Last Friday was my last day at Thomas Nelson. I can still remember Sam Moore, during a conversation in his office, saying, "Hire him!" That was six years ago and the beginning of what I believe to be a calling from God and unbelievable privilege to work with a team of committed people who want to help people find's Gods voice through His word. I'm humbled and deeply grateful for my time there.
We were able to develop some incredible products and concepts over the last six years:
Million Bible Challenge. We all thought that the goal of 1 million Bibles in twelve months was staggering. Little did we know that between Nelson, retailers and local churches we'd surpass that goal in FIVE MONTHS. To date, I think nearly six million of these Bibles have been given away. Incredible.
Word of Promise. When Carl Amari came to us with this idea we were excited and thrilled to have him as a partner. After an incredible launch of the New Testament two years ago this multi-award-winning product came alive again this year with the release of the full Bible. Over 600 actors, award winning score, 5.1 sound. At times we felt like we were docking the Queen Mary, but the team pulled it all together and it's a certified best selling product that gives people a new way to experience God's word.
Chronological Study BIble. This idea was a combination shower idea and retail experience. When I presented the concept to the team, they dug deep and developed a beautiful, 4-color product that's been at or near the top of best-seller lists since its release a little over a year ago. Like Word of Promise and many other of our products, it served as another way for people to seek and discover God's word through a unique and different format.
Felt Need Merchandising. This was an inside and outside team challenge. My retail experience combined with Barna research and the folks at cult branding developed a system that helps customers find bibles by how they want to shop, instead of terms they don't understand. Nelson's Bible marketing and sales teams did the rest and most every retailer who adopted the system experienced double-digit growth. Not bad.
Expanded Bible. Yet another shower idea that the team took to a new level. I knew many people who used the Amplified Bible, yet the base translation is dated. The scholar team led by Trempor Longman helped us develop an outstanding alternative that not only has alternate meanings, but helps the reader understand culture, other uses of the words, context and much more. I'm excited to see the full Bible.
The Voice. Perhaps the freshest and most intriguing translation of the BIble in many years. The Voice works from the original manuscripts and, unlike most Bibles, keeps the text in the original "voice" of the writer. It is typeset in screen play format for easy reading during worship and presents compelling commentary and help for the reader. It's truly a partnership between artist and scholar and the final work received rave reviews.
The authors. What a privilege to work with Max Lucado, John MacArthur, John Maxwell, Charles Stanley, Henry Blackaby and other pastors and teachers. These men of God truly love God's word and helping others discover it.
There were other products, milestones and campaigns that we accomplished. Each one designed to help people find God's voice more easily and more directly.
I'll miss working with this team of professionals (sorry, I'd list names, but know I'd forget someone, you know who you are and you know your contribution).
God's called me to a new chapter in my life. I feel as strongly as I did six years ago of that calling. Since 1992 my life mission has been to put life changing materials into the hands of people who need them and I appreciate Thomas Nelson giving me an opportunity to continue that mission through the BIble Group.