Taiwan Church News
February 29 – March 6, 2016
A Prospective Strategy For Evangelical Mission Today
In the end of March, Pingtung City’s last independent bookstore – “Bork Bookstore” – will be closed down; in the meantime, the Taipei branch of Zhengda Bookstore was also wound up on February 28. Seeing such declining trend of the substantial bookstores, many people felt sad and some people thought it was due to a shrinkage of the reading population.
As a matter of fact, it is quite easy to learn people strolling in the bookstore are in decline. But, does it mean the public become more and more reluctant to read? It is really hard to say. Indeed, book is not a necessary goods for the public’s daily living. Especially, when the salaries of most people in Taiwan are backsliding to a level about 15 years ago, books as an abstract goods become easily to be deleted from our budget. However, for the people who loves to read, there are lots of alternatives to meet their demands, like going to book-renting house, public library or even the free information highway – internet.
All these things give us a lesson that people do not need stick to a substantial bookstore to do their readings. Although we will certainly miss the warm milieu and living touch of the book pages inside those substantial bookstores, the behavior of buying book was actually under a radical revolution when many on-line bookstore websites like Amazon, Books and Taaze started to fashion. Once these bookstore websites turn into retailer websites, it foretold a realistic decline of substantial store.
Online shopping is not only convenient to the consumer, but also saves a lot of cost for the manufacturer. For any church affiliated institute, the concept of cost control is a very important one. Practicing cost control in the institutes does not necessarily mean those ministries have to be run like business or quit from any worthy but risky service. On the contrary, it is just because most money of these church affiliated institutes come from the financial offerings of the church members, the leaders of these church institutes have responsibility to account for every penny spent and ensure the most appropriate management for the donators.
To serve local churches more positively, it certainly requires Taiwan Church Press(TCP) to walk a new path. This is why two branch bookstores in Yun-Chia and Hsin-chu areas are decided to suspend their substantial sale in a near future. A more mobilized bookstore service to local churches will emerge and replace the previous ones at substantial site. This strategic change in the mission is positive and progressive instead of being passive and conservative.
These changes of Taiwan Church Press do not mean our remaining four substantial bookstores to be outdated, but point to a new vision. Just like Amazon unexpectedly set up her first substancial bookstore in last November, delivering goods with the same price as that on internet, creating not only a quality consumption experience but also drawing near the distance between Amazon and the public, TCP’s Tainan bookstore is also to make an overhaul in her interior.
This change will push the relationship between TCP and her consumers beyond a simple deal as buy and sell. It will become a business offering identity. Through strolling in such substantial bookstore filled with books, gifts and musical CDs, people are served with real touching, smelling and listening. In addition, in order to forge a multi-functional space and elevate our service quality, some experienced co-workers will offer in-depth guidance and explanation and a showroom will be designed to accommodate activity or lecture.
To serve and care for everyone’s demands more positively in a new era, TCP tries to initiate some strategic changes in our management. Welcome your any comment or criticism to make our service more helpful to the needs of the churches in Taiwan.