Early in my ministry a mentor talked to me about the two tracks. He said: “You have the educational track, and you have the experience track.” Most aspiring ministers, (though this is not a biblical prerequisite), have thought of those two rails as developmental guides. If we widen the scope to include other arenas, most pursuits involve multiple tracks. The fact remains, the great callings of life are not easily achieved by focusing on one thing, they require a more sophisticated approach.
Being a writer who has stepped through the traditional publishing door, I learned the three rails that open that opportunity: (1) Compelling idea, (2) Excellent writing, and (3) Selling platform. These days publishers are looking for all three before extending a contract. Just so you know, that is what your book proposal is about—exciting them on your idea, your writing and your ability to move the product. My latest proposal was 24 pages, leveraging every possible angle to overcome a publisher’s risk analysis. (Praise God, it worked!)
You also have arenas in desperate need of your contribution: The world, the church, the marketplace, the home. Have you taken time to think through the precise tracks for your future success? In business, individuals and companies face the multi-track necessity everywhere. What is the mix you need to go after if you are to succeed? Do you know? Are they listing in your brain right now, or do you need to take a day or two to search for such clarity? Stop and think this through, it’s priority one!
I recall sometime back reading an article about a prolific entrepreneur whose tracks for success included: “I gave up my thirties.” Don’t let his story be lost on you. What enabled his expertise and renown? He gave up a whole decade of normal ladder climbing to put himself into a variety of experiences, some even low-level service positions, in order to gain critical knowledge in his field. He saw the experiential track he had to go down, and because he had the guts to chase after it, he became a prominent leader. Now, everyday he enjoys the speed and fruit of the tracks!
As an avid Los Angeles Charger’s fan, I find myself thinking about the tracks to get that talented team to the next level. Track #1: A defensive coordinator who understands how to devise a sophisticated game plan to face the likes of Tom Brady (who will pick apart your too predictable zone defense!). I see it. I wonder if the Chargers do.
Sometimes, we just can’t see what we need. I’ll admit I am asking these “track” questions all the time. How can I get my revisionist message to resonate with the wider church world? What areas or developments do I need to pursue? Marketing? Team Development? Partnerships? Entrepreneurial training? Funding? Video? Another book? A publicist? Enter my orbit and I will be asking these questions in search of greater traction.
And as the culture changes, your tracks must change. This explains the demise of many organizations, businesses or churches—where the ground has shifted underneath their feet, but their tracks have remained the same. Settled. Stuck. Ouch!
This concept has tremendous relevance for the church. With brevity, let me just say that we need new tracks. In ReMission, I diagnosed the problem this way exposing that the old tracks are not achieving the same results: Attraction is limited (in who it will reach, and in our distant culture this is increasing everyday!); renewal (the idea that all we need is nurture and fellowship to become effectual missional disciples) is a lie. Both tracks are failing us!
In the book, I help church leaders to see where we are, and rethink where we need to go. By the way, I have 3 tracks that can make all the difference! If leaders can see our new scene with crisp clarity, and see how to raise their leadership correspondingly, gospel results can rise exceedingly. This releasing of the gospel movement and creating formational health through the body is what I am referring to by the term: ReMission.
I put a few prominent leader book reviews below, if you are interested in the church and gospel expansion. But as I close, let me just say it one more time: You have to figure out what the tracks are in your picture. You need to see them. Chart them. Run down them. Then you will find success.
“Systematic, insightful and paradigm shifting” (Daniel Im, NewChurches).
“An in-depth look at the complexity of reaching our communities for Jesus Christ” (Executive Pastor, Dan Reiland of 12Stone Church).
“Honestly, one of the best I have read in 5 years, and I read a lot of books” (Pastor Phillip Taylor).