Not the band.
These days it’s sort of trendy or something to talk about “the Why.” Coaches will often tell you, when you begin one of their programs, that in order to make what you’re learning with them “stick,” you need to be in tune to your most powerful motivation for doing it–that is “your Why.” Ideally, your Why is not the opinions of another person or group of people.
However, if you’re creating a coaching program, or a spiritual formation program, or writing a book, it is kind of helpful to be at least a little bit attuned to what other people think or want or are interested in, and then to narrow that down from “other people” to “specific other people.” In other words, the Who. Historically, I have trouble nailing down an audience. Which might be why I don’t have a Large Enough Social Media Platform (yet), I suppose. I don’t know. Mostly I just operate from a sort of “when the student is ready, the teacher appears” approach, or, as I put it when I talk about my church or this Pilgrimage or my books, “If you want it, it’s for you.”
This doesn’t work very well for book proposals, though, so when I put together the one for Follower, I zoomed in on Deconstructing Christians. Then one of the literary agents who affirmed my project said, “Your audience might be too narrow. There are other Christians who would get a lot out of this book.”
This morning I worked on updating my proposal, and as I redrew the lines for the audience of that one book, it occurred to me that it’s the same audience for this whole work of metaphorical Pilgrimage. So in case you were wondering, this is who the Pilgrimage (and Follower–and probably the other books I’ve got percolating in my brain) is for:
- Deconstructing Christians who are attempting to hang onto Jesus while jettisoning the trappings that harmed them
- Reconstructing Christians seeking a way back “home” without the toxicity
- Churched Christians feeling unsettled by the familiar—or by injustices they are discovering in the church
- Lay leaders desiring effective new ways to care for other believers before they, too, jump ship
- Pastors and teachers seeking a fresh way into familiar stories
- Individuals curious about stages of faith
In short–if you want it, it’s for you. You’re the Who.