Several Sessions with Bill Self Leading to “Sessions With Ephesians”

Ephesians-Book-CoversmallI’ve been asked many times about the difficulty level of writing a book. My response is, “Yes, it is very hard, but I ignore that part and try to focus intently on the subject matter. I love words so at some point, it’s just a matter of arranging them in the right order.” Since the latest book has come out, I’ve been asked if it is unusually difficult co-authoring a book with someone else. Obviously one must tread lightly on this one, but the truthful answer is, “Yes.” It is unusually difficult to co-write a work. There are two minds, two viewpoints, and two writing styles in play from moment one, and to say creative people often clash is trite, but also true. I’ve co-authored books three times, so I have the Merit Badge, the t-shirts, and a couple of scars.

That admitted, Bill Self and I, always seemed to mesh well together, which is a good thing, as we worked closely as first and second chair leaders of the church during years of growth, expansion and many strategic decisions. We also shared amazingly similar theological views, especially on Paul and his writings, so working together on a book was never a clash of egos or theological perspectives. Plus, we saw the entire Sessions series as an homage to JCBC’s unique and trendsetting adult Sunday School. Our church has been the adult Sunday School gold standard since its inception and our curriculum is modeled in the now seventeen volume series titled Sessions With published by Smyth & Helwys. The Ephesians book is simply the latest book in the series based on our Sunday School that churches across the country use in various ways.

We see Paul’s letter to the Ephesians as primary to an understanding of the New Testament church, and to the emerging theology that, over time became foundational to modern theology and church practice. Ephesians is arguably the most contemporary letter found in the New Testament and when stripped of just a few aged references, becomes applicable to today’s church and today’s believer. God continues to have a plan for His church, and for His people, and Ephesians lays out this age-old plan in remarkably plain language.

Bill and I wrote this book after his retirement as the time was right and the opportunity presented itself. We did it for our church, the church we served together as a team for eighteen years. All proceeds of books purchased through the church will go to benefit the William L. Self Lecture Series and Center for Preaching at Mercer/McAfee School of Theology.

Michael McCullar
Formations Pastor
Johns Creek Baptist Church

4 Comments. Leave new

  • Susan Y Gilbert
    October 31, 2015 9:47 am

    Our church is so blessed to have both Michael McCullar and Bill Self who “love words” and knows how to put them into sentences from which we can learn more about the Bible. We love you both and thank you for all you have done to build Johns Creek Baptist Church to a place of worship and learning.

  • The timing was right. your time spent together was right. And heaven knows St Paul
    was right… Thank you for ” Studying to show yourselves approved of GOD.. workmen that need not be ashamed – while rightly dividing the WORD OF TRUTH”…And then sharing what you learn in Study + Prayer – and dynamic ” Mission service”.. In order to edify the maturing Church.. We love you both.

  • Dave Blankenship
    October 31, 2015 12:20 pm

    Michael, thanks for sharing these great remarks and the legacy that you, Bill and our church have benefited from in so many ways through these years. You both are great leaders and have allowed God to use you in remarkable ways.

  • God bless you both.


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