Subscriptions for consistent deliverables are becoming increasingly popular, as the convenience of the internet’s vast offerings continues to keep snail mail in the 21st century. Two well-known models include Netflix’s DVD rental service –which, despite the streaming option, is still utilized–and Amazon’s web store that has nearly everything. Entrepreneurs in various, specialized fields have capitalized on the trend, and now one can have anything from shaving supplies to wine, jewelry to geek paraphernalia; it can all be delivered to a subscriber’s address. One could argue that it was only a matter of time before a Christian monthly box service would emerge, but the real question is: is that service worth it?
Enter Faithbox: a subscription service that sends a box of Faith-based goodies once a month. Faithbox includes a daily devotional book with each box and touts that the other merchandise found in each box are handpicked “products from companies and organizations who respect God’s people and His creation. That’s why everything is made ethically, is eco-friendly, and is good for the soul.” From the intro video above, Faithbox founder Willie Morris explains in his own words the mission statement of the company, “helping fellow Christians grow in their Faith and positively impact the world.”
IN DOING GOOD, LET US NOT FAIL.
We reached out to Faithbox and received a single box for review. The box Geeks Under Grace received was an October box, and the theme for this month’s box focused on the YouTube Evangelist Jefferson Bethke. Bethke broke out with his YouTube sensation “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” in January of 2012, a video that has reached 30 million views. Since then, Jefferson has written Jesus>Religion, appeared in more YouTube videos, and become a popular public speaker at Faith-based events.
The box itself has a minimalistic design, unbleached cardboard with little on each side. The top has the Faithbox logo and website address, the front has Galatians 6:9–a verse that is ubiquitous to Faithbox–and the other three sides have the three tenants Willie mentions in the video: Growth, Discovery, and Giving. The clean and minimal design on standard-looking cardboard gives that eco-friendly feel.
Opening the box, the first goodie that was noticeable was a candle by Claro Candles; shredded paper surrounding the candle and covering the rest of the box’s contents kept the candle safe. The next item was some lip balm from S.W. Basics. There was also a chocolate espresso bar from Kutoa, the daily devotional that Faithbox includes in every box, and Jefferson Bethke‘s latest book It’s Not What You Think! The devotional opens with a note from Willie, explaining October’s partnership with Jefferson Bethke, and that Bethke co-curated the box to include some of his favorite items.
When I received Faithbox’s box in the mail, I immediately felt the same exhilaration that I always get when I get the “Your Amazon package has been delivered” on my phone. The only difference being that this time I didn’t know what would be in the package, and I hadn’t been obsessively tracking the shipment from the shipping center to my front door (I’m not the only one to do this, right?). The excitement built once I got home and was able to open the box up and see what goodies were inside. The box was pretty cool-looking, but to be fair it was just like any other mail-order box: it really just kept me from the goodies.
Then, opening the box, the excitement waned. The first two items I saw were a candle and lip balm. Yay. Luckily, the next items got incrementally better, starting with the Kutoa chocolate espresso bar, then the devotional, and finally Bethke’s latest book! I was pleasantly surprised to find that the box was co-curated by Jefferson Bethke and very pleased to find his newest book. Overall the box was pretty cool, having more things to be excited about than not.
With all of the monthly subscription services out there, a Faith-based model was inevitable. Luckily, it looks like Willie Morris took the time to make Faithbox not just another monthly subscription service, but a great one. Discovering new Faith-based companies, having a new, fresh devotional each month, and supporting charities in the process; Faithbox proves that the entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t have to contradict with the servant’s heart and desire to do good. The service is a great way to bless someone else as well, with a built-in option to gift a box. I can definitely see gifting a box, or three, to family members as a present.