I wrote a new section of my book this morning. I thought it might be helpful to get a behind-the-scene look at how my book "Fear Not Dream Big & Execute" had its beginning.
Origin Of A Book
I never intended to write a book. I was just encouraged to write.
My friend Bob kept me going. He quoted Red Smith, a famous sportswriter. “Writing is easy. Just open your vein and bleed.”
Without the daily responsibilities of leadership and ministry I had more unhurried time to reflect, and, write. The genesis of this book coincided with a 6-month sabbatical from the local church where I serve as the Lead Pastor.
The leadership of the Church where I serve over-rided my original intention to resign my call. They suggested a sabbatical. I wish I could say that the sabbatical was a well-planned and strategic break with grandiose plans for continuing education or study abroad. Instead it was a gracious offer from a generous group of people including our Leadership Board, Elders, and Staff.
The disillusionment of leadership in the church had caught up with me. Tired of dependencies on my personality and leadership and my own inability to stay the course in spite of peoples’ response, I grew tired of my own voice. I would say that the people I lead and follow were tired of my leadership voice. The reality I discovered in the time away was that I was tired of my own.
Leading up to the sabbatical and even during most of the 6-months away I would hold on to the notion that I was in a system that was not allowing me to be me. I was dying under the weight to perform religious goods and services and not being true to myself as a spiritual entrepreneur, a teacher-trainer, a Kingdom antagonist, and a sojourn leader. These were some of my deeply held convictions about who God has made me to be.
It is true that there are some within the church who hold very different expectations of me than I do of myself. Yet, I have discovered that their expectations are not the problem. How I respond to their expectations is the problem. I have met the enemy. And he is me!
It was a blessing to be quieted.
I can be me. Me is highly valued. Me gets to participate in God’s Great Dream to bring all people to Himself. Me gets to participate as me. Not as someone else.
And, I can be at peace with that truth, and love those in return who perhaps want someone else. It’s OK.
The lessons in this book started out as journal entries before, during, and after this sabbatical. The discipline of journaling helped me through a difficult time. You might even call it a dark night of the soul. In the writing of this book I have had to replace a lot of I’s with You’s in the manuscript. In the beginning almost everything was self-directed. It was for my own self-improvement, no one else’s. After seeing the benefits of implementing these lessons in my own life, I felt compelled to share them with others.
I hope this book of lessons can encourage you as much as it encouraged me to simply write it down!
Re-entry has not been easy. At times a little bumpy. Yet, within this gift of returning, a tremendous privilege to walk with others on their journey with Jesus. I am one among many who are learning to “Fear Not Dream Big & Execute”
As I continue to find my way back and re-discover where my voice is needed and helpful I depend on MY LEADER even more intensely. This is a very good thing. Depending on the ONE who is my companion in this journey. The ONE who will never leave me nor forsake me.