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Thoughts from a Christian Writers Conference

Thoughts from a Christian Writers Conference

“Hi, My name is Jeremy,” I said with a confident business-like demeanour. It was just the agent and I, a respected man who represents many well-known Christian authors. We had 10 minutes together for me to convince him why my book on head covering should be considered for traditional publishing. I continued introducing myself, “and I’m the founder of the Head Covering Movement”. As soon as I mentioned “head covering”, I knew the pitch was finished. Instantly, his face soured. “The topic strikes you as odd?” I asked, knowing how he would answer. “Uhhh…yeah” he responded back quickly in a condescending tone. He didn’t need to say anything else, his face said it all. “Look, he said” in a straightforward manner, “we’re not about bringing things from the past, back into the church”. I tried my best to make my case–to tell him of the growing movement and how this is biblically founded. It didn’t sway him. “Let me ask you a question” I said. He gave me the okay to proceed. “You have authors who are published with large ecumenical publishers, who publish everything from progressive to very conservative.” He nodded in agreement. “Then why can’t there be a book on head covering?” I asked, genuinely trying to understand. “Your not going to like my answer” he said, “it’s just too fringe”. His answer didn’t surprise me–there is a tremendous amount of baggage that comes with the topic of head covering. Frumpiness, legalism and unsophisticated theology are all negative (and unfair) associations with this doctrine. “Let me be honest with you” he continued, “you’re fighting an uphill battle”. That much I knew was true. I left the conversation reminded of what it feels like to be looked at as an odd minority. A struggle most women who stand alone in covering can relate to.

I had many more conversations throughout the conference and thankfully none were as difficult as the first. A few conservative Mennonites (both wearing a covering) were intrigued and glad that I was writing on this topic. One book editor was sympathetic to my view as he attends a brethren chapel where about half of the women cover their heads. He told me that it’s only the older generation that practices it, not the younger. Another editor counselled me to self-publish, as even the ecumenical publisher she works for would not have interest in this “niche”. The more I learned, the more I could see the wisdom in self-publishing and I believe it is what I will pursue. The mainstream Christian market is just not ready for this topic yet and they won’t be until the conversation gets louder and the numbers grow. More men will need to take the lead in studying this topic, and walk their wives through it. More women will need to trust their husbands and be willing to stand out and stand alone, for God. More pastors and bible teachers will need to preach and teach on this neglected passage of Scripture, despite how uncomfortable it will be. Everyone who cares about this movement has a part to play and it’s not going to be easy for anyone. I’m in this with you. I can’t allow discouragement or rejection to make me quiet or cause me to quit. One of the symbols that God gave us, is despised by some and forgotten by many. I’m not okay with that. Women are hurting emotionally from being belittled due to practicing it. I’m not okay with that. Biblical manhood and womanhood, heterosexual marriage and other Christian symbol’s (like Baptism and the Lord’s Supper) are at risk of being left behind when competing views are taken to their logical conclusion. I’m not okay with that! The conference had it’s ups-and-downs emotionally, but I’m not going to let rejection stop me. Will you let it stop you?

Jeremy Gardiner

Jeremy is the founder of the Head Covering Movement and the author of Head Covering: A Forgotten Christian Practice for Modern Times. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and is a member of Fellowship Baptist Church. He is a husband to Amanda and father to four young children. Jeremy is also the founder and operator of Gospel eBooks, a popular website that provides alerts for free and discounted Christian e-books.

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  • Trinka Jeffery

    “More men will need to take the lead in studying this topic, and walk
    their wives through it. More women will need to trust their husbands and
    be willing to stand out and stand alone, for God.”

    There are a great many single women out there (one of whom I am) who practice this principle. The issue is church order … not marriage.

  • mrsyowler

    Jeremy keep on going. If God put this in your heart you have to finish the race. I’ve been working on a book for 10 years and contacted a famous writer (I don’t want to share who). She has more than fifteen books published and told me that the book she is most famous for was rejected by a few publishers. A friend of mine is a publisher and author, his advice to me, ‘ask yourself why you are writing what your writing’. If it is something you feel God is leading you to do than you know He’s the one your writing for.

  • Joyce

    So was the bottom line regarding being too ‘fringe’ – dollars? It might not sell? I expected this but figured if anyone could convince them – you could. Bless you Jeremy for trying… and not giving up! If God is for us… who can be against us. It’s His teaching after all. Yep – we are a minority and I often find myself in tears… not over this issue alone – but the repercussions of it in my life. So often, I too, find myself saying…. ‘I’m not ok w/ that’… meaning views that are ‘popular’ but don’t line up w/ scripture. He will never leave us or forsake us. And while the Way IS narrow – there is always room for Jesus to walk beside us. Be encouraged this day! You are making a difference to the seeking hearts…

    • Thanks Joyce, love your heart and appreciate the encouragement. With the agent interview (the first one I mentioned) I never got to the “platform” to show how it could sell. The content itself turned him off, so it wasn’t about sales for him. However, I’m sure there’s some out there that would be willing to take a chance on the content if it fits their publishing house and they’re convinced it would sell.

      A former book editor gave me specific numbers if I do it myself (self-publishing) that would intrigue them to pick up the book (so they would re-issue the book under their publishing house). That is 20k blog followers, 5k e-book sales and 1-2k paper book sales.Those numbers are high, but not impossible.

  • Sean McDonald

    You should check with Reformation Heritage Books. They have not published anything on head coverings (as far as I am aware), but they carry a couple different works on the subject; many if not most of those on their board hold to this position. I feel fairly confident that they would be willing to publish such a book. And I would recommend trying all avenues possible to go through an established publisher, like RHB, rather than self-publishing (which would effectively consign your work to being unread).

  • Daniela

    Unwilling to publish when a few pro-headcovering books have been published (and not just self-published) before? Sure, you will not find them at Mardel’s, but there are books out there on the subject.

  • Diana Johnston

    Good job at fighting an uphill battle!! Keep going!

  • Henrybish

    Hi Jeremy,

    Why not publish with Clearnote Press (Tim Bayly) – they are a different bunch.

    You can find their contact details here:

    http://baylyblog.com/

  • Deborah

    He probably meant to call it, “the lunatic fringe” 😉

    by the way, this is completely unrelated but… in that sentence, “your not going to like my answer” – your needs to be the contraction you’re 😀

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