Before I get too far into the book itself, it’s probably worth chronicling how we got to this point. Jess and I, years ago, found ourselves working at Taylor University helping twentysomethings figure out “what’s next.” (We’re still doing this work, we just aren’t “new” at it anymore.) Early on, we kept running into twentysomethings stuck on some really important questions, questions that all fell under this big, beautiful, and sometimes scary idea of vocation (calling).
We looked around for resources to help us in our efforts to better guide and equip those we worked among to navigate their twenties with purpose and meaning. We found lots of resources for professionals in their thirties and forties (just google “faith and work”), and more and more available for mothers navigating calling. What seemed lacking was a helpful resource to encourage twentysomethings to discover faithful trajectories here and now; a resource that provided the depth and richness of vocation without prescribing simple formulas for success.
So we decided to create our own. But first, we needed to take the pulse of twentysomethings in our midst, learn from them. We interviewed and surveyed college students and young professionals. We conducted focus groups. We talked to influencers of Millennials, and started turning that knowledge into practical resources. We’ve done this under the auspices of The Vocation in College Project.
That led Jess and I to design interactive, guided resources to lead twentysomethings through in classroom and seminar formats. These early journals, to our pleasant surprise, were a hit. Those that participated experienced growth in their understanding of themselves, their communities, and their role to play in them.
Word began to spread, and leaders from other colleges and young professional groups started asking us for copies of our journals. This was encouraging, except for one problem: The journals required us to be physically present to “set up” the exercises; otherwise they didn’t make any sense.
Jess and I couldn’t be in that many places at one time. We were faced with an issue of scale. Fortunately, we had a phone call with Andrew Wolgemuth, a literary agent for Wolgemuth and Associates. Andrew was a crucial voice of challenge and encouragement. He quickly caught the vision of what we were trying to do, and challenged us to make it better. He agreed to represent us, and Jess and I spent weeks working on a proposal for Andrew to send around to publishers.
Shopping a proposal around is a strange process. After a lot of communication back and forth…and a lot of waiting, we agreed to terms with NavPress. We’re thrilled to say the least. While there are certainly bigger publishers out there, NavPress is the perfect fit for this project. A good friend of ours well-versed in the publishing world put it to me this way: “NavPress is playing moneyball, and they’re doing it really, really well.” By this he meant that they don’t necessarily publish books by big name authors, but they take strategic risks on emerging authors. There were many publishers that loved what we were doing, but were scared to take the risk on a book project geared towards Millennials (read: If you are a Millennial, publishers think you won’t read books). NavPress saw the vision and have agreed to work with us to bring what Jess and I have learned to print.
Ok, back to the book itself. We will keep the essence of our journals in tact, but preface them with brief chapters that “set up” the exercises. In other words, if you buy the book, you won’t have to be cornered into buying some other workbook. It’ll all be rolled into the book, designed for either the individual or the group journey.
Oh, and the book is set to release April 2018. If you are in your twenties, we’d love for your to consider giving Ready or Not a try. If you work with twentysomethings, we hope this book will be a powerful resource for you in your work/ministry. Stay. Tuned.