Back Story to My “Trail Guide” Series

In early 2021, I received a God-PING. The prompt was to turn my Wednesday evening Going Deeper messages into a series of verse by verse treks through entire books of the New Testament. These books would have the NLT scripture text baked in and offer engaging commentary, colorful stories and illustrations, practical applications, questions to consider and helpful formatting. My working metaphor was a mountain hike and I would serve as a trail guide for the reader. After meeting with our publishing, graphics and bookstore teams, we determined that we could “make this a go!”

I wanted to write something unique and in my own voice; something to help people engage the Bible that “people couldn’t put down.” They would be far more “trail guides” than books, as they would be constructed to be read, reread, highlighted, discussed, written in and scribbled upon. I envisioned them getting “beat up a bit.” They would be versitilly designed for use for everything from a personal devotional to an all-church study. I wanted them to taste as good with hot, morning coffee as cinnamon rolls.

Additionally, I would make no royalites off these books to make them as affordable as possible. All proceeds would go to Christ Church. Asuming there was a market for them, one “trail guide” would be released each year. Asuming…

“Trail Guide to the Gospel of John” was released last December and did so well, it opened the gate for our upcoming release of, “Trail Guide to the Book of James.” The reviews received from “John” have been most encouraging and we also received some helpful formatting feedback that was incorporated into this book.

I am excited about this second trail guide becasue so many people love the practical nature of the book of James. I believe there are some fresh and exciting insights for both people engaging with James for the first time or seasoned Christians who have engaged the book time and time again.

Formal release will be on December 3 at all the usual places. Bulk discounts can be obtained by contacting Noel:

To all of you who have prayed for this project, thank you! To all of you who used “Trail Guide to the Gospel of John” for devotions and in groups, thank you. To all who will utilize “Trail Guide to the Book of James,” thank you. I pray this resource is a blessing to God’s people and I am most honored by the opportunity to write it and to work with such an incredible team.

I said yes to a PING, let’s see what God wants to do!

-Shane L. Bishop has been the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois since 1997.


Published by Rev. Shane L. Bishop

Senior Pastor of Christ Church, Fairview Heights, IL since 1997. I am an orthodox Christian but I am not in a bad mood about it.

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