As well as working for a publisher, I’m also involved on a voluntary or bare-bones consultancy basis with a number of other projects. This is one of the latter. I only work outside of work, paid or unpaid, on things I believe are good – so this is a recommendation, with full transparency that I was paid to give some advice and direction on the project.
Ever since I was a young person, and through some years where I was quite involved with youth work at my local church and in parachurch contexts, I’ve been conscious that we often short-change and patronise young people with the resources we produce for them. Dumbed down, easy answers, poorly packaged and often stapled together – I remember being really encouraged by the physical design of the ‘moleskin-style’ UNCOVER gospels that UCCF produced – the first ‘Christian’ product that I felt had a tangible quality that matched the content and didn’t get in the way of the message.
I’ve also always had a passion to engage with the Bible – to see in my life and then lives of those around me the fruit of Bible reading. So when a mutual friend put me in touch with a trio of folk interested in producing a good devotional resource for young people, I was simultaneously sceptical and intrigued. Three things got me hooked, though, and it’s been exciting to see the finished product come together:
- The obvious, prayerful passion that Chedz, Beca and Daniel have for connecting the Bible to young people in a way that, as their tag line puts it ‘turns bible reading into Bible living’.
- The design – I’m not an aesthetically gifted person, but Beca has done a great job in putting good content (that invites you to read the Bible and live in the light of it) in a good format, with each double page spread having a different ‘feel’, and covering the full range of life and Scripture.
- The care – these three wanted a) to produce something useful and beautiful, b) to do it well, and c) to do it in a way that made sure copyright law was honoured, etc. So many self published projects fall foul of something – either by not knowing what they don’t know, or by not being carefully checked. The authors’ care was evident throughout – and it was a joy to see.
Apply came out at the start of December, and they’ve already sold out of their first print run. You can still order a copy from St Andrews Bookshop here, or if you want to buy a lot (like, more than 20), you can contact the team directly. I think Apply is a great resource, and I hope to see the team produce more in the same format and style in the years to come.
Check back on this post – I’ve got an interview with the team ready to come out soon, and I’ll also share some thoughts on how to use Apply in different ways and contexts.