The Power of
Turning It Around
By Mike Trimble
I like our future. I like our potential. I like our direction. Today, our tweet would read: “We are trending up.” Sixteen months ago—not so much. What was thought to be a financial blip in 2014 continued
as a trend in 2015, and we weren’t trending up.
Ron Hunter gathered his leadership team, and they went to work; they all went to work. The vision of Randall House was restated, personnel shifted, personnel lost, and everyone picked up the slack. It wasn’t easy—a new approach to sales, hard work to catch up on production, spending cuts, workloads increased, hard decisions made. Yet, morale stayed solid. The entire team committed to turning the trend around. It’s hard work to trend up.
Maybe you don’t realize how hard the Randall House team works. They write, edit, proofread, spell check, create, design, produce, print, collate, assemble, stock, pack, ship, research, publish, execute D6 conferences (which continue to spread around the world), track inventory, manage accounts, pay bills, make calls, provide customer care, shoot video, create graphics, maintain websites, supply IT support, record podcasts, and manage social media—all to fulfill the vision of helping churches and families make disciples.
Let’s put it into some context. An average novel typically has between 80,000 and 100,000 words. The King James Bible contains 783,137 words. Leo Tolstoy penned the longest novel, War and Peace. It took him six years to scribble out the 587,287 words of his classic work. J.K. Rowling told Harry Potter’s story in seven best-selling tomes. If you add all the words she wrote in those seven volumes, the total would be 1,084,170. Randall House beats them all with more content. Randall House writes, proofreads, edits, prints, and ships D6 curriculum containing over 1.4 million words—per year—and that does not count the words in the books and other media they publish.
They continue to work hard, through seismic shifts in the publishing landscape, bookstore closings, and our own transitioning denomination. Randall House continues to adapt without compromising the content of what is published.
I wish you could have been at our December 2016 board meeting. It was certainly different from the spring board meeting. Ron reiterated the plan mapped out months earlier and praised the relentless determination of the entire Randall House family to make it happen. Michael Lytle explained the dollars and cents, income and expenses, assets and depreciation, line items and the bottom line. When all was said, the numbers showed a $650,000 turnaround in one fiscal year. Our board broke out in spontaneous applause sprinkled with exclamations of, “Praise God.” Then, numbers gave way to the people who make Randall House, as Ron reminded us again of how the team stuck with the plan and made this flip happen because churches are depending on our future.
Corrie Ten Boom once said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
I like our future.
I like our direction.
The direction is trending up.
About the Writer: Mike Trimble, lead pastor of Kirby FWB Church in Flat Rock, Michigan, chairs the Randall House Board of Directors.
To the leaders within our churches,
Our board chairman stated it well. Our future is headed the right direction. Publishing is still challenging, but so is pastoring and leading small groups or classes. The future of both churches and Randall House depends solely on the discipleship strategy each church adopts.
If pastors believe discipleship is an event that occurs only at church, then we ignore how Christ intended to walk with us each day. Discipleship is not an event; it is a lifestyle.
Many of you have recognized the value of the church equipping the home. As a result, parents and grandparents serve as disciple-makers along with the teachers and pastors of the church. Your intentionality to change the trend has strengthened your church and reinforces why we exist at Randall House.
To all of you who take evangelism and discipleship as one command—reach and teach, the way Christ commissioned us—we say, “Thank you!” Without discipleship, there is no growth, and without growth, there is no future. You have said the future matters. We agree.
— Ron Hunter, Executive Director/CEO, Randall House Publications