By Robert Myers, D.W.S. (Theta 2007), General Editor of WIB
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Galesburg, IL
Writing a book is a calling.
I believe that writing a book is a calling. At least it was for me. As I neared the end of my journey at IWS, I was given the opportunity to establish an undergraduate worship leadership program at Huntington University. As soon as the ink was dry on my contract, I heard the common warning that all higher education professors hear: “Publish or perish!” During my first year, I was busy establishing the program, writing the curriculum, launching a webpage, learning the ropes of teaching, and writing my thesis. Publishing at that busy season of my life was inconceivable.
I had to write.
During my five years at Huntington I wrote and presented one academic paper, but typically, by the time May rolled around, I was exhausted. Still, with all of the reflection that was happening in my mind and spirit as I taught worship and ministry classes, the germ of a book idea began to form in my mind. I was required to teach a compressed course of church history and found that I had a great passion for it. It was invigorating. Teaching worship classes crystalized my passion for worship renewal. I realized that I had perspective that was unique to me. The convergence of my passion for church history with my knowledge and experience in worship ministry shaped my calling to write Strategic Portraits: People and Movements that Shaped Evangelical Worship. I felt that I had something to say. I had to write. To not do so, I felt, would be to shirk a burden that God had laid upon me.
When I transitioned back into local church worship ministry, I found that the hamster wheel of busyness finally slowed enough that I could begin writing my book. Good writing requires time free from distractions so that you can reflect and draw on the resources of your imagination. I began to research and write. After I had written a couple of chapters, I drew up a proposal and sent it to Dr. Gerald Borchert, who had just launched Webber Institute Books. He was excited about the project and wanted me to submit the full manuscript in six months.
Life doesn’t always cooperate with our deadlines.
Life, however, doesn’t always cooperate with our deadlines. In 2012, I transitioned to senior pastor ministry in a very challenging setting that required my focused energy and passion. Time for writing and reflection would have to wait. During my four-year tenure, however, I was able to squeeze in a couple of chapters. Writing, it seemed, was a welcome distraction from the growing pressures of ministry. In 2016, God provided a one-year interim pastoral position that was essentially a period of rest giving me the opportunity to finish my manuscript. With Dr. Borchert’s guidance, I finally submitted my book to the publisher and it was released in 2018.
Is God calling you to write?
Writing Strategic Portraits was a calling for me. Though it took six years, I was faithful to what God prompted me to do. I offer my story in the hope that it might encourage you to write what God has laid on your heart. Webber Institute Books believes that God has formed the students and alumni of IWS to do the work of worship renewal in the local church around the world. As you well know, with the thousands of pages you have digested through your studies, the impetus for renewal often comes through the written page. If God is calling you to write, WIB wants to help you get your book published. If you want to talk about your project, send me an email.