The local Christian bookshop should be a regular destination for every Christian, yet how many of us don’t even know where the closest one is? In these days of instant Kindle delivery or the ability to listen to a book read to you via Audible, it seems the local Christian bookshop is on its way out, like a extinct species. However it shouldn’t be that way, especially if we want to fulfil the Great Commission.
As believers respond to the Biblical call to study, we should also see how important it is to support our local Christian Bookshop just like we support our church. Of course our tithe belongs to the place where we fellowship but we must value the ministries around us and see them as good places to sow seed. In this way we are investing in our community and helping each lighthouse shine that much brighter.
I for one would usually take advantage of that one click only online purchase, for ease of use and speed of delivery. However I felt an inner nudge to consider doing things differently to make an impact where I live. The verse that came to mind was Galatians 6:10. “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
I realised that purchasing Christian resources from giant websites was not going to help get God’s Word out where I live. It also became clear to me, through the pandemic, that if the Church in the city and Body of Believers don’t support their local Christian bookshop then it won’t be able to survive in the long term. So I would like to encourage you today to discover the joy of supporting your local Christian bookshop more than ever before.
Supporting your local Christian Bookshop is a joy!
Yes we can do good to the giant websites that provide us with unlimited choice, but let’s especially remember ‘those who of the household of faith’ as another translation says. We are told we must not forsake the gathering of believers and the local Christian Bookshop is another great way we can do this. Yes it may take a little longer to go in person but you get to hang out with other Christians and encourage them. That is what each Christian is on earth to do. Let’s constantly encourage each other in our faith.
I don’t know where your local Christian Bookshop is situated but I urge you to find out. I live in Exeter and Bridge Bookshop is a brilliant example of a local Christian Bookshop. It is run by former missionaries to China, Gary and Mary Lee who have taken the mission field to our city. Their bookstore, alongside the River Exe, is such a friendly place to visit and you are assured of a warm welcome. Many have come to draw spiritual strength from this powerhouse couple.
Each time I go into the shop I see something new or inspirational and I am glad to support them. The local Christian Bookshop is much more than just a bookstore. There are beautiful cards with Bible verses ideal to give to friends for each and every occasion. I stock up for the year so I always have the right card, so there is no last minute panic when friends and family have birthdays. Plus there are invariably a number of items on special offer.
In keeping with Galatians 6:10, I also see the value of giving meaningful gifts that have eternal value. Bridge Bookshop Exeter has a great variety of books for children and music CDs and films on DVD . Of course the shop also has a great website where I can shop online if I really want to, but as much as I can I prefer to visit in person. You will probably find your local bookshop has much the same to offer and would be just as blessed to see you!
So, as Gary Lee says, “Pass on the word to ‘buy locally’ to your contacts. (Amazon doesn’t need you whereas we do). Our prices are often the same and most bulk orders for churches and Christian groups are cheaper through us with free local delivery.”
“We want to thank all who have been ordering throughout lockdown and supporting our local Christian bookshop,” says Mary Lee. “We constantly remind ourselves that this is God’s business, as we pray for our customers each morning.”
Also read: Matt Redman song, ‘Jesus Your Name’ couldn’t be more timely, as ‘whole world shakes’
4 thoughts on “Is the local Christian Bookshop an endangered species?”
Plus many bookshops, like Bridge Bookshop, donate books to schools and prisons. Their ministry goes far beyond selling books.