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So Much For Sunday

Author
Category Articles
Date January 8, 2004

FAMILY CHRISTIAN STORES OPENS SEVEN DAYS A WEEK

Zondervan’s Family Christian Stores, the largest chain of Christian bookstores in America will begin opening its doors for business on Sundays, the company announced. Taking a phased approach, the retailer will begin in Dallas, its largest market, opening for business from noon until 5 p.m., and gradually extend the Sunday openings to other stores nationwide.

Family Christian Stores said that a market survey revealed that 89 percent of respondents said they not only already shop on Sundays, but would frequent the Christian retailer on the Sabbath as well. The company also found that 96 percent of churches with bookstores open their stores on Sundays after worship. (There was no indication whether these stores were operating on a profit margin or not.)

In a prepared statement, Dave Browne, president and CEO of Family Christian Stores said, “We believe we’re missing an opportunity to get inspirational products in people’s hands. This is a decision that we took very seriously, but after prayer, study, and seeking the counsel of others, it became clear to us that the ministry opportunity of opening on Sundays vastly outweighed the operational preference of the status quo.”

Jeff Lambert, a spokesman for Family Christian Stores, said the company has come to the conclusion that the New Testament mandate of making disciples gained precedence over the traditional Reformed application of the fourth commandment in this instance. He said also, however, that the Bible’s “language regarding taking time to rest” was the company’s driver to only open between services on the Lord’s Day.

Most employees, both in the stores and at corporate headquarters, have not objected, Lambert said, although some have. “A few people said they disagreed with this decision and that they can’t work here at Family Christian Stores,” he said. Lambert noted that this was a “philosophical decision,” since no one is being forced to work on the Sabbath. “We will work with people [employees] to accommodate their schedules,” he added.

Gerry Wisz, Christian Renewal

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