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You can listen to Noah Filipiak’s “Behind the Curtain” Podcast interview with Dr. Mike Wittmer on the Podbean Player below or you can subscribe to all “Behind the Curtain” Ministry Podcast episodes on iTunes. (Podcast listening tip: use the podcasts app on your smartphone and listen while driving, doing chores, or working out)
Noah Filipiak interviews Dr. Mike Wittmer on the effects Christian celebrityism is having on the Church at large. Prior to the internet explosion, good content would get a book published. Nowadays, the only thing that will get someone published is popularity (called “platform” in the publishing industry). Noah and Mike explore the effects this trend has on the souls of authors (namely, themselves!) and on the type of theology being put into the hands of Christians.
Dr. Michael Wittmer is the Professor of Systematic & Historical Theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.
Mike’s blog: MikeWittmer.blog
- Heaven Is a Place on Earth: Why Everything You Do Matters to God by Zondervan
- Becoming Worldly Saints: Can You Serve Jesus and Still Enjoy Your Life? by Zondervan
- The Last Enemy: Preparing to Win the Fight of Your Life by Discovery House
- Despite Doubt: Embracing a Confident Faith by Discovery House
- Don’t Stop Believing: Why Living Like Jesus Is Not Enough by Zondervan
- Christ Alone: An Evangelical Response to Rob Bell’s “Love Wins” by Edenridge Press LLC
It’s my birthday! 34 big ones.
It’s the only day of the year I get to ask for things and not feel guilty about it. So here I go:
It’s tough sledding aspiring to be a first time author in today’s Christian publishing industry. Publishers will only take on books they think will sell. You can have the best content on earth, but if they don’t think enough people will buy it, they aren’t biting. In the Christian publishing world, you typically have to be a megachurch pastor or the head of a well known organization to get one of these book contracts. Because if your church has 10,000 people in it, there’s a good chance a few of them will buy your book. Well I love my church, and it doesn’t have anywhere near 10,000 people, but I’m not planning on leaving anytime soon! And no, I don’t think my content is the best content on earth, but I do think it’s worth publishing. My book is about finding identity in Christ in an over-sexualized world. We all live in an over-sexualized world and many of us are getting chewed up and spit out by it. I was for a long time and there was nothing in the Christian publishing world that helped me at the level I really needed it. God led me though an amazing journey centered in the good news of Jesus that has revolutionized how I’m able to live healthy and faithful in a still very sexualized world. And I’d like other people to know about this and find this path for themselves. So there’s two ways for me to get published: one is to go work for a megachurch, the other is for you to give me some birthday presents!
I’m not planning on leaving my church, so I hope you’re feeling generous. Here’s my wish list:
1. Encouraging words, when applicable – Getting rejections is tough! No matter how you tell yourself, “I’ll be able to handle the rejection that comes with being a first-time author,” it’s still really hard to handle. It hurts, it makes you think you stink as a writer, and it makes you want to give up. If I ever write something that is helpful to you and you think to yourself, “I wonder if I should tell Noah this?” You should tell me! Random flattery is no good. But specific encouragement about a writing that helped you grow is like 10 gas fill ups on a cross-country drive–it goes a long way.
2. Share my stuff. This is the only way I’m going to get published. I was very close with David C. Cook and Discovery House, at the final stage, and close with Zondervan as well. Many editors said “let’s do this!” but the final group, the group that predicts if this will sell or not, gave it the thumbs down. Since he’s not a megachurch pastor, he needs a billion blog hits a second and since he doesn’t have that, we can’t have him. Or something like that…but the reality is, there are some very practical things you can give me for my birthday that would bring more traffic to my blog, which would show a publisher that someone might actually buy my book. Here are some of those gifts:
2a. Pick a recent article and share it on your Facebook page. Or, pick an old article and share it on your Facebook page! Do this every week or so. There is a nifty “Topics” button at the top left of this page. You should click it and find a topic that sounds interesting to you, then find an article that sounds interesting to you, then post it on Facebook or Twitter!
2b. Listen to my podcasts. I put a lot of work into two podcasts: Choppin it Up and Behind the Curtain. Choppin it Up is about race. If that interests you, click and listen. In Behind the Curtain, I interview ministry leaders about what it’s really like to be in ministry leadership. This is to help you if you are in ministry leadership, and also to help you know how to pray for and treat your ministry leaders better. Check it out! The best way to listen to podcasts is go to your podcast app on your smart phone, type in “Noah Filipiak” and you’ll find all my podcasts (including my Crossroads Church sermon podcast), click to subscribe, then listen from your phone while you drive your car or workout. And of course you can listen from your computer too, using the links in this paragraph. (And yes, you can combine 2a & 2b: you can share my podcast links on Facebook!)
3. Join my Author Newsletter. This bad boy only goes out 4x a year and relates specifically to my publishing pursuits. It’s for people who want to help see my book(s) get published. Publishers like to see big quantities of subscribers here so if you can add one more to it, that’d be a great birthday present!
Happy Birthday to me! Thank you to everyone who have been so helpful and encouraging to me up to this point. We’ve been soooo close to getting a publishing contract, got a good feeling that 2017 is going to be the year!
Noah Filipiak interviews Grace Fox on the pressure a Christian author faces to have to make themselves well-known, despite the Bible’s emphasis that “Jesus must increase, and we must decrease” (John 3:28-30). Noah and Grace discuss the challenge to do this in the Christian book marketplace where names must be known and books must be sold, and the damage that can be done to our souls when we get our priorities in the wrong place. Continue Reading…
In Episode 19, the one-year anniversary episode for Behind the Curtain, Noah Filipiak interviews 11-time author Sarah Arthur. Sarah’s book Walking with Frodo was the #1 bestselling youth resource in Christian publishing for the holiday season 2003, and #13 in all categories and Walking with Bilbo won the Logos Book Award at the Christian Booksellers Convention for Best Youth Book 2005. Her most recent books include a 3-part devotional series that follow the Church liturgical calendar: Between Midnight & Dawn, Light Upon Light & At the Still Point. Noah and Sarah discuss the roller-coaster ride of succeeding and failing in the publishing world and how to discover spiritually healthy ways of measuring success in anything we do in life. In a fast-forward world where everything is pressing and urgent, this interview examines how to rest in our identity as God’s kids and not let other voices determine our ultimate value.
You can listen to the interview with Sarah below via the Podbean Player or you can subscribe to all “Behind the Curtain” Ministry Podcast episodes on iTunes
Sarah’s website: www.SarahArthur.com
Promo for Sarah’s most recent book Between Midnight & Dawn: