Several years ago I sat down with an idea and a notepad. After hundreds of text messages, hours of writing and editing, a few chapters scrapped, and a lengthy process of proofing, I'd written a book.
It sold some copies. It's been used by a few churches and in a DMin seminar. I was pretty proud of it.
A couple weeks ago I got a note from my publisher that my books were transitioning. In other words, the shelf life had come and gone. I'm so thankful to Sam, Jess, and Art for taking the time and the risk to publish an unknown (twice) and to offer incredibly helpful feedback all along the way.
One thing that amazed me about the Rainer Publishing team was what followed in the note about the books transitioning. I was going to get the copyright back. That's practically unheard of. With that, I had full freedom and creative control over my work. It speaks of the humility and grace of the Rainer brothers to give back something like that.
So what does it mean? As of September 30, Dream Teams and Start Well will no longer be under the Rainer Publishing banner. They'll be re-released as self-published works.
I've wanted for some time to really do a significant revision to Dream Teams. One of its critiques was that it wasn't as clear how it could be used in smaller churches. I totally get that. When I wrote it, I was in a larger multi-staff church. Having pastored a smaller church for 3+ years now, I've seen how different the staff dynamics and relationships are. Every book, especially those written to be put into action, needs updating every now and then. I look forward to putting some time and thought into how Dream Teams can be better.
The original intent behind Start Well was to write something that could be handed to a ministry leader walking into a new assignment. But a theme I didn't feel like I did enough with was the idea of hitting reset in the middle of a ministry assignment. I still love the idea of the good start, but perhaps the better way to explore lifetime faithfulness will be more than the start.
Anyway, if I can ask the loyal readers for a couple favors, here you go:
1) Go check out the rest of the Rainer Publishing catalog. They have some great books out there. Buying those books helps support a publishing house committed to giving practical resources to the church.
2) Give some feedback. If you've read Dream Teams or Start Well, tell me what you liked and wished they had done better.
3) Buy a copy before they transition. I really believe in the message from both books. I wouldn't have written them if I didn't. So grab a copy. Learn how to build a strong team. Learn how to start a new assignment well. Until September 30, they'll be available in their original form.
If you bought a copy of one of the books, thank you. I hope they were helpful to you. My hope in writing wasn't to make money selling a bunch, but to share ideas that I couldn't stop talking about.
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Scott M. Douglas
A blog about leadership and the lasting legacy of family ministry.