-0-8308-3764-9, $17.00

978-0-8308-3768-7, $17.00

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978-0-8308-3751-9, $16.00 Also available: A Guide to the Blessing Life 978-0-8308-3752-6, $8.00 Support. Service. Sales.

978-0-8308-3767-0, $16.00

978-0-8308-5814-9, $10.00


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Christian Retailing October 2013  

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