Friday, October 30, 2009

Responding to comments . . .

Sorry I took so long . . .

Great comments on the last two posts everyone. I'll respond here since I took so long.

To Kay's comment:

"The idea of more money is always appealing. But I'm thinking that maybe if I say that my writing is a ministry I should back that up by perhaps contributing all proceeds to a ministry or something. And make that known to those who purchase"

This is exactly the point I'm trying to make. Now, keep in mind, I'm not saying authors should or should not do this. I'm saying that this should be the attitude of those who want the publishing houses to make decisions based on evangelism and not profit tempered with principles or values.

sidenote: quote from Randy Alcorn that might be of interest to you, Kay.

"Most writers won’t sell a lot of books. I encourage those who do to give away most or all of the royalties to God’s kingdom. Recognize they belong to Him, not to you. Because all the royalties from my books go to missions work and other kingdom causes, I’m not tempted to spend on myself the millions of dollars God has graciously entrusted to me. Instead, my wife and I get to give them away and to rejoice as we make eternal investments in God’s powerful work around the world."

Notice he said those who sell a lot of books. You have to eat first right? I know what you're thinking: "God will provide." Maybe he provided you with just enough books sales to eat.

XD, I think we're in agreement. It's not an either-or thing. It depends on individual declaration. On the fiction delivering a message thing, I did say it does happen. But as an evangelical vehicle in the Christian discipleship connotation of the word, it has little results. Not that they're not important results, but a very inefficient vehicle. I say trade in that clunker.

Todd, I still say if an artist makes 10 million/year off his work and wants to be lauded for his work being a ministry and then he goes off and buys a $10 million home, a private jet, three Porsche's, etc., he is out of step with the will of the Lord. One particular Christian artist loves to get awards for begging me to give $5 to third world starving kids while he flies off in a private jet after his concerts spending more in 4 hours than I make all year. He could fly first class and save $40 thousand. You can feed a lot of kids with $40 thousand.

The widow who gave the penny gave more than all the others combined, because she gave everything she had. I don't think that means everyone has to give everything they have, but they should give more than the sliding scale equivalent of chump change. A multi-millionaire giving $500 is not the same as me giving $500.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Last post - furtherized . . .

Thanks for the great comments on the last post everyone. I hate to admit it but . . . you too, Todd. Actually your comment beat me to the punch on the furtherization of my positation. And, Kay, there is certainly alot of room for overlap.

For instance, let's take a Third Day concert. Third Day considers themselves a ministry. But, . . . you have to buy the ticket. Personally, I have no problem with that because I equate it to passing the plate at church. Someone has to pay for the electricity, the water, the pastor's salary, etc.

They haven't to my knowledge declared themselves an evangelical outreach. With that said, happenstance evangelism does occur at Third Day concerts. (Probably more than all of Christian fiction combined.) In essence, evangelism is sold. But indirectly. This is kind of how I view publishing. I wrote my novel for everyone, but the reality is that since I'm pursuing publication through CBA, it will be read mostly by Christians. Christians who will be paying for it.

** The rest of this post was gonna be about the declaration of ministry that Todd covered in the comments of the last post. So we'll move onto something else.

This may be a little off the path, but I am a little perturbed by those who claim to be a ministry, be it in preaching, music, or writing, and then live a lavish lifestyle all the while basking in the glow of accolades for doing God's work. One particular musical artist lives in a mansion and routinely mentions his Porsche. One takes a private jet home after his concerts. All this while asking me to send $5 to a pet charity.

Kind of like a politician who wants credit for his "service" to his country. As though it's a sacrifice. Let's see, you get fame, glory, power, riches, and then we're supposed to serenade you with thanks for your "public service." Thank you Mr. politician for screwing the little guy, cheating on your wife with the intern, all while giving yourself a raise, full health benefits and a pension for life, lying and stealing all funded by the taxpayer. You truly are a hero.

Disclaimer: During the writing of this post, the author was suffering from low blood sugar and was thus subject to nonsensical ramblings.

Friday, October 9, 2009

For Sale: One Savior.

I've said before that I don't see any great potential of Fiction as a conveyance of evangelism. That's not to say that fiction can't evangelize or hasn't. In fact, I'm quite sure it has and I hope mine does. But I would say it is a very inefficient means.

With that said, I am always puzzled by those who lambaste the CBA publishers for not treating themselves as an evangelical outreach ministry. They are not. They are a business which supplies a product, subject to a set of chosen standards, to a market of individuals who make certain requirements of them. They succeed or fail based on their ability to satisfy those requirements.

The puzzling part for me is that an author who wants their fiction to be an evangelical tool decides to get it published through CBA.

Why? --- Am I the only person who believes that evangelism should be free? So we want to reach people but only if they pay $14.99?

If you want your novels to be strictly an evangelistic outreach, then use the evangelistic model:

1. convince other Christians of the value of your project.
2. ask them for donations.
3. self-publish the novel.

Can you imagine if Billy Graham went to a third world country to preach but charged admission?