Most readers know that I began work over two years ago on a book about the mission of the church and unity. That book is titled: Your Church Is Too Small. I envisioned this book about three years ago. I realized that God had clearly given me a vision of mission and that I needed to explain this vision openly and seek to create a movement of leaders and churches that shared this vision. I began to collect my thoughts and planned to write. I contracted to publish this book in November of 2008 with Zondervan. I initially expected that the book would be released by this fall. But a number of things beyond my control happened to create many delays. Further delays came as we edited the book over recent months. My original material was almost twice as long as the final book will be. Most of this "cut" material will be posted on a Web site and thus be available when the book is published.
When I gave Zondervan my manuscript last fall I gave them well over 90,000 words. This was reduced in late April to 73,000 words, by further painstaking edits I undertook. I then learned, in July, that the text needed to be cut to 62,500 words if we were to get it into a 208-plus page (cloth) book. More cuts and edits followed. At times this process was stressful but in the end I think what we got was a more readable text. My goal was to write a book for non-specialists so that church leaders, both pastors and lay leaders, could follow my story and my argument(s) about the nature of the church, Christ’s mission and our unity in him.
Finally, two weeks ago, the edited manuscript was completed. Now the book, which is being typeset as I write, is being distributed in electronic format to a number of people who are being asked to read it and endorse it, if they choose. We hope to get a fairly wide response from Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant readers. The book will appeal to evangelical Protestants in particular, but in general it is intended for all Christians who care about Christ’s mission and their unity with one another.
The book is scheduled for an April 2010 release. I expect to see my first copy by March. Between now and then a great deal is being done on the book before it is released. Besides finishing cover design, and writing a foreword (pray for the person who will do this as we are not sure yet who this will be), a Web site is being developed for the book and further plans for publicity are being developed. I will be telling you a lot more about this book in the months ahead. Your Church Is Too Small will allow me to tell my story and to promote the vision that I believe God gave to me in the 1990s, a vision to see a new ecumenism develop at the grass roots. This is where Christians really live and work together for the advance of Christ’s kingdom throughout the earth. Please pray for Your Church Is Too Small and all that still goes into its final stages of editing and promotion before its release next April.