By God’s grace, we’ve printed 135,000 copies of the various Gospel Meditations devotionals. That’s a staggering number. How did it happen? What’s the backstory of the books? Well, it all began with Mother’s Day.
It all began with Mother’s Day
Churches often struggle to find “just the right gift” to give out to mothers each year on Mother’s Day. We’ve done carnations, potted plants, chocolate, and mugs. But it’s a challenge to find something meaningful on a $5 budget. That “first world problem” led Joe Tyrpak and me to produce a devotional for the ladies we were privileged to pastor together at Tri-County Bible Church in 2009. We each took 15 sermons and Bible studies from the previous year and condensed them into practical, one-page devotionals. Our goal was to provide meaty expositions of Scripture, more intentionally doctrinal than typical “light” daily devotionals. We determined to end each day’s challenge with a practical, gospel-centered application: “Let the gospel…” Joe, who has a graphic design degree, formatted them into a beautiful booklet, which we called Gospel 24/7. We printed them on our church copier, gave them out to moms in our church, and moved on with life and ministry.
A year later, in response to requests from ladies outside our church, we endeavored to make the devotionals available to a wider audience. We reformatted the original devotional into Gospel Meditations for Women and ordered 1,000 copies, prepared to lose the little bit of capital and time we had invested in them.
BOOM! We had no idea that they’d be so well received. We sold 4,500 that first year. We could barely keep up with them. I still remember a working pizza party at my home, during which our two families filled over 100 orders (the post photo above is from that day). That first year, many of the orders arrived in diaper boxes. True story. Dignity is so overrated.
We shipped many of those first orders in diaper boxes!
Since then we’ve published 9 editions in the Gospel Meditations series: Women, Men, Missions, Prayer, the Hurting, the Church, the Reformation, Christmas, and now Mothers. We’ve written with respected friends like Tim Keesee, Carl Trueman, Dave Doran, Hannah Anderson, and others. We’ve had kind endorsements from people like Al Mohler, Thabiti Anyabwile, Milton Vincent, Sam Horn, Michael Barrett, Phil Johnson, and Derek Thomas. What a joy it has been to see these Christ-centered lessons used around the world!
Our most recent edition is Gospel Meditations for Mothers, available in time for Mother’s Day, if you hurry. (We can fill orders we receive by Monday, May 7.) Our next edition is Gospel Meditations for Fathers, available next month, in time for Father’s Day.
Upcoming editions will focus on Students and then Children, Lord willing. We hope they’ll continue to be a blessing to Christ’s church. At the very least, they last longer than carnations and are more beneficial than chocolates! After all, it all started with Mother’s Day.