Finally! The Jake book, So You Donâ€™t Want to Go to Church Anymore is at the printerâ€™s and we will have copies in hand for a March 1, 2006 release date. It is a bittersweet time for me. I have never finished a book before with such sadness, both because the process is ending with my co-writer on this project, Dave Coleman, and because I will miss one of the characters in this story that has truly shaped my life. Writing his words made me think in ways that stretched me spiritually and opened doors in my own life to recognize the Fatherâ€™s hand. I can truly say I was a better person on those days I wrote Johnâ€™s material and I will miss those afternoons I spent with â€˜him.â€™
For those who donâ€™t know about this book, it is the story of a man transitioning out of religious ways of thinking about his life in God, to discover a life in Jesus that he had only previously dreamed was possible. It transforms his entire way of looking at God, the church and the world around him.
To be honest, I never thought this project would get done. This started as a shared whim with a friend of mine on a project that every contact I had in the publishing industry said could not be published. We wanted to tell a story of someone disillusioned by the power of the system of religious obligation who found freedom through some incredibly painful circumstances. We were told itâ€™s perspective of organized religion was not palatable to booksellers and that its make-up fell between the cracks of fiction and teachingâ€”not really being either one.
Thus I have been shocked at the response from this little story. Daily I receive email from people all over the world who have found this story a valuable encouragement for their own and told me how closely it parallels their own experience. People have helped proof it and made suggestions that improved the story. We even had someone I hadnâ€™t known from Chicago send us the cover design for the printed version. I look back at this whole process amazed at what God has put together out of simple obedient steps.
Let me share one of those emails with you:
I found the book about three weeks ago on cpcoaches.com and read it in 2 days. I am changed. I have never read a book like this in my life. It is not about the church stuff but how you feel Jesus is speaking right to you. Everyone around me has noticed a great change in the way I look at life and ministry. I am living in the Mediterranean working with YWAM. I immediately started sharing with coworkers about the book and have been getting the same response from them as I had. They are sharing the book also. I heard some pastors from the southern side of the Island are reading it now. Don’t be surprised if you start hearing from people around here. How did you do it?
Only those whoâ€™ve been behind the scenes know how amazingly God has brought together a number of pieces to pull this story together. It will be available in a few weeks. You can pre-order it if you wish from Lifestream or from the Jake Colsen websites. And if you havenâ€™t been to the Jake Colsen site recently, come visit. It has been completely re-designed to go along with the release of the printed version.