Wen I finished the first draft of Follow, I thought about who I would like to have write the Foreword. I wanted to find someone who understood what we are doing at Restoration that could lend some credibility and also speak some wisdom into the book. A good foreword helps lend some credibility to a book, but I'm looking for a different kind of credibility. Follow is not for people who usually read Christian books. It's not meant to be safe or to be promoted on Christian radio. Follow is for disciple-makers on the front line and for brand new Christians burning up the darkness with the fire of the Holy Spirit.
I was looking for front-line credibility for this book, I needed someone punk rock. I needed someone from the front lines, someone who is more comfortable sharing Jesus in a bar than in a cathedral, someone who knows the homeless man on the corner and has seen Jesus restore addicts and businessmen, prostitutes and pastors. If I could describe in human terms what such a man looks like in the spirit, he would have an eye patch and smoke a pipe. He would carry a chainsaw in a sheath on his back next to a pistol grip shotgun. As he entered a room, Rage Against the Machine would play automatically to put demons on notice. He'd be the kind of guy that you were at once scared of and safe with. His tears are made of moonshine, and his arms are made of oak. Of course, in the physical realm, such a man would be kind and unassuming. He would lift Jesus up and rely on the Holy Spirit. His love for people would be be supernatural, and his trust in God would be unmeasurable. He would be relentless in his effort to make disciples and little else would matter. That's the kind of guy I needed to write this foreword.
One day while writing sermons for Rick Warren, he asked me if he could contribute a foreword. I told him "no" because it wasn't his purpose. (That last sentence is false). Then, one day Steve Furtick asked if he could write it, but I told him the sun would have to stand still to give him the time to do it. (Also, a false sentence.) Those guys are worried about my upcoming series of "one up" books where I take popular christian titles and "one up them". Steve Furtick, better watch out. Soon I'll be writing "Greatest" in response to his hit Greater. Rick Warren, watch for me to write "Purpose Driven Eternity." Look for Brian Williams to do the story on my up and coming Christian author fame. (I'm kidding about all of this.)
The serious truth is I knew that the right voice to write the foreword would be serial church planter, Peyton Jones. He is author of Church Zero: Raising 1st Century Churches out of the Ashes of the 21st Century Church, founder of New Breed Church Planting, Managing Editor of Church Planter Magazine, and Co-Host of the Church Planter Podcast. Peyton has been planting churches for the last several years. Like Paul, he doesn't stick around to get comfortable. Every couple years, he and his family move on to the next mission field. God sends Peyton to a place where he swings the machete of truth, carving through the darkness to establish an outpost of God's Kingdom. Peyton's influence has been invaluable in our process of church planting. He's the right guy to write the foreward for a book like mine.
I sent Peyton a Facebook message that said something like: "I know I'm an unknown pastor, but I wrote a book and would love to have you write the foreword." Peyton graciously agreed, probably before he realized that I was not a famous author being humble. He took valuable time out of an already full schedule to read Follow and write a foreword. It was an act of service for which I will continually be thankful.
Take some time and look into the things Peyton Jones has going on. Read Church Zero as soon as you get the chance. It is the most valuable book I know of to explain what we are doing at Restoration. Look into Church Planter Magazine. He's doing some good work for the Kingdom of God.
By the way, don't forget that Follow releases on Kindle March 7th (That's one week away!). Mark your calendar to go on and download your copy that day. Also, be on the lookout for the paperback copy to release soon after!