For quite some time, I have thought that we needed more devotional reading material. Since 2001, I have tried to focus on this genre of writing through an email that I mail out called, “MercEmail” (pronounced Mercy-Mail).
Anyway, since moving to Karns, I’ve been amazed by the spiritual maturity, biblical knowledge and insights of the congregation. So I thought, “why doesn’t the congregation write their own devotional book?”
So I challenged the congregation to write devotional articles that were 250-275 words in length and provide a picture and a brief biography. Well, I had no idea what to expect. How many would participate? To my pleasant surprise, we had 158 contributors! The oldest was 94 years-old and the youngest contributor was 4 years-old.
We partnered with Justin Hopkins, of Hopkins Publishing (www.hopkinspublishing.com). He’s a brother in Christ and has been very helpful throughout this process. I would encourage you to contact him if you have any interest in doing the same.
Here are some of the reasons I’d encourage you to undertake this project where you are.
- It has the potential to create a lot of excitement and interest within the congregation. There’s great “buy in.” Everyone seems to be proud of their contribution, and anxious for others to read what they have to say.
- It will be a great encouragement to our members. The articles are excellent. They challenge us, they contain great spiritual insights, and many of simply remind us to pursue spiritual disciplines in our daily lives.
- It will also be a great evangelistic tool. We will use it to give to visitors and friends. This isn’t a book written by a preacher, it’s a book written by the people in the pew. It is a tool in the hands of our members to share with their families, co-workers, and friends. Already, our members are talking about how many copies they are going to purchase and give to their friends as gifts.
I won’t say it’s an easy project to pull off (There’s editing, proofing, formatting, collecting articles, deadlines, communication with publishers, etc.), but after having finished it, I can say it was well worth it.
If you have any specific questions about the project, I’d be more than happy to answer them if I can. And when the book comes out, be sure and let you know.