My boss at the time, Tim Krauss, volunteer CEO of Crossroads Career, believed it to be important for someone to write a book to pastors and ministry leaders about why the Church should help people find jobs, careers, and God’s calling. He asked me write it, and I said “yes.”
To get started, he suggested I take a two-week retreat, spend time with the Lord and figure out what to write. As my retreat was ending, I emailed him this report…
“Every church needs career ministry, because everyone gets vocationally sick. There is a global epidemic affecting every person, economy and country on the planet. It stems from an allergic reaction caused by sin and working on ground that has been spiritually cursed. Millions of people die every year from this dreaded disease, which causes unemployment, poverty, slavery and war. Most people who have good jobs still suffer from hallucinations, irritability, workaholism, bondage, dissatisfaction and/or disengagement. We need healing. We need a healer. The very good news is that there is a physician with the antidote, cure and instructions to get well and stay well. He is God our Father, our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.”
I couldn’t do it alone
Two months later, I had made no progress. Yes, I had written many pages, but nothing made sense. By myself, I was inconsistent, uninspired and getting frustrated. Finally, Tim arranged an introduction to a pastor, creative director, and friend at his church, Justin Sabestinas. Justin became my writing coach and content editor.
My early conversations with Justin made me suspicions that this might not work, especially when he said, “We probably need you to write 75,000 words, and we will edit down from there.” I thought he was kidding. I didn’t know 75,000 words, let alone how to put them in some sort of order. Justin, however, was very encouraging and so I started out tentatively. Almost every week we talked – sometimes coaching, other times critiquing, always providing me the accountability I needed to stay with it.
A year later, I emailed Justin and Tim a note “first draft done – 78,023 words.” It was like giving birth to a world record 22-pound baby. Whew! Finally I was done.
Well, not really done. I had no idea that with help, I would rewrite the book again and again, maybe ten times more. Thank God for my friend and copyeditor Chris McGinn, who had worked with me on other writing projects. Chris and Justin both took turns editing content and copy from the mass of words I compiled. Together they rewrote the entire draft perhaps another four times. Each time the book got shorter and better, now down to a light weight 120 pages, only two pages more than recommended by my hero, teacher and advisor, Richard Bolles, who wrote What Color is Your Parachute.
Once written, I grappled with the question of book title and cover. It was a surprise to me that the final title of a book often comes after the writing of a book.
After polling our friends in and around the ministry, we settled on the title “Created for Good Works,” the overwhelming favorite. Maybe it was because our key verse for the whole book and Crossroads Career ministry was…
We are God’s workmanship,
Created in Christ Jesus for good works,
Which God prepared beforehand,
That we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 NASB
As for cover illustration and design, I thank God for every remembrance of Juliann Itter who helped me sort through hundreds of photographs – finally finding a thumbs up expression of a variety of people at work experiencing Jesus in their jobs.
In the meantime, behind the scenes Kevin Light worked as our publishing consultant. I am discovering that books are part creative and part business. If nobody attends to the business side of writing, producing, publishing and marketing a book, then nobody actually reads the book.
Also behind the curtain is a single donor who funded this project from the beginning until now. Thank you my friend for your support and encouragement!
Through this project, God once again confirmed that “Teamwork makes the dream work.” Together everyone achieves more.
Buy the Book
It feels awkward to be so bold as to say “buy the book.”
I would rather just give it away so more everyone can read it. However, my one-time boss and owner of Chick-fil-A restaurants, Truett Cathy, used to ask people to buy his books. It wasn’t about the money for him. It was about the investment by them.
If somebody paid for something, they were more likely to pay attention to that something. This principle reminds me of what Jesus said…
“…for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Matthew 6:21 NASB
Of course Jesus was talking about where you should store up your treasure – earth or heaven. His conclusion is the same point this book is making about work, which is how most people earn their wealth…
“No one can serve two masters;
for either he will hate the one and love the other, or
he will be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and wealth.
Matthew 6:24 NASB
That being said, let me invite you to CreatedforGoodWorks.org, where you can read the opening pages and hopefully be inspired to buy at least 5 copies of the book. One for you and four or more for pastors and ministries leaders in your church. You can take advantage of a 50%-off promo code in our store through the end of September 2015.
Work NOT Finished
Today’s book release is called an “Advance Soft Launch.” The actual publication date is scheduled for November 1 when you will be able to buy the book everywhere from Amazon to Barnes & Noble to ChristianBook.com.
Between now and then, we are hoping and praying to sell the 750 books we just printed in order to raise enough money to promote and print again.
So to do my part, I am speaking and writing whenever and wherever I can to equip more churches to reach more people with greater impact and sustainability. Will you help spread the word about Created for Good Works?
- Reply with comments on this article below.
- Share with family, friends, workmates and church members
- Fast forward to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and more.
Finally, and more importantly, please pray for us to follow God wherever He calls us. While the #1 thing most people want is a good job, the #1 person everyone needs is Jesus and the good works He prepared.
Helping people find jobs, careers and God’s calling is the missing ministry in the Church today. We believe this to be serious work that is NOT finished, because…. Everyone Needs Career Ministry