Sales of Faith Alive Christian Resources are steadily growing as the Christian Reformed Church’s publishing ministry continues to market, sell, and distribute its Sunday school curriculum, worship resources, and other faith formation materials.

As Faith Alive moves into its busiest season in which churches and other customers order materials, especially Sunday school curriculum, it is important to make sure people realize these resources are still available, says Mark Rice, Faith Alive director.

Rice says he wants people to know that although Faith Alive has undergone some substantial changes in recent months, it has not gone away.

“I think there is the perception out there among some people that Faith Alive was closing on June 30 and that they couldn’t order products from us anymore,” says Rice.

“There have been some changes, but the essential functions are continuing, and publishing and distributing our products will continue.”

Synod 2013 agreed to dissolve the board of Faith Alive on June 30 as one of the structural changes needed as Faith Alive adapts to a changing publishing marketplace.

“We had been acting like a small commercial publisher, but that financial model wasn’t working,” says Rice.

He explained to synod that Faith Alive, in conjunction with the CRC’s Board of Trustees, was recommending changes because “Faith Alive needs to change, and that, while its core ministry functions will go on, its financial model is no longer sustainable.”

Faith Alive is now moving forward, he told synod, “to create a better, more focused publishing ministry that allows denominational ministry to get closer to churches with the goal of creating vibrant ministry, not just selling a church more products.”

Rice says he has heard from many quarters following synod’s action to dissolve the board that people in and outside the CRC wonder if they can still get Faith Alive products or if they should look elsewhere for their resource needs.

But he wants customers to know materials will continue to be available. Faith Alive has, in fact, just finished a financial quarter in which its revenue was up substantially over last year, due, among other things, to the release of its new hymnal, Lift Up Your Hearts, published in cooperation with the Reformed Church in America.

In the meantime, Rice says, it has been a difficult period of transition, but a necessary one.

Looking to the future, he says, “Faith Alive will be working as a more focused, engaged ministry, making sure that our product is coming from and addressing the real needs of churches.”

Faith Alive Resources are available online, or call 800-333-8300 to talk to a customer service representative.

Comments

I'm a big fan of Faith Alive and regularly take advantage of its many resources. It is confusing that dissolving a board, and no longer "acting like a small commercial publisher" is somehow going to "create a better, more focused publishing ministry." And I think I read elsewhere that after dissolving the board, various functions were placed under different existing committees or entities. How can splitting things up make it more focused? And what will the new financial model actually be?

I understand you're saying we can all continue to order what we need the same way as we did before. But the rest of the message is confusing to me and, I imagine, to others.

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