Nearly two years ago, in a burst of unusual energy, I wrote the first few chapters of a book. At the time, God was working in my life in a number of ways, but He seemed to be continually convicting me of pride. Like many (most?) people, I struggle at times with the desire to be applauded and noticed.
As the Lord was shaping me, I wrote down the rough outline of a book on the subject of humility. It was definitely not a book about how humble I am, but just the opposite. I compared the example of Jesus — primarily using Philippians 2:5-11 as my text — with the self-promoting attitude of our culture. I recognized way too much of that attitude in myself, and still do at times.
After writing the first three chapters, I turned it into a book proposal, which is basically an executive summary of the book’s purpose and outline. I attached the first few chapters and emailed it to a number of Christian literary agents. To my surprise, one or two of them were actually interested in shopping the book to publishers for me. I signed a contract with a fantastic and well-regarded agent, and after he coached me a bit on my book’s format and content, he began to send my proposal to a variety of publishers.
To make a long story short, we never found a publisher for that particular book. For awhile I considered completing the project and selling it as an ebook, but other matters occupied my attention (for example, the emergence of my son into full-blown toddlerhood), and it never came to fruition. Perhaps someday.
Although the experience was disappointing, in many ways this book “wrote me” even as I worked on writing it. Among other lessons, I learned that God was asking me to practice what I had written about humility . Every rejection notice I received was a new opportunity to grow in that virtue.
In addition, I learned a great deal about trusting God’s timing. I found myself praying that God would speak the message of this book to His people through other messengers if I wasn’t the right person for the job. To my delight, I’ve seen several books on similar subjects in the past year or two.
Finally, God used the process to lead to the publication of the Ordinary Greatness Bible study series, which was just released this month. He paved the way for me to embark on a new phase of my ministry, and to help Grace Bible Church expand its reach across the world.
I want to share the first two chapters of that book with my blog readers. Frankly, I’d share more with you, but there isn’t much more of it to share. I think from these chapters you will have a good sense of the book’s key ideas and flow of thought, and how it centers around Christ’s wonderful example of humility.
So, without further ado, here it is: Beyond Fans and Followers Chapters
If anybody has time to read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback.
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