Posted by: Andrea Mullins | 22 June, 2010

Why I Value the ICRS

For my non-publishing friends, the ICRS is the International Christian Retail Show– an event where vendors of Christian gifts, music, and books are displaying their goods in hope that whatever they are selling will be available on the shelves of a local store somewhere. When my pastor attended the ICRS with me a few years ago, he was surprised by my enthusiasm for such a setting. Actually, I was a little surprised myself. As I reflected on that week, I realized that in the midst of sales presentations, negotiations, and orders being placed, I was with believers who loved God and were seeking to glorify Him.

I am convinced that most of the vendors and the retailers are in this business to make Christ known. We partner together to bring products to people who need to know God loves them and has a plan for them. While Christ cannot be relegated to books, gifts, or music, we also know that these are methods through which the gospel can be communicated. The ICRS is a meeting of people with a common mission. As a publisher, I don’t have time or money to visit every retailer, but at the ICRS I can shake hands with buyers, give them a free book and invite them to meet our authors. I can share the vision of New Hope Publishers. I can learn more about the retailers’ needs and the customers who come into their shops. I can hear a request for prayer or make a new friend.

For me the selling of a book is more than a business transaction. Rather, it represents the fulfilling of our common mission to make Christ known. I believe in the messages of our authors and the impact they can have in a life. I believe in the ministry of Christian retailers as they touch the lives of countless people seeking to grow in Christ.

I invite you to leave your own thoughts about the ICRS. Many retailers and vendors need our encouragement. Let’s join together to see what God can do through His people who are doing His work. As a young friend of mine told someone when asked what her father did, “He works for God.” Isn’t He the One we all are working for, whether retailer, vendor, author, or sales rep?

I’ll see you in St Louis! Travel safely and be sure to come by New Hope Publishers’ booth to meet our authors, see our books, and hear about our vision.



  1. Andrea, what a great post. I remember my first trip to ICRS in Denver (2005), seeking a publisher for my first book. I was extremely overwhelmed, at first, with the “gloss” of the show. Having come from the world of beauty pageants and competitive dance, I initially felt the same spirit of striving and “appearance” motivated marketing. BUT, as the days went on and I met authentic, humble men and women seeking to advance the kingdom of God, I, too, wanted to join them on the front lines. I wrote about my tension with balancing marketing/ministry on my blog awhile ago…(“Paper can be erased” at I will be at ICRS next week and will be praying for NEW HOPE to advance the kingdom of God! Blessings!

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