January 24, 2021

Mere Churchianity Update

I just got some very exciting news: The release date for Michael Spencer’s Mere Churchianity has been moved up from September 15 to June 15. Waterbrook, a division of Random House, has seen the presales–many of which I am sure are coming from the iMonk community–continue to be strong. An eBook version should be available at the same time as the print version of the book. The fact that they are moving up the release date shows how much they believe in this title.

We are trying to find some fun and unique ways to promote the release of Mere Churchianity. There is no more creative bunch around than the iMonk folk. What are some ideas we can employ to let people know they need to stop everything on Tuesday, June 15, run to their local bookstore, buy a copy of Michael’s book, and read it? Then go buy ten more copies to give away. No idea is too crazy. (Well, actually many of your ideas are too crazy, but I think it is too late to change you all now.)

We will be posting the first chapter here soon, just to whet your appetite. Once again, I have read the entire manuscript, and you will not be disappointed. This is vintage Michael Spencer. Oh, there are some pastors-as-CEOs who will not be happy. As I said, it is vintage Michael.


  1. Jeff,

    I and the fellows over at the Boars Head Tavern are going to do a book read through together. The exact details haven’t been hammered out, but we intend to read, post discussions, and feedback for every part of the book. Maybe we could promote this as part of a larger community read through?

    Mark N

  2. Ooh, ooh! Can I order a copy for my pastor?

    Oh wait, he and a couple men’s ministry leaders already flame-broiled two of us for daring to suggest their annual men’s ministry//rock concert might not have been as effective as they liked to believe. So maybe that wouldn’t be a good idea, huh?

  3. The Guy from Knoxville says

    Oh my – I had that expereince with a former pastor when I emailed him a post that Michael wrote on a young lady having found a home in the catholic church insted of protestant – I thought it was good…… he hated it and had me for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack. Great fun! Maybe you should get it and give it to him anyway – the ones that you know will blow a gasket are probably the ones most in need of reading it. After I emailed that post and got the fire breathing response I wrote Michael and told him about it and he suggested that I probably shouldn’t do that again or at least think very long and hard about before I do and shortly after that on one of his first podcasts he referenced that incident because I thought I might loos my organist job at that church over that little incident.

    I’ve already pre-ordered via Amazon and really glad it’s being released in June insted of September….. it will be great fun reading it, commenting on it and others reactions to it. Even in this difficult time for all of us there is so much to look forward to – only Michael could have pulled this off. Well, actually God has been in control of this all along so Michael had the best help of all doing this!

  4. It would be fun if some larger liturgically minded churches used the book as a free giveaway/ publicity stunt as a riff on the sorts of publicity stunts large “megachurch” churches do.

  5. I pre-ordered it through Amazon so I can’t wait to get it early. I know I won’t be disappointed.

  6. Thanks Jeff. I am gearing up to promote Michael’s one and only book big time in my neck of the midwest. His ideas had such a wide and varied audience for a reason: the mind of Christ is stirring things up in the staid, land-locked, institutional church (that I’m part of…..thank you)

    You can’t stop the work of GOD: and DEATH cannot either.
    The REZ just keeps comin’
    Greg R

  7. Darn,

    I ordered 10 as Christmas gifts. Now what am I going to do if the book comes out in June?

    Have a promotional contest maybe?!?

  8. I ordered my copy. I want it to succeed for Michael’s sake and for his family. Also looking forward to the iMonk compendium.

  9. I really, really, need to come up with the money to buy that book.

  10. Thinking of ordering a second copy to donate to a local Bible school…

  11. Facebook? LinkedIn?

  12. When Alan Creech made and sold rosaries to donate the proceeds to Michael and Denise, one Baptist member here said what a good idea that was and wondered what Baptists could do and then he tongue-in-cheek replied to himself, “Have a bake sale?” Well, I am trying to come up with something else creative concerning Michael’s book. Everything I am thinking of sounds kind of complicated. Like, I was thinking someone with artistic talent could draw up a cartoon depicting something that Michael has written about through the years. Then, anyone that wants to come up with a funny caption would do so, but in order to participate, they would PayPal $1 to whoever (Jeff?) wanted to maintain the money. Then, at the end, we vote on who had the funniest caption. The winner gets three of the books to do with what they want and all the other money goes to buying more books to be sent where Denise would like them to go. The problem with this plan is that someone could come up with a very funny caption right at the beginning that no one thinks they could beat so they may not participate and therefore not much money would be raised for the books. How about some others ideas that you folks could come up with?

    Remember how great it was when there was a woman from another blog who was upset that Michael was advertising Alan’s rosaries on his site and she (or her husband?) drew up a funny cartoon depicting Michael leading goats? Michael LOVED the cartoon and I think he even asked her to make it into a T-shirt for him and she did. It’s things like that, I think, that would bring people like this woman into looking closer at what Michael has to say. I don’t know if she ever became a “imonk fan” but she did take on a less acerbic tone, I believe.

  13. Rediscover the ancient traditions of Christendom! Claim for yourself a share in the practices of the universal Church! Blend the best of ancient and modern!

    Free indulgences with every purchase! Buy five or more, and you get a bonus copy of the Enchiridion (handbook of indulgences) for your own personal use!


  14. Promo it as an “it’s in the mail” father’s day present as it is usally around this time period. This could be done for the general population but if you have access to a denominational/pastor’s network (assuming male), this would be really good for their spouse/family to see.

