Local author encourages people of faith to take ‘Next Step’ in new book

Published 3:00 pm Friday, January 27, 2023

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Winchester is a town that loves to celebrate its own, and on Saturday, it will do just that for resident Jeffrey Ross.

Ross is the author of “Next Step Devotions” and will be signing copies of his work at the Clark County Public Library from 2-4 p.m.

“It’s a collection of 366 daily discipleship lessons based on passages from every single chapter in the New Testament…The conclusion of each devotion has what is labeled as a next step, which will be some specific suggestion for deeper reflection or action to take or apply from that day’s teaching,” said Ross about his book.

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So who would benefit from reading it?

“Christians who are not content with where they are as a disciple for Jesus,” Ross answered. “I put on the back cover of the book that we can’t follow where Jesus leads if we stand still in our faith.”

The book is suited explicitly for Christians who “want to be intentional about growing in their faith.”

“The gist of the next step part of each devotion is not to read each page and check it off the to-do list, but to really nudge us into becoming more faithful believers and representatives for Christ,” Ross said.

Ross has a background in ministry, teaching and IT. He earned a bachelors degree in religion and a master’s degree in religious education from William Jewell College and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, respectively. Both institutions are located in Missouri.

Though born in Winchester, Ross lived the majority of the last few decades in Louisville and recently moved back to be near his parents.

Winchester was never far from his mind, though.

“It is a wonderful small town with forever friends. I’m still connected with people I graduated from George Rogers Clark High School with in 1975,” Ross said.

He currently attends Central Baptist Church in Winchester, where he serves as a deacon and teaches Sunday school.

After he retired in 2020, Ross decided to give writing a go.

“Writing had always been a part of what I did, either for career or pleasure, and so I wanted to tackle a project that would be worthwhile,” he said.

His book of devotions was a two-year project and was published last November.

Like many first-time authors Ross found that the process was challenging.

“It was time-consuming. It was tedious since I was going to have subjects from every chapter in the New Testament,” Ross said.

The initial phase of writing his book saw Ross reading through each chapter and scribbling down possible topics. The result was “about a 50-page Word document” full of ideas.

Over the next year, Ross wrote “a couple of dozen” devotions a month and received feedback from a group of friends, one of whom had already written over 20 books.

He got additional feedback from attending the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference.

“I learned all kinds of things that I had done poorly,” Ross said with a laugh.

Anyone that wants to purchase the book can find it in printed ($15) or digital ($7.50) versions on Amazon.com. Ross also sells the book on his personal website, www.authorjeffross.com.