I just sent off two book proposals as a follow-up to some conversations I had with a publisher. Having never submitted one and not really being asked for anything more than, "What do you want to write about?" I just sat down and said, okay, "Here it is . . ."
Who knows what will happen, but just the process of thinking about how I would write something, what structure it would take and then how would it engage my social media sensibilities, was worth it. While I am in full support of self-published, guerrilla-styled communication, I am going to go through a little more traditional route but push pretty hard for a free online version (blog based, I think) as well as using a little wiki-ness in developing the structure and content. The traditional route also gives me an editor, which we all know I need, as well as some accountability to keep me a tad bit more focused than I would otherwise be on my own.
If all goes as scheduled and hoped for the timeline/topic would be as follows.
- To be published Jan 2010 – This is a quick turn around so it would be made up of about 50% adapted blog posts and 50% original content in a 52 week devotional formant for church leaders. My favorite title would be something like, "It's not supposed to suck: a weekly survival guide for chaos-loving church leaders." We'll see.
- To be published early 2011 – This one would be more wiki-based as I/we try to land this mainline emergent conversation and give some legs to the church that is clearly beginning to mature. This would focus on cultural and structural realities of being a church community that holds onto it's fluid nature, but has enough structure to sustain itself while the ministry is still positive. I am using the term, "Third Church", playing off of "Third Culture" and "Third Space" nomenclature, but different from the global development of the "Third Church."
Now again, I just submitted some brief ideas as a next step in a long conversation, so who knows? Topics and focus could change as you know, but if these move forward, it is sure fun to think about the possibilities for interaction and communal discernment about the future of the church. I figure, if this is the time, the format and the process it will happen and if not, that's cool.
I'll let you know as things develop.