My coauthor, Sue, and I have recently begun destroying a small forest...we bring ever-growing piles of chapter drafts to our weekly editorial meetings. Each chapter is at least 12 pages and bears many red or blue scribbles, scratch outs, and new ideas. These meetings also include two women who believe in the message of our WIP (work in progress). Eva and Lesa have enthusiastically offered their editorial, research, and writing support. While Sue and I began this work back in January (officially), we started meeting as a foursome only in late May. But what a team God has put together!
Eva is Sue's student intern at DTS. She asked to use her intern hours--400 of them--on this WIP, which addresses the biblical definition of the church as family, specifically focusing on men and women as brothers and sisters in Christ. Eva's interest in ancient Jewish culture and her research talents are proving to be of great value to us. She is about to present us with a chapter introduction that she has re-written on her own.
Lesa is a former student of my friend Sandi, the Christian journalism and creative writing professor at Dallas Seminary. I'm still not sure how she heard about this project, but I'm so glad she did. Lesa works for a non-profit in Dallas, so she brings perspective from the business world. Her husband is a pastor, so she has a long history of ministry as well. Not to mention her writing skills (she's a freelance book reviewer for the Dallas Morning News' Religion section--see her latest review here). Her insight and edits help sharpen our writing each week.
When Sue and I first proposed this book to our publisher, we knew it would be much more difficult to write than the first two. This one speaks to a wider audience and will need wider input. We planned on seeking male leaders to help write the sections directed towards men specifically (still do). We knew we'd have to interview lots of people (still do). But we didn't know that we'd need a team of writers, editors and researchers to make this project sing. Just a few weeks of working together has made a huge difference. What a wonderful gift these girls have been to us! Knowing she has a team of editors has freed Sue up to write like crazy. She has pumped out at least 8 chapters--all first drafts-- in the last six weeks. I've written, oh let's see...One. All by myself, until the girls got ahold of it. But that's how it works with a team. Sue and I might be the principal writers, but the end result will be a team effort, and we won't be able to distinguish one's words from another.
The book will be the better for it.