Better Late Than Never

Have you ever asked someone to do something and then regretted it? I’ve known for about 20 years that I’m supposed to write a book—or maybe even books. So, over the years, I’ve asked a handful of people to nudge me about writing one. You know, hold me accountable. Whenever I saw these people they would ask, “Hey, have you written your book yet?” It grew quite painful to always answer, “No.”

Now…finally, my answer to that question is a joyful, “Yes!” As many of you know, Pastor Greg Surratt and I have written a book together.

Pastor Greg was approached by a publisher who encouraged him to write a book about his desire to help leaders get healthy and build healthy churches. They had heard about the retreat and his efforts to get leaders together and give them a safe place to connect, rest, and process what’s really going on in their lives. Pastor Greg told the publisher he would write the book if he could include a friend in the process. That friend was me.

The publisher had a particular deadline in mind that accelerated the project much faster than most books. An experienced writer assisted us, helping shape the outline and, probably more importantly, the timeline. He was immensely helpful in keeping Pastor Greg and I on track, which can be a bit of a challenge at times. We started the process in March with the expectation that the book would be out and available by August 2023.

“Two people are better than one, for they can help each other succeed.” –Ecclesiastes 4:9 

Pastor Greg and I are wired differently and have had different journeys getting to this point in our lives. He has built an amazing church, created and led a church-planting organization, the Association of Related Churches (ARC), and after transitioning the church to his son, he’s built a retreat center to minister to leaders that aims to help them live well and finish strong.

I have been a pastor for about the same amount of time with one significant difference. My wiring and gifting led me to minister to leaders from a counseling perspective. I’ve spent decades meeting with individuals, couples, and their organizations attempting to identify blind spots and blockages to their growth and progress.

Our differences have multiplied the impact we can have. It has been a joy and a challenge to work together in shaping our ministry to leaders. Our book, The Endurance Factor aims to help everyone become intentional in their efforts to avoid burnout, live well, and finish strong.

The actual writing of the book was made easier by our decision to separate the chapters into “Greg’s Take” and Chip’s Take.” It prevented us from having to strategize and compromise on the content and tone of everything each of us said. By giving our own separate take, we were able to think and write more freely. It has been a great experience and has resolved one of my long-standing sources of pain and regret. Now when someone asks, “Have you written your book?” I am able to say, “Yes. Stop asking me.”

It’s better late than never.