CRC’s Publishing Ministry Forced to Cut Staff

November 30, 2012 — Faith Alive Christian Resources, the publishing ministry of the Christian Reformed Church, is cutting 18 percent of its editorial and marketing staff over the next two weeks. The move came after a plan to increase revenue fell short of its objectives.

Even with an increase in ministry share funding, a new marketing plan, hiring field sales staff, and more, income for the first third of this fiscal year was almost 25 percent short of what was budgeted.

“Despite our best efforts, Faith Alive’s financial situation remains unstable,” said Faith Alive director Mark Rice. “I have said all along the last thing I would do is eliminate positions; unfortunately, that day is upon us.”

The staff cuts mean Faith Alive will produce fewer products. “We have difficult choices about what we can and can’t do,” Rice said. “What does the church need from us the most? Some things are obvious—curriculum, Bible studies, a new hymnal, and youth products. Even in those categories we have to make choices about what we can reasonably do.”

Rice said that Faith Alive’s children’s curriculum lines are strong. Long-term curriculum plans include upgrading and revising these lines instead of developing new curriculum.

Marketing and editorial positions are being eliminated. The cuts amount to the equivalent of nearly four full-time positions affecting six employees. Those employees will receive transition assistance, Rice said. Additionally, two positions that are currently open, including that of editor in chief, will remain open for an extra year.

Rice said that while the decisions are painful, Faith Alive must face the fact that it is a smaller ministry than it was seven years ago. “In the coming months Faith Alive’s leadership and staff will continue the work of deciding what we are going to focus on and how our ministry can best serve the church.”

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Why are they losing market share?  Is it the product they put out?  Are they too expensive versus other sources?  I really couldn't say where my church sources its educational materials but I have to think its going to boil down to either material preference or price.  Give the customer what they want at a fair price and you will succeed.