I have come to see the process of writing and publishing a book as more of an effort to start a conversation, than an attempt to have the last word. The more I have thought about this, the more it has made sense to me. Books that have a lasting impact do so because they speak to people in ways that challenge them, cause them to ask questions, encourage them to go deeper, and maybe even see things in a new way. Whatever the result, it seems to me that a good book is able to start a conversation, even if the conversation is only between the person reading the book and the author.
After the publication of A Blueprint for DiscipleshipI have had the opportunity to have some very interesting conversations with many different people. In fact, some of them were with those of you reading this post. The initial conversations I had about the book were with several bloggers who not only read the book, but wrote thoughtful and engaging reviews of it. I had a few further conversations with church leaders whom I had asked for feedback. In these interactions I was humbled by some of the very kind things that people said about the book. While everyone likes to receive compliments, I have also really appreciated the constructive criticism that I have received. In every interaction I have had so far, even when there has been disagreement, I have felt that the desire on both sides was to better understand one another, and more importantly to better understand the contribution that Methodism’s Wesleyan heritage has to make to our approach to discipleship. And I am grateful that to this point every conversation I have had about the book has been civil and respectful. I do not take this for granted, because it is all too common to see people who disagree with someone use ridicule, scorn, or humiliation to ridicule their opponent in order to win an argument.
I hope that this will be a place where the conversation can continue. If you have read Blueprint and you have questions, comments, or criticisms please drop me a line. I cannot promise to respond to everything that I receive, but I would like to be able to continue the conversation. As I am able, I will post questions that I receive, offer my answer, and invite your responses. So, please feel free to email me at deeplycommitted (at) gmail (dot) com. If you do not want your email made public, please tell me that you do not want me to publish your email on my blog.
I look forward to hearing from you.