On the Privilege of Being a Christian Publisher

This month marks a transition for Energion Publications and for me as company owner. It was seven years ago this month that I decided to buy out what was to become Energion, which consisted of a couple of comb bound books and a storage room stuffed with copies of Who’s Afraid of the Old Testament God?. Those were the fourth edition.

We long ago got rid of all comb bound titles, but during August we sold the very last copy of the fourth edition of Who’s Afraid. We’re in the process of issuing the fifth edition, which should start shipping around September 19. We’re delighted to be able to provide the new edition, because while it doesn’t change the text of the book, it does provide a much nicer format.

I had worked with the organization that published the materials I bought out, so I have been involved in publishing for a longer period of time than Energion has been in existence, but over the last seven years I have experienced a great deal of hardship and a great deal of joy. It’s not easy developing a publishing company at this time. Yes, the industry is expanding in terms of the number of books published, but is not proportionately expanding in the number sold.

But the thing that came to my mind the most as I thought about this transition was simply the privilege of doing what I do. Authors are incredible people, and our authors are special. I recall contacting Alden Thompson, author of Who’s Afraid of the Old Testament God? after a period of more than 15 years. His first question? “How are things with your soul?”

We have authors who range in age from their early twenties to mid nineties. We have men and women, clergy and laity. We’re located in the United States, but not all of our authors are. All of our authors are involved in some sort of ministry, and almost all have at least gone on a short term mission overseas. Others have retired after a lifetime of service spanning continents. Many direct their royalties to missions or other service projects.

These are people who are passionate about what they do and what they hope to accomplish for the Kingdom of God. Whenever I’m thinking that an author is temperamental, I remember the passion that drives them and I’m thankful for it and for them.

Yes, for me this is to some extent about making a living, though I still subsidize the effort through computer work. At the same time it is a mission as well. I have the opportunity to bring people together in conversation who might not otherwise meet. I get to bring to you, the public, manuscripts that might not otherwise be made available. I have the hope that each thing published by Energion will build someone’s faith and help them grow in the Lord.

So at this transition I simply want to thank the Lord for the last seven years, and look forward to more.

“I keep pursuing the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly call in the Messiah Jesus.” – Philippians 3:14 (ISV)

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