Thursday, September 10, 2009

Getting a Little Spooked About Publishing

This is weird! Now that the publication of The Runaway Pastor is imminent, more and more things are spooking me. Like a text message I got last night from a mother in our congregation. It went something like this: My daughter (fifth grade) wants to read your book when I get it. What should I tell her? And then there is this, how would you explain to the congregation you have pastored for more than 10 years, that you are having a book published about a pastor who runs from his wife and congregation?

Now you see what I'm thinking. Maybe you have all along. But for every one hundred parts of me that are excited about The Runaway Pastor coming out, there is one little part that is cowering a bit.

So why, so many people are asking me, did you write it?

When I sat down to write this book, I had recently counseled with a successful business owner who had indeed run across three states before turning his pickup and stuffed wallet back toward home and his family. An unmistakable pattern was developing in my conversations with hurting pastors: Several confessed a similar desire to get in their car and drive as far as their savings would take them. The Runaway Pastor was a desperate attempt to empty myself of the question, “What if?”

This pastor/author is convinced that an over emphasis of the business model in the Church has destroyed the ministry of thousands of pastors who were gifted as shepherd-teachers, but not as corporate executives. I hope The Runaway Pastor will provide a glimmer of hope to those already shoved to the sidelines. And perhaps it will encourage some who remain in the fray to be true to their gifts and their families, and as a result find themselves being true to their God.

As some of you know, I was also inspired to write after experiencing burnout. Trying to meet the expectations of too many people led me down the road to exhaustion and despair. I wrote in some measure, for therapy.

Another question people are asking is: "Hey, this guy in your book comes around and does it all right again, doesn't he???" I'll let you decide on that one.

Here is one more invitation for "followers" at this site. Your presence is so encouraging and there are some days when the above questions come up, that I am encouraged to know you are beside me.

Peace to you. It won't be long!


Jessica said...

You know, I think some of us experience some self-doubt when we try to do something. If you're like me, it's hard to take any significant risk without a horde of worries about getting a berating e-mail from this person or that person. But I think you've got a good project here; it's one you and plenty of other people believe in. And I think it's going to resonate with a lot of people. So ... hang in there, I guess is what I'm saying.

Andrew Johnson said...

I can't imagine the feelings of excitement and fear!. I always looked up to you and now looking forward to reading the book. It (burn out, etc.)is an unfortunate and tragic feeling that far too many pastors feel. Writing a book that God can use to impart His grace is a wonderful thing; hopefully, your book will do just that and mend hurting souls out there (and prevent others from experiencing burn out).

David said...

You are encouraging. Thanks. I think the explanation to the board,and the question from the mother--all in the same evening--were just a little overwhelming. I got a wonderful endorsement from a well known author today. It's going on the back cover. Helped the courage a bit!

Dan said...

Looking forward to reading your book. In the 30 years I have known and loved you as a brother in Christ, I have recognized that you march to the beat of a different drummer. I expect that this book will only confirm my belief and observations. Jack would be proud of who you are and who you are becoming. Dan