As I write this report, our state (along with many others) has been on COVID-19 lockdown for just over two months. This situation has been disastrous for businesses all across the country, and Regular Baptist Press is no exception. Our orders (and consequently our revenue) fell drastically during this period. We are hoping and praying that that situation will reverse itself as the economy begins reopening in the coming weeks. To mitigate the damage as much as possible, RBP has taken the following steps:
- Made multiple Strong Curriculum resources available in digital formats to enable greater opportunities for online and at-home discipleship.
- Developed a brand-new Parents’ Guide resource to equip parents to teach Strong Curriculum material to their kids at home while on lockdown.
- Promoted Kids4Truth Clubs as an at-home discipleship tool available to parents. We have made an entire unit of Kids4Truth material available as a free digital download and have heavily promoted our free daily Kids4Truth devotional podcast.
- Encouraged our VBS customers to either plan on holding their VBS programs a little later in the year or to offer VBS in alternative formats and delivery options. We released an extensive online guide explaining the best options for doing this.
- Postponed release of RBP’s forthcoming Strong Students curriculum line until Fall 2021.
Despite the economic setbacks, we know that our God remains firmly in control of the situation and we intend to continue our mission of providing church educational resources that are true to God’s Word and encourage maturity in Christ as long as we are able to do so.
This past year saw the completion of several RBP projects, including our Strong Kids curriculum revision, 2020’s Vacation Bible School program (Big Fish Bay: Hooked on God’s Mercy), and the publication of multiple books: Against the Tide: Godly Living in a Godless World (Diane Scallon); Thirst No More: God’s Refreshing Love (Mike Augsburger); Shopping List: Six Ingredients for Spiritual Growth (Carole Combs); No Contest: Overcoming a Competitive Spirit (Mike Hess); and revised editions of Baptism: Who Needs It? (Robert Barnett) and Basic Bible Truths (Ralph Burns).
Goals for the upcoming year include the following:
- Continue developing a digital publishing strategy. We have already signed a contract with Logos Bible Software to make our Regular Baptist Books catalog available on their platform. We are in the process of exploring additional platforms that might be a good fit for our book resources.
- Ramp up production on the New Testament Exposition Commentary. The manuscripts for the first four volumes are in varying stages of completion, with completion of the first two manuscripts expected by the end of 2020. Our desire is to publish Matthew in late 2021, Romans in late 2022, and Acts and Revelation in 2023.
- Continue production of Strong Students curriculum and begin preproduction of Strong Adults.
- Expand the reach of Strong Kids, Kids4Truth Clubs, and Vacation Bible School material. We have consistently received positive feedback on these resource lines, and prior to the COVID-19 outbreak we were seeing promising growth in all three customer bases. We remain hopeful that that momentum can be regained.
- Publish a variety of resources and books.
Before our Lord ascended into Heaven, He charged His disciples—and, by extension, all of us—to “make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matt 28:19–20). That mandate lies at the heart of everything we do at Regular Baptist Press. May God find us—and all His churches—equal to the task.
David Gunn is director of Regular Baptist Press.