New ministry avenues open for Warden
New book. New ministry. New website and blog.
2016 certainly seems to be an eventful year for Shannon Warden, director of women’s ministries at Triad Baptist Church.
The biggest milestone came Sept. 6 with Moody Publishing’s release of the book, “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Became Parents,” that she co-wrote with “The Five Love Languages” best-selling author Dr. Gary Chapman.
“In the fall of 2014, we met to discuss possibly co-writing a book,” Warden says. “I asked about the possibility of co-writing ‘Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Became Parents.’ I did not know at the time that he had hoped to one day write this book because it is a natural follow-up to a book he wrote a few years ago, ‘Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married.’ He and his publisher (Moody Publishing) loved the idea of moving ahead with the project.
“We worked on the book throughout 2015 and finished the book in early 2016. It then went through the standard editing process, and it was released on Sept. 6.”
Warden’s collaboration with Chapman builds on a history that dates back to 1999 when she first met him while working on the counseling staff at Calvary Baptist Church.
By the time Warden began working more directly with Chapman in 2003, his writing and public speaking ministry had grown to where he needed an assistant to answer book-related emails. Eventually, that work further grew to include book research and development of some of the five love language tests featured in the books and online at www.5lovelanguages.com.
“I’ve continued working with him all these years, which has been a great blessing to me,” Warden says. “I most enjoyed the idea that what we were writing would be an encouragement to parents-to-be and new parents. That’s the main goal—encouraging parents who I hope will greatly benefit from the book for a long time to come. It’s practical and parent-friendly, with lots of good ideas and encouragement for the joys and challenges of parenting.”
Warden, a mother of three herself balancing service at Triad, her work teaching in Wake Forest University’s Counseling Department, and new ministries, says she considers the book’s points about time, stress, and money among its most practical life lessons. Listen to a radio interview of Warden and Chapman on the Chris Fabry Live show on Moody Radio.
“Children bring so much joy, laughter, and fresh curiosity about life,” she says. “Nothing cancels out that joy. Yet, children take up a lot of time, can stress you out, and cost a lot of money. Dr. Chapman and I talk about how parents can manage their time, stress, and money to help ease some of the stress of parenting.
“We also talk about how couples can make time for their marriage relationship during the parenting years. Ultimately, the early years of parenting are challenging in many ways, but they are important developmental years when children learn so much from their parents that will shape who they become as teenagers and adults. So, as challenging as the early years can be, there are a lot of things we can do to positively influence our children and to truly enjoy these ‘long days and short years’ to their fullest.”
New ministry, website and blog
The book’s debut comes as other ministry avenues open for Warden, including a new website and blog for her new Repurposed Life Ministries writing and public speaking company.
Available at www.shannonwarden.com, Warden says Repurposed Life Ministries, Inc., aims to encourage women, parents, and couples with counseling principles and Biblical truths.
“I would love to continue growing my writing and speaking career,” Warden says. “Like all things, that’s in God’s hands. I’ll wait and see what doors He opens for me. Certainly, getting to co-author this book with Dr. Chapman is a great opportunity, and I would love to build on that. But, again, we’ll see how it goes. Whatever happens, my focus is on honoring God and helping others.”