For years, I haven’t been much of a fiction reader. Honestly, I get too engrossed in them and because I can’t put them down, I stay up too late at night trying to see what happens next. I don’t like suspense.
But then, I started reading a different kind of fiction. I guess you could call it less suspenseful and more geared toward learning. A hybrid of fiction and non-fiction. Many would call it an allegory. Authors like Andy Andrews and the late, Og Mandino who write this type of fiction have had a heavy influence on my life and the way I live. Their writings have helped me immensely and it was while reading their books that I got an idea for my own book.
Andy Andrews and Mandino’s books are geared toward business and leadership. It got me to thinking that there are few books that describe what true success looks like for a pastor or ministry. In fact, many of the church’s leadership books are based on business principles. While we can glean from business leadership, there are so many lessons found in Scripture that show us what true success looks like. Success not in the worldly sense, but success in God’s eyes.
With that in mind, Cloud of Witnesses was born. It was planted as a seed around five years ago while reading the book The Traveller’s Gift by Andy Andrews. The idea stayed with me until I wrote the first chapter in January 2021. Then I did not write another word for a year. But deep down, this idea kept nagging me until, I finally began writing again after reading Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson. This book encouraged the readers to adorn the world with creativity, writing, and the arts. Despite our doubts and hang-ups, Peterson challenges his reader to spread the light in the world.
So, I laid aside my doubts and began writing again. Cloud of Witnesses is a first person fiction set in a small Texas town where Pastor John Watkins is struggling to build a church.
Well, let me just share with you the description written on the back of the book:
Learn the Secrets to True Success. It’s more simple than you think.
Hull Christian Church is a dwindling church in a dying community. Two years in, Pastor John Watkins is out of answers and his leadership struggle is evident to his twelve parishioners. He is ready to give up when an unknown visitor prays over him at the end of a church service then vanishes without anyone seeing him. A few weeks later, this mysterious man appears in John’s office and sets the course for the future of this young pastor’s ministry. The mystery deepens as John Watkins is introduced to ancient wisdom, millennia old, and he is given seven secrets to true success; proven laws that have been passed down through time. Watkins has tried everything else to no avail, will these secrets work even in this small struggling church?
In this book, pastors and leaders will discover the secrets of true success. The Cloud of Witnesses will challenge and encourage the reader. Whether you are a pastor or a member of a local church, this book will give you insight into the life and heart of a pastor.
This book is certainly geared toward pastors, but I would encourage any Christian or church leader to read it. The principles set forth in this allegory are Scriptural and for every believer, not just pastors. However, this book speaks specifically to pastors about our mindset of success. It will challenge all of our thinking.
Please feel free to share this link with anyone, especially pastors and church leaders.