This September Beacon Hill Press will release my next book, and things are already starting to happen. I received two proposed covers today for my approval. Naturally, being that I am difficult, I asked if the color of one could be used with the font of the other. That will probably happen, but marketing has to approve the change. I received two endorsements for the book which were sent in to the publisher today as well. Within the next few weeks I will start getting requests for some rewrites that will make the book better. If you are thinking of writing a book you need to understand that completing the manuscript is only the first step! You'll have a lot more to do before that book ever hits a shelf.
Of course, the publisher changed my title as they always do. Sometimes, I have to admit I'm not too crazy about the changes they make, but I like this title. This book is now The Art and Practice of Bivocational Ministry: A Pastor's Guide. Frankly, the working title I had been using was a little clumsy so I'm glad they've changed it to this one.
This book comes out of my doctoral study on how coaching can be used to help train bivocational ministers. Much of the book looks at several actual coaching relationships I had with bivocational ministers in the US and Canada, the topics we addressed, and the solutions the ministers found. I include not only the persons who were involved in the doctoral thesis but also a number of other bivocational ministers I've coached in the past several years. The topics we cover are quite common to many bivocational ministers (and fully-funded ministers as well), so I think the reader will find some very practical help in this book.
One of the advantages coaching provides is that it can be done at any time from any place. Every person I coached set the time when he or she would call me for our appointment, so it was always at their convenience. Some calls were in the morning while others occurred during the afternoons or evenings. Another advantage coaching offers is that we always address the issue that is most important to the person being coached. They set the agenda for the conversation, not the coach. That ensures we are always covering the most important issues to them at that particular time.
Persons who receive the most benefit from coaching are those who are ready to move forward with their lives. Sometimes they are persons who are stuck and don't know how to get unstuck, but other good candidates for coaching are persons who are already moving forward but believe that with some outside assistance they can become even more effective in their lives and ministries. People who are satisfied with the status quo or are unwilling to be held accountable to do the things they say they will do should never have a coach. But, if you are in the first two categories of people I mentioned, coaching may be the thing that will help you get to the next level in your ministry and in your life.
I continue to coach a limited number of persons, and I do have some openings for people who want to make a greater impact in their ministries, their families, their careers, and in their lives. If you think you may be interested in having a coach, please contact me and we'll explore that together.
In the meantime, my book is scheduled for release September 1. I'll keep you posted.