WaterBrook’s Andrew Stoddard Opens Windows Into Brian Houston’s New Book
“I’m certain that THERE IS MORE is going to be one of those books I remember working on for the rest of my career,” said Andrew Stoddard, Lead Acquisitions Editor for WaterBrook, in this Three Questions for an Editor interview. Mr. Stoddard takes us inside the formative phases, the creative process, and why WaterBrook was the best home for this new book by Brian Houston – the founder and Global Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church, considered by many to be a leading voice in the shaping of contemporary leadership values and church culture. Pastor Houston shows how it is possible for anyone to live life with greater expectancy. “Creative. Collaborative. Conscious of how the world is, but fiercely focused on the future – and a brighter future at that … it was encouraging to work with such a talented and overwhelming positive voice,” is how Mr. Stoddard described the author/editor process. For the complete Three Questions interview, read on.
What sparked the idea for the creation of THERE IS MORE?
As a global leader, Brian pays careful attention to national and international trends and movements. As a pastor, Brian works closely and intentionally with individuals from all walks of life. Through encountering such a wide array of experiences and life stories, he noticed a consistent, nearly universal human longing for something greater, transcendent, and beyond. He believes that that longing is fulfilled not through more stuff, more power, or more money, but through more of God’s dream for your life. Ephesians 3:20 is the epicenter of this message: “[God] is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…” It’s not that we ask too much of God, it’s that we ask too little. For Brian, this does not guarantee a life built around comfort, rather it launches us into a life characterized by adventure and God’s immeasurable purpose.
How would you describe the editor/author process and what it was like working with Brian Houston on this book?
Creative. Collaborative. Conscious of how the world is, but fiercely focused on the future – and a brighter future at that. I am deeply impressed by the creative energy, excitement, and precision in craft that comes from Brian and the entire Hillsong team. He is dedicated to carefully understanding his audience and simultaneously passionate about an unflinching delivery of his core message. It was encouraging to work with such a talented and overwhelming positive voice. I’m certain that THERE IS MORE is going to be one of those books I remember working on for the rest of my career.
Why is WaterBrook the best home for THERE IS MORE and which of Brian’s messages do you think will resonate most strongly with readers?
WaterBrook provides a unique, individualized experience for authors like Brian Houston. We are fortunate to have similar passions and convictions as our authors, a precise understanding of the market place and our readers, and the reach established by the cutting edge best-practices of Penguin Random House. We are uniquely positioned to help serve authors that have global audiences and carefully staffed to serve the specific messaging and communications needs of our faith-based voices.
Each chapter of this book draws on a specific need in different areas of life; ultimately pointing to God’s more for the reader in those spheres. In particular though, I believe chapter 6, “Appointment and Disappointment,” will resonate deeply with a vast array of readers. Houston shows through some of his own life experiences and through Scripture how God can transform each of our deepest disappointments into appointments (or opportunities). What’s brilliant about his approach is that he moves well beyond the realm of aphorisms and into the nitty-gritty of life. Much more than a formula, or positivistic wishfulness, Houston acknowledges the hard parts and painful moments of human existence, but then helps the reader encounter a greater reality – most impactfully, he addresses disappointments that have resulted from our poor decisions, and then he reminds us whole-heartedly that nothing we do can disqualify us from God’s calling on our lives. That’s something that I hope sticks with everyone that picks up this book.