Just over two years ago I received an email that piqued my curiosity. Somehow or another I had been put on a email list for an organization called “Gospel-Centered Discipleship” which I knew was an Internet resource committed to producing long-form articles to help “make, mature, and multiply disciples of Jesus.” Jonathan Dodson was the founder of the organization and his book by the same title had been profoundly helpful to me in my ministry.
When I got the email asking for article submissions and even book pitches I was intrigued. I liked to write, and I wanted to use my gifting to serve the church. Here was an open invitation to produce some materials that would benefit not only my local church but hopefully many others. I decided to respond and run a few ideas around to the editors for some articles. They were eager and excited that I would be willing to share and began to dialog with me about my ideas. Ben Roberts and Brad Watson began to encourage me to write more. They encouraged me to write a book.
As I wrote, they began to provide helpful and more concrete edits for everPresent. After completing the initial manuscript and sending it in, Jonathan Dodson jumped back into the process and gave some helpful and strong critiques to my first attempts. The book needed more focus and he challenged me to go back and rewrite most of it to make it a stronger book. Brad encouraged me to learn to “write tight” and make my manuscript as strong as I could.
As I labored in the late nights and during parts of my family vacations I was encouraged by the team that was very excited about the project. A new executive director, Brandon Smith hopped into the process towards the end along with Mathew Sims and began to help in the promotion and final editing of the book. As we worked together I saw they encouraged and cheered me and the project along. Launch day came and the book was met with an encouraging reception.
More than anything though, it wasn’t my idea or my execution of the idea that brought the project along or made it what it is. It was the team of editors, thinkers, and encouragers that walked along with me in the process. I am grateful for Jonathan’s push back on initial manuscript to make it a better book. Brad, Brandon, Mathew at the others at GCD have been strong supporters and encouragers. I’ve learned a lot, and grown to become a better writer because of their help.
Beyond my book, GCD produces a new long-form article three times each week from men and women all over the world who are committed to “making, maturing, and multiplying disciples of Jesus.” These articles have been wonderfully helpful to me at many different points along the way. In fact the book Make, Mature, and Multiply is a wonderful “best-of” compilation that serves those who will learn well.
Today I want to give thanks to God for GCD and all the editors, writers, and friends there who have glorified Christ by their work and helped me become a better writer as a result. I am in no way a great writer, but I’ve advanced mainly because of their support and encouragement. I hope that you will put GCD’s website in your queue of regular reads on the web and learn and grow as I have.
For more visit Gospel-Centered Discipleship.