Sharing What Works: Books Emerge from Resurrection Downtown Experience
Why did you decide to write books?
I wrote The Misfit Mission to share the story of Resurrection Downtown’s beginnings. I wanted to write this book in a way that would inspire people with practical ideas and tools for engaging people within their respective communities where they are and as they are in order to change the world. Resurrection Downtown began with a handful of individuals who didn’t fit together by society’s standards or by the standards held by church start experts. Nevertheless, God inspired them (God’s misfits) to meet people and to invite them to build a community that has grown and flourished in the center of the city. I wrote The Misfit Mission to inspire other leaders, pastors and churches to live similarly into the calling that God has placed upon their lives as well by going out into the community to meet and invite people to join them in the same mission.
I wrote The Kaleidoscope Effect: What Emerging Generations Look For in a Leader to better equip church leaders who are looking at ways to voluntarily evolve and steadily rotate their leadership skillsets in order to reach, engage and serve the mass majority of divergent mindsets within the Emerging Generations (Millennials and GenZ).
The Kaleidoscope Effect practically addresses the leadership that Millennials and Gen Z crave. Along with identifying the common leadership needs of emerging generations, this book also offers immediate “how-to” solutions for pastors, lay staff and volunteers who lead Millennials and Gen Z or who long to lead them. Research proves that Millennials and Gen Z have specific needs when it comes to the leadership essentials they expect. This book will name the research-driven expectations, identify the type of leadership skills required to meet the needs, give working examples and real outcomes of effectively adjusting leadership patterns and, finally, provide a leadership framework for reaching and engaging emerging generations through evolving leadership fundamentals. The implementation of the ideas and principles in this book will result in better leaders that will serve a greater number of people, which will result in cultivating and sustaining attractive environments in which to fire the imagination of emerging generations.
Tell us about your writing process.
I have had to learn to write a book, meaning this wasn’t something I set out to do. With each book I had been approached by a publisher to consider writing on a specific topic. Each one of these invitations have come at the same time as one of our building campaigns. Writing books for me has become a way to not only share the story and inspire people to action, but it has been a way to continue our mission and ministry in downtown Kansas City. The proceeds of each one of my books goes back into the ministry at Resurrection Downtown as a contribution to our building funds. This is a part of how I justify the extra time and effort needed to write these books, as a means of tying back to our community in downtown Kansas City.
By purchasing a book, you actually become a part of our mission in building Christian community where non-religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians. My process has been quite simple. I typically spend time writing in the evening after my wife and son (Wendy and Freddy) have gone to sleep or on my days off. I set a goal of an hour per night on top of four to six hours per weekend. In writing The Kaleidoscope Effect, I surveyed and invited feedback from a wide-range of Millennials (both churched and unchurched) who I have met during my time in Kansas City. Throughout the book I have incorporated their feedback, which in some cases contrast my experience in ministry with Millennials. This feedback has added a lot of insight to this book as well as a touch of vulnerability and authenticity with my personal experience.
What recently published book has been most influential to you?
I have really valued two books as of late, the first is, Deep & Wide by Andy Stanley and the second, The Art of Neighboring by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon. Both books challenged me to think about the importance of reaching out into the mission field in innovative and uncompromising ways that both grows the church, and deepens our walk and life of faith. Both books were authored by great practitioners as well!
The Misfit Mission was published by Abingdon Press in April of 2016. The Kaleidoscope Effect will be released by Abingdon Press in September 2017. They can be purchased at www.cokesbury.com.