Because of changes in the general publishing industry, the explosion of the digital world, and continued declining denominational loyalty, many traditional Christian publishers are limiting or discontinuing their publishing programs, making it more difficult for authors to get published and congregational resources to be produced.
However, as self-published resources continue to grow and self-publishing becomes more accepted by industry gatekeepers, many of these authors are finding new ways to get their ideas into the hands of audiences everywhere.
Good news for congregations
The rise of self-publishing is good news for church leaders who might not be seeing as many resources available through the larger, traditional Christian publishers. For example, Vibrant Faith Ministries has chosen to publish all of its books and resources through self-publishing.
Check out this list of self-published books:
“For Heaven’s Sake Parenting Preschoolers Faithfully”
Author: Marilyn Sharpe
This is a realistic, encouraging, and supportive book for all who want to nurture faith in Jesus Christ in the home — while using proven methods for raising great preschoolers. Full of practical suggestions for daily life together, “For Heaven’s Sake! Parenting Preschoolers Faithfully” will be your guide as you navigate this formative time in your child’s life. Ideal for parents, grandparents, teachers, and childcare providers.
“Faith Formation 20:20 Designing the Future of Faith Formation”
Author: John Roberto
This book will guide your church to envision and develop dynamic, engaging and inspiring faith formation in the second decade of the 21st century. The new environment in which Christian faith formation operates today requires new thinking, models, practices, resources and technologies to address the spiritual and religious needs of all ages, families and generations.
“Spiritual and Culture of Youth Ministry”
Authors: Roland Martinson, Wesley Black, John Roberto
Congregations can indeed nurture youth to a vital Christian faith! Based on a national research study, “The Spirit and Culture of Youth Ministry” provides insights into what congregations are doing to foster a vibrant, committed Christian faith in the lives of youth people.
Authors: Barb Swant and Ruth Anderson
When she is chosen to bear the Messiah who will be the next king of Israel, teenage Mary knows that she has found favor with God. But things go wrong in ways she can never imagine. The story of the mother of Jesus of Nazareth is the story of a woman of first century Palestine, a wife, and a mother, who though two thousand years removed has so much in common with women of today. It is the relationship of a mother and son so much like a mother and son today.
“The Gratitude Journal”
Author: Jim Merhaut
Many lives have been transformed through the regular practice of gratitude journaling. This simple powerful gratitude journal can be your key to a renewed appreciation for life and the people who fill your days. The next 40 days may be the most surprising and rewarding time of your life.
“A Journey of Grace: The Formation of a Leader and a Church”
Author: Herbert Chilstrom
Released in 2011, this is the autobiography by the ELCA’s first presiding bishop.