wow - i spent this week writing the atlas for our upcoming series on sex at westwinds.
for those of you who are curious about how this whole process works, let me briefly fill you in
6-12 months prior i'll decide what i'll teach on during fusion (typically, in response to something i'm noticing in the world, at the winds, or something brought to me by the staff, the elders, my mentors, or one of my friends, then let it float around my brain for a while and try and think of an angle, listen for good sources/teachers, pray and reflect
3-6 months prior i start reading on a particular topic (in addition to my normal reading) and take notes
4-6 weeks prior i start re-reading and re-noting, then breaking up a lose outline for the series
4 weeks out i give all my notes to norma, my assistant, to type up and catalogue. while she does this i take big ideas out from the major notes and group smaller ideas around them. i also begin to go a little deeper into scripture to find something 'prophetic', meaning - something critical, something provocative, something meaningful, something transformational, etc.
3 weeks out i take the whole week off and write the series in my basement non-stop. the days are long - usually 15+hours without any breaks except for meals. my family hates these weeks. at the end of the week i proof the manuscript, write questions for the satellite groups, then send it to the designer to lay it out and add the artwork...since angie has been gone, i've been the designer; so, for the last 3 series i've done the artwork and (except for genesis) the layout as well. on the last friday of this week i send the .pdf to lulu.com for publishing.
2 weeks prior we print a few "in case" copies at westwinds in case lulu screws up
1 week prior we begin selling the atlases at soundwords.
during the week the series begins my prep time is almost nil. i re-read the chapter for the week from the atlas, make message slides, and pray.
now - i know this sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but i love it. i love that i get to pour this much of myself into my job. i love that this amount of effort has made a real difference in the lives of the thousands of people who read the atlases, download the pdf, download the podcasts, and catch our stuff online.
honestly, it feels so good to believe in what you're doing...i don't ever want to go back to the time of my ministry where i wasn't sure it did, and i wasn't even sure i should bother any longer.
that said, i slept 11 hours last night and just woke up from a nap during saturday morning cartoons (after, of course, coaching jake's soccer game). i needed the nap because monday-friday i slept a combined 6 hours and if i even saw another pot of coffee i'd probably have just died.
anyways - looking forwards to fusion tomorrow and week 6 of the genesis series. that series has been the most personally meaningful to me and i still feel a tremendous amount of passion for the material we'll cover this week and next
thanks for doing the winds with us.