Perhaps you’ve been running the bookstall in your church for years, but your congregation hasn’t caught the vision. What can you do when people just don’t seem interested in good books?
1. Stop reviewing, start plugging. What’s the book about? Is it written for people like me? How long will it take me to read? What difference will it make to my life? If you tell people anything more than this, they’ll switch off!
2. Keep your bookstall fresh. Nobody gets excited about a bookstall when it has ten dusty old titles that haven’t moved since the Reformation. Look out for new releases and good deals to get new titles on there regularly!
3. Know your audience. You might love reading Carson’s treatise on the authority of Scripture, but most others probably won’t be ready for that just now. Find books that engage with people where they’re at, and answer the questions they’re asking… and engage the heart not just the head.
4. Show them why. If people have never read Christian books before, it’s likely they don’t see the point. Show them how books have answered your questions, inspired you, and changed your life.
5. Teach them how. In an age where some people don’t read anything longer than 140 characters, teach them how to enjoy a book. Suggest they try to read 15 minutes per day, or read on the bus, or on holiday.
6. Make reading part of church life. Why not read books as a congregation? Start a book group to discuss what you’ve read. Or get people to read in twos and threes. Or create a Facebook group for people to share their thoughts.
7. Create a reading culture. People are much more likely to read when everybody else is doing it. Why not try a lost–cost book of the term/semester? If it goes well you could progress to something a bit meatier!
How will you get your church reading?