the road ahead

A Publisher’s Confession
November 1, 2009, 9:23 pm
Filed under: business, ministry, Uncategorized


It is an incredible privilege to be a publisher of a Christian publishing company. I love books and all things print! From my earliest days I always have enjoyed sitting in a library surrounded by books.

I was reflecting the other day on just how much books have shaped my life and my thinking. On my desk right now are five new books that I am reading. In addition, there is a set of special books on the shelves of my library that are like good friends, always available to provide me with their counsel when I need it. I can’t imagine life without reading or without books. Publishers who have gone before have had a part in shaping my spiritual life and world view!

The opportunity to watch a new book develop is very impressive. The labor of authors wrestling with a message that God has placed on their heart and then entrusting that work to our NavPress team is a sacred thing. Then to watch our publishing pros take that message and create a finished product, a new Christian book! Wow! This is truly a labor of love!

It is the highest honor to be given the opportunity to produce practical, spiritual resources for the body of Christ. Thanks for allowing me to write this brief personal word to you and to ask: What do books mean to you?

“There is no end to the publishing of books….” Ecclesiastes 12 (The Message)


7 Comments so far
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Books not only open a new world of ideas and emotions for me. They seem to grow with me as I grow. I can pick up a book that has been with me for many years and be transported not only to the first time I opened it and the binding made that first crackling sound. But also turning those familiar pages and reliving the notes in the margin realizing that where I stand now is in some part because of where I stood then.

Comment by Tresa

My Mom has a picture of me from even before I could walk to talk with a book in my hand “reading”. Like you, books are a big part of who I am now.

Comment by Sharon

Hello Mike,

Books are a way to travel into someone else’s world on many different levels; points of view, life challenge, theology, philosophy, etc.

Moreover, books allow a change to un-wind from the day, fantasize (in a healthy manner), to be renewed, refreshed, gain a different or challenging perspective.

So much to be said on books; others thoughts on great books, challenge the soul, revive the mind, have you wear and walk in someone’s shoes.

John makes a comment regarding books in the last verse of John 21:25, …I can’t imagine a world big enough to hold such a library of books (The Message). In this context John is speaking about the infinite works that Jesus did!

Wonder if God told John while he was writing the book of John about computers! :>)

Comment by David Brownlee

Books give us external coordinates. Each one helps us locate ourselves more precisely in cosmos and in time.

I’m a singer/songwriter/guitar finger-stylist. If left abandoned on an island and could have only my books or my guitar, I’d choose books in a heartbeat.

Thanks for doing what you do.

Comment by Steve Bell

Books shape me and become a part of my life.

I can remember where I was when I finished each of my most favorite books.

When some people finish a book they share it with other people and don’t mind if it comes back. Not me…people may borrow my books but there will always be a perminant home for them on my bookshelf.

Comment by Jan Cox

Woops…I meant permanent:)

Comment by Jan Cox

When I worked for you, Mike, one of the things I enjoyed was being the audience when you were “thinking out loud.” In that vein, books are the next step, capturing a person’s “thinking out loud” on pages. When readers find themselves having a sort of “dialogue of thought” with the author, it’s probably a good book. The great privilege you have at NavPress, as we do at LifeWay, is to produce books that hopefully provoke the involvement of a third person in that thought process: the Holy Spirit. Blessings on you and NavPress as you make books He uses to transform people’s lives!

Comment by David Francis

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