In publishing, there are two types of authors.
1. Those who observe patterns
2. Those who create patterns
The first group observes, takes notes, and searches for meaning. For example, a marriage counselor hearing the same thing over and over, keeping track, and noticing that these words, behaviors, or beliefs nearly always result in these responses. She wonders why and searches for the meaning behind the evidence. Books like this often sell well because they’re rooted in what’s true.
The second group has a hunch. They know it’s probably true, so they collect anecdotes to substantiate the hunch. Maybe there’s even a biblical passage to serve as a metaphor. “The five loaves, the two fish, and the twelve baskets.” These books sell OK for a while with a nice cover and an author who does seminars.
But books from the first group actually help people.
As we pay close attention to our students, listening carefully, noticing patterns, comparing notes with others, and then searching Scripture to discover what’s going on … we stand the chance of bringing just the right mix of truth to our groups.
That’s the type of truth that sets people free.