This is encouraging! Istvan in our office, has been shipping out endless copies of the book for the past 5 days and several people told me yesterday that their copies had arrived. But now someone has actually read the book! I have to admit, I was a bit nervous. The way I feel before giving a talk that I haven’t given before to a sophisticated and possibly critical audience.
You'll have to forgive me but this is my first experience as a real author (published by a real publishing house) and there is something different about getting a response from someone who didn't hear you speak or met you at an event but just read something you wrote in a book - not a blog post. This is a whole 'nother medium for me.
Anyway, I just got this e-mail this morning from a pastoral leader (editors and close friends don't count!), who has read the book (Forming IntentionalDisciples) and found it helpful. I'm keeping it anonymous to protect this person's identity but I think the issues are universal.
"I wanted to contact you to let you know how much I enjoyed and will benefit from your book. I've been waiting for your book for six years...of course, I only knew I was waiting for your book for the last six months.
Before that, all I knew was that our efforts at evangelizing the young families in our parish seemed to fall on deaf ears. Despite trying to be creative and flexible and to meet families where they are (faith sharing! Lenten groups! Parenting! Weight loss!), we typically attracted only two or three parents out of 150 families who bring their children to Sunday School. We had our best impact this past year, when we settled on a captive audience--parents of First Communion students, whom we asked to attend monthly meetings on topics related to family discipleship. Of these 40-50 families, about 15 committed to attending weekly faith-sharing during Lent, and of those, several asked for the weekly meetings to continue next year. I finally had the sense that we might be kindling a little reaction there. After reading your book, I realize that the monthly face time allowed us to begin establishing trust and curiosity and helped scaffold people into considering a more active participation in these types of encounters.
Your book gave a lot a clarity to my thinking about this kind of work. Not only will I use the information and principles in my own planning, but I plan on working a lot of the concepts into my parent sessions to increase parents' understanding of the evangelization of their own children. Thanks for your work and your excellent book."
Praised be Jesus Christ! Now and Forever!