Five years ago, InterVarsity Press published my book, “Questioning Your Doubts: A Harvard PhD Explores Challenges to Faith”. I hope the book has been a blessing to its readers and will continue to bless new readers in 2020 and beyond. Since writing the book, I have had the opportunity to travel across the country and speak with individuals who have read the book and know a little of my life story from the illustrations the book contains. Many of these people have become my friends. These people remind me why writing is worth the time and effort.
A book has a life of its own and takes you on a journey beyond what you plan as an author. Many of the individuals who participated in the creation of the book (marketing, design, and original reviewers) have retired or moved on to new positions. I wish all of you well and want to thank you once more for your role in the publication of the book. You were an amazing team.
As for me, on occasion I have reread parts of my own book from the perspective of a reader. In its pages, I have found the courage to pursue goals, keep faith alive, and experience joyful laughter at God’s faithfulness beyond what humans can ever dream.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! – Christina M. H. Powell, PhD
Key Concepts to Tweet
A book has a life of its own and takes you on a journey beyond what you plan as an author. TweetBuffer
In this day of megachurches and churches spread across multiple campuses, is it really possible or even practical to care about the individual? Yet ministry is based on the model of a shepherd willing to leave a flock of ninety-nine sheep in an open field while searching for one lost sheep (Luke 15:3-7).
Show people respect. Ask questions instead of jumping to conclusions. Trying to force a person into a certain ministry mold may not help a person although our intentions may be admirable. A widower may prefer joining the men’s ministry on a fishing trip to taking a class that requires him to discuss his grief in a small group. Let people select the ministry resources best suited to their needs and respect their choice.
Do not project your needs onto someone else. What ministered to you in a particular circumstance in your life may not minister to your friend. Listen to what your friend is communicating to you instead of planning ministry based on your own preferences. For example, not all new mothers feel depressed after childbirth, so ministry in a mom’s group should validate different responses to a similar life event.
Beware false assumptions. Not all childless young couples feel called to work in the children’s ministry in your church, no matter how badly you desire to staff the nursery and toddler room. Perhaps a woman with a career in finance would rather serve on a church committee that allows her to bless the church with her professionals skills instead of a more traditional role in a woman’s ministry. Simply asking people about their passions and interests can prevent misplaced and disheartened volunteers. The church will prosper when people find fulfilling ministry roles.
Large or small, a church can be sensitive to the needs of individuals while still meeting the goals of the group as a whole. Whether in your church life or in your friendships, what approaches do you take to tailor your response to the needs of the individual?
The time of preparing for the banquet is over. The ink has dried on the pages of my book. Thanks to the work of many, the book, free of typos and beautifully designed, is available for readers to enjoy!
If you follow the link on this website to Bookstores, you will see that the book is available in many different places for the book was written for all the guests interested in attending the banquet. Like the host in the Parable of the Great Feast described in Luke 14:15-23, I am sending out the invitation to anyone who wants to come.
I hope to meet many of my readers through social media sites, such as Facebook (Page), Goodreads or Twitter, and at book signings, speaking events, or conferences. However, even if we never meet in person, know that this book was written for you. I hope you are entertained by my personal stories and find the encouragement or information you need in one of the chapters. Pick up a plate, walk along the buffet table, and then sit down and join me in the celebration!