A few years ago, I attended a Women of Faith conference with a woman from the church I attended at the time. It was so upsetting to me because during the drive to and from the event, I learned that this woman had serious mental health issues, had lost custody of her children to the state, had spent her early years being abused and struggled with poverty. But she was depending on God to help her turn her life around and had found almost $100 somewhere to go and listen to a bunch of rich women share the gifts that God had given to them.
The whole Christian industry works just like the rest of the world’s. People produce things and sell them to people who have money. No doubt many Christian artists donate substantial amounts of money to ministries and causes they believe in. However, their real gifts – the talents they have been given – don’t get to the sort of people that Jesus spent his time with. Homeless men aren’t walking around with a copy of the latest James Dobson book in their backpacks.
This has always bothered me, so I am working with ministries in the town I live in to hold an event where people can purchase copies of my book to be given to the people that the ministries serve. Rather than the usual readings at bookstores where I split sales with the store, I am working with local churches so that the portion of the sale which would normally go towards the store will go towards purchasing a copy of the book for the ministry of the person’s choice. The goal is that the local ministry to truckers, the hospice, the people who go into the county jails, the women’s shelter and so on would have copies of the book on hand to hand out.
My hope is that eventually this will grow into a whole new way for Christian writers, musicians and such to do business. I would love to see the day that rather than just one book by one author being handled this way, many books and cds and videos by many different people are sold this way in the Christian world.
Surely we can do better than this: