Two weeks until The Pietist Option hits shelves!
And I know that our publisher has already been sending out some pre-ordered and promotional copies. So as it starts to find its way into the hands of readers, let me suggest a few ways that you can help Mark and me spread the word about a book whose subtitle claims, perhaps too grandly, to offer “hope for the renewal of Christianity.”
For while I appreciate everything that InterVarsity Press is doing to promote the book, Mark and I have always known that its influence would depend on word-of-mouth. That’s how Pietist renewal has always worked, as a grass roots movement that calls Christians back to Jesus through personal devotion, small group study, and service to others.
(Here’s where I need to thank the members of the book’s launch team, who have already been doing wonderful work in this regard!)
If you want to join in that movement here in the 21st century, please consider not just buying and reading the book (and maybe giving away a copy), but one or more of the following steps:
Suggest it for a small group at your church
If German Pietism left no other legacy, it at least popularized the Reformation notion of supplementing regular, congregational worship with regular meetings of smaller groups of Christians for the purposes of study, prayer, fellowship, discipleship, accountability, and service. So we not only discussed the ecclesiola in ecclesia approach to church renewal, but consciously wrote this book with small groups in mind, adding biblical devotions and discussion/reflection questions as a separate guide.
Note that IVP offers a bulk discount on orders as small as 10 copies, with the savings going as high as 50% for especially large orders.
If your church does adopt The Pietist Option for small groups, please drop us a line to let us know how things went. What especially resonated? What prompted the richest discussion? Where did we fall short?Is there a follow-up book (or series of book) to be written on Pietism in the 21st century?
Write an Amazon review or blog post
Like it or not, there’s little chance of this book reaching a truly wide audience if it doesn’t generate some momentum at Amazon.com, the 800-pound gorilla of publishing. (Where The Pietist Option — as of the writing of this post — can currently be pre-ordered for 23% off the list price.) So once the book drops on October 3rd, please consider writing a short review, especially if you purchased the book from Amazon. (“Verified purchases” move up the list of reviews.)
Or if you’re a fellow blogger, please consider writing a review, or even doing a chapter-by-chapter series of responses or reflections. In addition to spreading the word, that gives Mark and me some helpful feedback and moves the conversation forward — at least within the virtual conventicle of your readership.
Share a quotation or “quote graphic”
Once you’ve got the book yourself and start reading it, an easy way to spread the word via social media is to post a favorite quotation from a favorite chapter, perhaps adding a link to the book on Amazon or another retailer. (Barnes and Noble also has the book available at a 23% discount today.)
Or you could simply use these appealing “quote graphics” that IVP has generated. Feel free to download any or all of the images, then upload them to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Share this Anxious Bench post
Based on an article I wrote for the current issue of our denominational magazine, “4 Steps to the Renewal of Evangelicalism” is my best attempt to summarize what we mean by “Pietist option” and what it could look like in practice. It’s particularly aimed at a broad evangelical audience, but I’m sure much of what it suggests would be relevant in a mainline Protestant or Anglican context as well.