A few weeks ago I had a book project fall into my lap. One day I was going to have coffee with Chris Folmsbee with The House Studio and a few days later we were meeting to talk through a book project with an alarmingly quick deadline. It was one of the best things that has happened to my writing in quite some time. Here’s why.
I am a classic over-thinker. Does anyone else have this problem? I will drive myself crazy trying to define an audience, scope, key themes, and often will read myself silly with extraneous information and usually begin with several false starts. I wrote the first three chapters of my last book three different times… completely different chapters. All of this is a result of over-thinking. This time, there was no time. The project already had a vision, a scope, and even a title… it was an incredible blessing. I had to quickly identify the six themes for the six chapters and start writing. I finally took the advise of nearly every writer I’ve heard talk or write about writing. I wrote the first draft quickly, and from the gut.
The project also involved the filming and production of a teaching video to correspond with each chapter. The videos are packaged as a small group resource and sold on DVD. It was such a gift to be able to have a pastoral conversation about a topic first. There are some things you can do in a face-to-face situation that would never translate well to print, and vice versa. It was a real advantage to work on both aspects simultaneously.
Most of all I appreciate the opportunity to write on themes I care deeply about. The book is called Public Jesus: Exposing the Nature of God in Your Community. Each chapter considers what it might look like to serve and follow Jesus in public space. There’s so much out there about the private Jesus… what about the public Jesus? It’s a conversation we need to be having. Release is set for June 1.