Earlier today, I mentioned to some of my colleagues my answer to that classic "Office Space" question: if you had a million dollars and never had to work again, what would you do? I said I would be a "secret shopper" for churches, going to various churches as a random visitor, and then giving the leaders feedback on how their worship, people, and facilities are perceived by guests.
What I didn't tell my colleagues (because it's not cool to like your job too much, you know) is that part of why I love my job is that I already kind of get to do that through my acquisitions trips. I travel to meet with authors and potential authors every so often, and I generally do it on the weekends, so I can experience the congregation the author leads "in action." (Not that these churches are idle Monday through Friday, but you know what I mean.) It's really fun to experience different kinds of worship experiences, and--as a pastor's wife--it's nice to just go to church anonymously every now and then!
All that to say--I'm living the dream! (I can't say that without picturing that retarded ice cream commercial where the guy dressed as a big spoon talks about all the types of vanilla such and such brand offers.)
Another of my books arrived from the printer the other day--a revised edition of Momentum for Life, by Michael Slaughter. Mike is the pastor of Ginghamsburg Church in Ohio, a really great UM congregation, very missional. They've raised millions to relieve suffering in Darfur, Sudan, through their annual Christmas Miracle Offerings. Since 2004, they've encouraged people to scale back their consumerism at Christmas, spending half of what they would ordinarily spend on Christmas gifts, and giving the rest to The Sudan Project. Momentum for Life: Biblical Practices for Sustaining Physical Health, Personal Integrity, and Strategic Focus is all about "self-leadership," developing discipline in every area of life--spiritual, intellectual, relational, missional, and physical.
Also, the book I wrote about earlier this week--Led to Follow--got some great publicity in The Tennessean today. There's an article about Howard Olds, his battle with cancer and decision to retire in light of that illness, and also a sidebar article specifically about the book. Check it out here. There's also a launch party for the book at Brentwood UMC this Sunday. Yay :0)