A few weeks ago one of Faith Alive’s editors received a voicemail from a classis leader. He was calling to ask if the churches in his region should continue ordering from Faith Alive, or if we’d soon be closing our doors. It’s a fair question. Faith Alive has been suffering financially over the last few years and lately the news has seemed grim. The economic downturn hit us hard, and though sales are on the rise now, the deficit is large.
For years Faith Alive has been functioning under a self-supporting commercial publishing mode. In some ways this has been very good for us—it has pushed us to stay current and competitive in our design and pedagogy. It has led us to serve a broader audience. In addition to the CRC, churches in the RCA, PCUSA, PCA and many other denominations are blessed by the resources we offer. But remaining competitive and self-supporting has also required a great deal of our energies, leaving us less time to do the thing we love to do the most—personally connecting with churches to help them create faith formation plans for their particular context.
Now the denomination is asking big questions like, “Is the self-supporting commercial publishing model best for ministry?” and, “Is faith formation important enough to put an even stronger emphasis on it?” In the coming months, the CRC will begin realigning some of its agencies and specialized ministries to better serve churches in the task of faith formation. Far from closing our doors, we’re hoping this will mean more collaboration with congregations in curriculum and resource development, more individual support for education and discipleship ministries, and more appreciation for the work you do to nurture the faith of people of all ages. Faith formation has always been our passion—it is at the heart of all we do at Faith Alive. So don’t worry, we’re still here for you! And we’re looking forward to a bright future.