I sent this message to some friends and got a little bit of discussion going, but I'd like to open it up more: I get lots of ideas. Some are good, and some aren't good upon greater reflection, but it's fun to entertain them. And if they go somewhere, great. I'd like some thoughts from y'all on one of my latest ones.
Since getting on Goodreads, I've been struck by just how many churchy books I should read, and want to have read, but don't want to actually read. And I wonder if you feel the same. I'm talking about the "missional leadership for the blah blah" books, not the more devotional stuff. You can spend all your time reading church administration if you aren't careful.
But there IS useful stuff in a lot of those books.
Then I got to thinking about the RevGalBlogPals blog and how useful it is as a ministry resource. And they have a feature on there, RevGalBookPals. Here's the most recent one. Really good reviews can give you the gist of a book. But reviews aren't quite enough; you need more of a summary. A colleague of mine once sent me an executive summary for a business book he thought I'd find useful. I guess there is a service you can subscribe to.
So then I thought--would there be a market for "executive" summaries of church administration books? I'm not talking about a paid market (or am I?), but enough people to make it worthwhile. Sort of a swap thing. So let's say I just finished reading Friedman's A Failure of Nerve, and I've outlined it in 2-3 pages or whatever. Someone else has read Introverts in the Church and outlined it. So I have access to the latter book's summary since I've contributed to the pool.
As a rule, I don't outline books as I read them, but if it meant a ticket to other books' outlines, I might. But would other people?
Robert is skeptical because he says that people get different things out of books. I think that's just the nature of the game. The books you're most interested in, you'll read. The books you're less interested in but that might still be useful, you might read a summary of, and that would be adequate.
Two primary considerations of this idea, beyond whether there's a market for it: there'd have to be some mechanism for distribution, as well as some basic level of quality control.
What do you think?