I was messaging back and forth this weekend with someone who had just taken my “Jesus Dos and Don’ts” survey, and they noted how exciting the project was, especially the idea of how to feed 5000 people. Basically, instead of starting with five loaves of bread and two fish, I started with six signed copies of my books, and I’m in the process of trying to “trade up” with folks until I have something of value great enough to pay for meals for 5,000 people. This is part of my larger year-plus-long effort to learn what it means to really follow Jesus in the 21st western world.
Just one day after I posted the books online for trade, someone offered me a Trek mountain bike for them. DEAL! When I was chatting with this person who had just taken the survey (they asked not to be identified, lest their involvement might seem like an effort to self-promote), they felt a little discouraged that they had nothing to offer to help take part in the feeding project.
Ahh, but they did. They just didn’t know it.
It turns out this person is a career book editor, having recently left a publishing company to freelance and be at home with their two-year-old. While they had only been thinking about material possessions or money, they soon realized that they had something different of great value to offer of great value: time and talent as an editor.
So now, this person has offered to do a full once-through content edit of a book, up to 90,000 words in length, along with a basic line edit as well. This also inspired a graphic designer friend of mine – who has designed a couple of my own book covers – to jump in too. So now, the package we have to offer is valued (probably way too low) at $2000. So all you have to do in order to get your own manuscript content-edited and line-edited by a professional editor, and to have a book cover custom designed by one of my favorite all-time graphic designers, is find something to trade us of equal or greater value for it.In the spirit of their offer, I want to encourage folks to get creative. Trades could include:
- Electronics, jewelry or musical instruments you no longer use;
- Airline miles;
- Vacation rentals;
- Professional services;
- Etc., etc., etc…
The point here is that, despite our common habits of thinking from a framework of scarcity, we all have so much to be grateful for, and therefore, to share. So be inspired, get creative, and spread the word. We’re that much closer to the $30,000 goal we need to feed 5,000 people.
And to think, it all started with just six paperback books. Sounds like a miracle in progress to me.
Got a trade-up idea? Email me at cpiatt (at) christianpiatt (dot) com.
Want to follow along on this journey, and maybe even help out? Track my progress on this blog withe the category (to the right) “My Jesus Project,” or search “#MyJesusProject” here on the blog, or on facebook and twitter. Follow along, help keep me honest, and just maybe you’ll learn a little bit more about what we mean when we talk about following Jesus in the process.