It’s Thursday, kiddies: the day when I roll out a few things I’ve been reading over the past week. Three of ‘em, to be exact. Enjoy. (Remember: click on the big bold print to read the entire article.)
(via @austin_savage) Three concise – and convicting – reasons for you to remove that “Shine, Jesus, Shine” midi file right now.
When I first moved to Chicago to attend school, I started searching the web for churches. There are obviously a ton of churches to choose from in the city, but what struck me is the number of churches that were instantly unappealing to me simply because of their website.
I’m sure you’ve heard it said that your website is the front door to your church. If you haven’t taken that seriously in the past, I hope you’ll consider it now… because particularly for younger generations, that statement is undoubtedly true. Picture that for a second. If the front door doesn’t look inviting or appealing to your audience, they probably won’t consider (at least not with much confidence) coming into the building. But imagine what would happen if they felt welcomed even before they opened the door…
(via @jonathanmerritt) While I don’t agree that all of Merritt’s article has – ahem – merit, if this means that we’ll see the end of purpose-driven salt and pepper shakers, sign me up.
Back in the 1990s, it often seemed that every city and town in America had a strip mall with a Christian bookstore where you could purchase WWJD bracelets and enough devotional books to fill up the Ark of the Covenant. But today, these Christian bookstores are a dying breed. Indeed, it seems we are fast approaching an America where this particular brand of religious retailer will be no more than a memory.
Over the last decade, Christian bookstores across the nation have been shuttering. In some cases, consumers are just less interested in the stores’ God-blessed inventory. But plenty of others are just opting to purchase religious items from online retailers, with Christian bookstores humbled before the same digital market forces that felled secular mom-and-pop bookstores.
The flailing Christian bookstore industry reached code red status earlier this year when Family Christian Stores, touted as “the world’s largest retailer of Christian-themed merchandise,” declared it would shutter all of its 240 stores across America and lay off 3,000 employees. The 85-year-old chain said that “changing consumer behavior and declining sales” left it no choice.
(via @laughingsquid) This is simply amazing. Break out your eclipse glasses that were back-ordered until this week and watch God show off a little bit. Those solar flares? Whoa. (And for bonus viewing, if you want to know just how big those flares are compared to little ol’ us…)
photo credit: Jason Mathis