I did FINALLY finish the manuscript for my book — "The Church in Transition: The Journey of the Existing Church into the Emerging Culture!"
Zondervan is publishing it and it should be out by Feb. 2006. Dan Allender wrote a wonderful foreword and many friends like Brian McLaren have written kind endorsements.
I have many modest hopes for the book. I certainly hope it will bring me into to dialogue with leaders and churches who are taking active steps to translate their ministry into the realities of the emerging culture. I also that that the book will confront some misunderstandings and establish some dialogical boundaries related to fearful conversations about the emerging church and its contribution to the future of the church.
I would also love for this book to reinforce the connections between theology and the practices of ministry in the emerging culture. I'm certainly not breaking new ground here. But this is a point that I believe needs to be continually reinforced. A point that I make in the book is that copying emerging culture ministry practices without exploration of the thought and theology behind these practices has all of the inauthenticity of a bad combover.
The timing of the book was very challenging. I had imagined taking a sabbatical to do the bulk of the writing. Instead, the first manuscript was written from December through April in the midst of the first months of Emmaus Way's existance and during a season when we managing a couple family health issues. But, in retrospect, the book is much better because of the dialogue leading up to launching Emmaus Way and the experiences of the first months of this community.
I'm thankful it is done and for the added space in my life. The risk in writing this felt considerable for me (putting into words my thoughts, critiques, and hopes for the church generated over the last couple decades) and thus I grew through it. Some of my thoughts are clearer. Questions that have persisted now catalyze even greater motivation for further exploration and study. Most of all, it was a true privilege to write this.