As I’ve said in a previous post, I never intended to even write a book, much less sign a book deal. So how did I write The Social Media Guide for Ministry and how did I get a publishing contract from Group Publishing?
Well, in a previous post I shared about how I started by simply creating a working Word document about Social Media in Ministry as a resource for churches. That document quickly turned into much more and something that I personally got very excited about and invested a great amount of time and energy into.
When I completed what in my mind was a simple PDF document or e-book, I hesitantly shared it with a handful of friends and family members curious to how they might respond. One of those individuals was our Executive Pastor, Chris Emmitt, who thought enough of the book to share it with his wife, Bre’anna. After reading it, she sent me an email asking if she could share it with a friend who worked for a Publishing company.
I wasn’t going to argue with Bre’anna regarding her request and honestly it just meant so much to me that she thought enough of the book to share it with anyone. Bre’anna then emailed Sue Brage of Group Publishing introducing the two of us and attaching the PDF document that had originally been forwarded to her. I thought this might be the end of the conversation, but a week or so later Sue responded by saying that she and a couple of colleagues read the book and would like to propose it to their Executive Team as a possible book to publish.
Sue then shared with me the process of pitching the book to the Executive Team, which would then be followed by a month or so of market research along with a few other action steps before we could move forward. I was still pessimistic that this would lead anywhere, but even at that point I was so encouraged that a publisher that I respected so much was even having these conversations around this book. Sue gave me the date of their meeting and all I could do was wait and pray.
Shortly after their meeting I received an email from Sue saying that the team agreed that they should move forward with the book and that a month of market research was not needed as it was a clear felt need for their customer base. The email included an official offer and the contract was signed shortly after that.
Getting that email was kind of like getting an acceptance letter for college or your first job offer. It was so meaningful to call my wife and family to share the good news. One other moment that was also be very meaningful was sharing the news with Chris Emmitt who immediately called Bre’anna and shared the news with her. I was able to hear the response on the other end of the phone: “Praise God!” I couldn’t agree more!
I really don’t get excited about the deal because of the possibility of making more money or my name being on a book. I’m very much a behind the scenes guy and don’t plan on that changing a whole lot. I get excited because I believe that there is great opportunity for ministries to maximize Social Media in a powerful way to reach more people with the Gospel of Christ and I want to help them do that.
My prayer for this book is the same as it was when I first started writing that Word document months ago: to create a valuable resource for the Church to maximize Social Media in Ministry. I’m praising God that Group Publishing agreed to publish this resource and I feel so blessed to work with such a great company! I’m incredibly thankful for what God has orchestrated, how He continues to work through this project today, and cannot wait to see what God has ahead for this resource in the life of the Church! I’m honored and humbled to be a part.
Other Posts in this series:
If you have been a regular to this blog over the past year or two you have noticed a significant decline in content posted over the past 6 months or so. I am continuing to try and post here at least once a week, but I have not been quite as consistent as I would like to be. There are many reasons for this but one of the main reasons is that I am now blogging in two places. About 7 months ago I was invited to begin blogging for My San Antonio at http://voices.mysanantonio.com/nilssmith/. It has been a great opportunity to connect with people all over San Antonio and much of my additional time has been focused here. I am committed to continuing to develop this blog but wanted to make sure you are aware of this other blog as well. Thank you so much for taking interest in this blog and I would love to hear any suggestions that you might have for this blog or the one on MySanAntonio.
A good friend printed this for me in poster size and dropped it off in my office the other day. I immediately hung it on my wall putting it above the map in my office highlighting what regions we are impacting the most through CBC Online. This map highlights the heaviest areas of traffic for Facebook and the interactions made on Facebook with other regions. I had an idea of what this might look like, but to see it in this format is amazing and overwhelming.
It's wild to think that an idea (Facebook) formulated in a college dorm room has impacted literally the ends of the earth in less than 7 years. As we consider methods for sharing the gospel, can you imagine a better resource? Facebook is about relationships and so is the gospel. Facebook is touching the ends of the earth and so are we called to take the gospel to all regions.
So why isn't everyone using this incredible resource? I heard a statistic this week that only 50% of churches utilize Facebook in any way. I also heard a statistic that 95% of Americans age 20-30 are active users of Facebook and the largest growing demographic are adults between 60-75 years old. So why isn't everyone using Facebook again?
I will have many posts ahead on how I have utilized Facebook in ministry, but don't wait for someone to tell you how. Facebook is really so new that there isn't necessarily a right or wrong, but I can't encourage you enough to get to know Facebook and start interacting. Trust me, it's worth it!
I apologize for my lack of consistency on this blog recently. There are many reasons why this is the case, but mostly because I am now writing a regular blog for FaithinSA.com. I hope to get back to blogging here regularly, but in the mean time, I hope you will check out three links: