I'm all ready for this semester… syllabi all done and prep for the first week of classes… but classes don’t start until Tuesday. I’m rarin’ to go already. Excited as always about LCE/Spiritual Formation and I have a renewed excitement about church leadership since I’m redesigning the entire course to a “Problem Based Learning” approach.
I’m still doing a bunch of interviews on the new book “There is no I in church” with Christian radio stations across the USA. I’ve probably done about 25 interviews in the last month so thousands and thousands of folk have heard me talk about the church in all kinds of “markets” but there is something really strange… with all that exposure not a single person I know had heard me and sent an email saying so. It’s curious. I think I know why. Neither Wesleyans nor IWU graduates are listeners to Christian radio. So I’m in a new “market” on these call-in shows—with a constituency I’m not usually with. Thus my past readers and students are unlikely to even hear me. They are ships passing in the night.
Actually I don’t give a hoot how many strangers read my books. I’ve never written for strangers. I know many writers who do that. They write to reach a new audience, to get known where they have not been known. Not me. I started out early getting known—mostly by traveling and speaking. By the time I had been in the ministry a decade I already had spoken to more people than I ever imagined I would in a lifetime. I was compelled to write because I couldn’t get back around to see these people I already loved… “my people.” So I wrote. Thus the only thing I rally “count” in book circulation is how many Wesleyans and former students are readers. The rest are strangers. So the same goes for radio interviews. If one of “my people” hears me the time is meaningful to me. But if a million strangers hear me—and even buy my book—it will mean little to me. I must be funny that way.
For what its worth I picked ten pounds of tomatoes out of my garden tonight—a few almost as big as cantaloupes. And I only harvest from three of my eight plants! Raising tomatoes is my spiritual gift I think. If you’re reading this and near Marion—stop by and pick some for yourself—no need to check first, just take some!