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brutally honest thoughts...

It was somewhere between 6 to 9 months ago (I think) that I was driving over the Willamette river here in Portland, sadly telling an acquaintance what I believed to be the harsh reality of a manuscript he sent me.  Stephen Lutz had a book he was trying to get published and had sent it to me to review.  At this point he had sent it out to some publishers, but at this point wasn't getting any bites.  Now, from what I've seen, Stephen is a great guy.  But we have only sat down once or twice at a conference or two so it was tough to tell him my honest thoughts about it.  Here is the bottom line of what I said:

From my perspective the sad reality was that "major publishers" would likely not take it on because there wasn't a "large enough market" for the book.  From a national perspective, their perception is the Church just isn't in a place where this would "sell enough units" for them to take it on and unfortunately most don't look at campus ministries as a large enough market (which is crazy to me, but from my experience this is their perception).

This is brutal and a harsh reality of our world.  Publishers are in business, need to make money and their perception is what matters when it comes to publishing.  My recommendation for him was, if he desired a "major publisher" to take on the book, to rewrite it to reach a broader audience.

Well, frankly, I'm glad he didn't do that.  Everything he said in what has now been published as College Ministry in a Post-Christian Culture NEEDED to be said and should be read by everyone working in college ministry.  I told him that on the phone.  Personally, I have had a heart for this field and thus have labored to writte 2 books for leaders of church-based ministries, a book for adult volunteers, a new book for parents of 18-25 year olds.....all are NEEDED.

The bottom line is I believe Stephen has a message that NEEDS to be heard and embraced.  And he just so happens to be a good writer.  Here's what I would recommend: buy this book and learn from Stephen.  This book will, in fact, helpfully shape your focus in a wonderful way.  Plus, buying this book will show "major publishers" that there is in fact a "large enough market" out there for those working in college ministry!  You can read a sample here, or purchase it here: College Ministry in a Post-Christian Culture.

Oh, and thank you to House Studio publishing for taking on a book that needs to be published....and that HAS a market to support it.  I hope you will sell 100,000's of these over the years!

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