Saturday, April 24, 2004

A Change in Format and a Praise Report

As an exercise of praise I want to record the Lord’s faithfulness to me in the last two days. Though it’s been a challenge to find time to write, I’ve been very excited about this book from the start. Then this past week I finished the second to last chapter. I only had one more to go before the revision stage kicked in.

That’s when Doug Gabbert called from Multnomah. “Josh, I need to tell you about something that is happening with the book. The sales team has taken the book to buyers and presented it to them. Across the board there’s been a response that I want you to be aware of.”

My heart sank. I was sure he was going to say they didn’t like the title or that it just didn’t have appeal and we needed to revamp the whole thing.

“They love it, Josh,” he continued. “The response has been amazing. They think this book is so needed and so important. But there’s one catch…buyers are expressing that they view this book’s message as so vital they view it as a ‘movement’ book and that it should be a little bigger. They want to be able to feature it more and give it more space. They’re afraid the small size is going to get lost on the shelves.”

I was totally surprised. What a strange mix of feelings! On one hand I was thrilled that God was already blessing the book. On the other hand I was hearing that I wasn’t as close to being done as I thought! It’s not unlike a runner being told that it looks like he’s going to win but they’ve moved the finish line up an extra five miles!

But the more I thought about it the more excited I became. Shannon’s response was immediate. “You’re supposed to do this!” she said emphatically. “This is God! I always knew this book should be longer, it’s message is so important.” My editor felt the same way.

Then yesterday I met with CJ and got his suggestions for the new chapter. I shared my editor’s suggestion that I make it about how to thrive in a local church—to describe what it looks like after you’ve committed yourself to throw yourself into the life of the church and really grow. CJ had so many great suggestions for things to cover. Now as I look at the revised plan for the book I can’t imagine not including this new content! Praise God!

God is so amazing. My first choice would always have been to make this book the format of “Not Even a Hint” but I didn’t think I could more than a small book. But now that I’ve nearly finished my small book, it’s easier to have faith to add just a bit more and get my “bigger book.” God is so kind. He set me up perfectly. What a loving Father. He’s carrying me along and providing for this book. He’s answering my prayers. Thank you, Father! Thank you!

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