  15. I’ve been pinching my pennies for this one. Really excited to read and share it. My blog, Facebook account & Twitter account will be on board to help spread the word, for what that is worth.


  16. If you pre order through the link on this site, I suspect a percent goes back to denise through the Amazon resellers program –

  17. I already ordered 6 copies before he died. I may get another 6.

  18. Ooh, can’t wait! Maybe I’ll order one for me and one for the church library. My pastor has probably already pre-ordered it.

  19. SearchingAnglican says

    This is such good news! I can’t wait to read it!!!!

    A very simple blog-based “Mere Churchianity” study guide/discussion board would be a great way to raise awareness about and prolong interest in the book. Plus, if you do something blog based that is well optimized for keyword search terms, Google will do a nice job of leading people to the site because of the relevent postings/topics discussed. And the iMonk legacy grows. And the kingdom is strengthened.

    I also think sharing Michael’s compelling story leading up to the book’s release could be spread far and wide throughout the blogosphere…tapping bloggers to review the in advance of the launch, perhaps with early copies. We can see from the many, many mentions about Michael’s death that there is a large audience out there. And the clicks continue. I know you’re a professional, Jeff, so you probably have things like this already in the works.

    On the ground, I hope to use his book as part of a study group at my church. Of course, Jared Wilson’s “Your Jesus is too Safe” is next, and after that, I might be labeled as a troublemaker and barred from suggesting books for awhile – HAH!

    I pre-ordered five to give away to unsuspecting friends. If any of you here at iMonk can’t afford to buy the book yourself, pls reply to this posting and we’ll figure something out. I would be glad to order a few more.

    How about figuring a way to get in with the college parachurch crowds? May not time well with the launch in June, but I suspect his book will deeply resonante with that age group. I work on a college campus, and I have a student or two among my “unsuspecting friends”.

    I would love to see a conference emerge out of the theme’s/content of this book…although I’m mostly a lurker, I think I’d make a trip to almost anywhere…but I digress from suggestions launch-related activities.


  20. I just pre-ordered it on my Kindle2 – it is $9.99 (I am glad b/c they have been trying to jack up the prices on e-books lately on Amazon), but apparently Amazon didn’t get the memo about the earlier release date. It noted that the book will be delivered to my kindle2 on September 7, 2010. Hopefully, it will come in June instead.

  21. You know, one of the best things might be if some visible Christian celebrity or church would say it should be banned. But these things tend to be accidental, not planned.

    Or, what if Bono was seen walking around with it? Couldn’t hurt to send him a copy.

    (You said you wanted far-out ideas.)

    • Ann Marie wrote, “Or, what if Bono was seen walking around with it? Couldn’t hurt to send him a copy. ”

      I like that, Ann Marie!

  22. I think I’ll suggest it as a bible study in my church. I was planning on reading it before doing so, but I might plant the idea now and give it some time to take root. I think a lot of people would benefit from some good classic i-monk.

  23. Oh, yes please! Public read-through and discussion. Love that idea. Would be nice if it could occur simultaneously with BHT reading.

    And thanks for the re-running of iMonk classics lately, as well as the preserving of the blog.

    I miss Michael. I know I have a lot of company in that.

  24. From a marketing perspective, two approaches come to mind: one or more high-profile positive promotions and/or reviews of the book (i.e. Christian radio show, reivew in Christianity Today or similar magazine, etc.); and social marketing or “buzz” (facebook, myspace, twitter, church groups, word of mouth, etc.). If anyone in the iMonk community knows high-profile Christians, now might be the time to contact them and ask them to read and recommend this book. OTOH, I’ve seen toomany occasions in which Jesus got lost in all the marketing and programmiing, and that’s the last thing I’d want to happen to Michael’s work. Another part of me agrees that a call to ban the book from some of the whackier prominent evangelicals might just do a world of good. So I’m conflicted yet full of hope and faith about how God will use this work!

    I’ll start by bying a few advanced copies and recommending it to all my friends in real life and cyberspace. Peace.

    • SearchingAnglican says

      A Facebook ad campaign is a relatively affordable form of advertising, too. I have found it particularly helpful in the niche marketing of certain online certificates and degree programs I’m responsible for at my university.

      You can select demographics based on interests, hobbies, etc. that members self-report. I did a quick search, and there are a lot of potential keywords that come to mind, in fairly large numbers. I would be happy to do additional research and put a demo ad together if you need that assistance, Jeff.


  25. I don’t have any particular suggestions for doing anything special on the day itself. However, as the (de facto!) manager of my Catholic Church’s small bookstore/gift shop, I have ordered 5 copies (in addition to one for myself!) which I plan to feature prominently in our store. Perhaps anyone who reads iMonk could make sure their own church’s bookstore/gift shop/library has some copies in stock. Perhaps you could even offer to donate them yourself!

  26. i am willing to bet Steve Brown, Michael Horton, and Drew Marshall would be willing to interview someone about the book.

  27. Clay Knick says

    I’m sure to get one!

  28. This is great news, and I know people are excited to read Michael’s book.

    I’ll ditto the Facebook group requests. As funny as it might be to have “Justin became a fan of Mere Churchianity” up there, I think it would be great for both IM/BHT fans to pre-promote the book, and it also might be a place to talk about the book after it comes out.

    Otherwise, this might be a “Buy Multiple Copies” book — one pre-ordered, one when it comes out in the store (provided there’s enough room between the Worship DVDs and the self-help books by successful pastors.)

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