Back in February of this year I announced I was putting together the pieces to write a book. I suppose anybody can make such an announcement but putting pen to paper is a different exercise altogether. I found out quickly getting content down wasn’t the hard part, it was easy to regurgitate ideas and amass words. Clarity and concreteness? Well that takes time. Over 80,000 words later I was looking for insight on what it would take to publish nonfiction and most of what I came across suggested don’t complete your project, the publisher will want to have a say in his direction. Being brand-new to this whole process I also wasn’t very familiar with the book proposal idea. Essentially no publisher will accept unsolicited manuscripts, but they will take book proposals. Only problem? Book proposals require polished content. So in the middle of the summer it was back to the drawing board to create a killer proposal along coupled fully polished chapters.
Well those months have gone by and I’m finally ready to say that the book proposal is complete! It comes in at a paltry 42 pages. The proposal outlines what I’m trying to contribute to the missional/church innovation conversation.
The basic premise is this:
The church is disintegrating in North America and the only answer to stop the decline is for the church to completely abandon Christendom an act within a post-Christian culture. When the church can translate the gospel message in a new cultural context, only then will we be able to address our decline.
What I’m not after is a method to return our churches back to its original prominence found in Christendom. We can never go back. We need ideas moving forward. There’s an implicit assumption that if we try idea X, Y, or Z we will be able to recover the loss of our prestige. I don’t think that’s possible nor do I think it’s advisable. In fact, the current loss is our profound opportunity; we need more idea on how to get out.
My book will offer some unique ideas on how to transition between the two cultural realities, and ultimately how to thrive in in post-Christendom. It’s for big churches and small churches (although I think the middle ground may be falling out from beneath us). It’s for leaders of all stripes, denominations, creeds, and colors. And it’s not just for pastors. I’m calling for anybody who can dream of better in their small part of the world to stand up and be accounted for. If you’re reading this blog then you certainly qualify.
So that’s the latest book update. From here will be the slow arduous process of the second/third draft. I now face the prospect of sharing the idea with publishers and editors as well. Wish me luck and if you’re interested in reviewing the proposal please get In touch.