3 Posts Categorized as about "Books"

Saying it Well: Touching Others with Your Words

I wrote my new book primarily for you—for speakers in general and preachers in particular. After five decades of honing the craft, I feel that I’m finally ready to put into print much of what now works for me as a preacher and public speaker.

Saying It WellI wanted to communicate everything I’ve learned, but that’s unrealistic. Some things—let’s face it—can’t be put into words on a page; they must come naturally from within. Each of us has an inimitable “style” that is ours and ours alone. But there are some things I mention that might be of value to you; I certainly hope so.

Our own individuality is what makes our message compelling and our delivery unique. Let’s never forget that. From this point on, it’s important that you release yourself from the straitjacket of others’ expectations. Furthermore, you must determine to overcome your fear of not sounding like some other person you admire. You can learn from each of them . . . but don’t waste your time trying to be them—or acting a little like them. That’s phony. The goal, remember, is authenticity. Until you free yourself from that trap, you’ll not find your own voice. I repeat: you are YOU and none other. Never forget that each insight or principle or suggestion—whether from me or another author—must be fitted into YOUR style and YOUR way of expressing yourself when YOU speak or preach.

How I wish someone in my formal education had told me these things! Because no one did, I spent far too much time trying to look like or sound like someone I wasn’t. Thankfully, all that is behind me—and I hope the same is true of you. If not, maybe my book will help to free you to become the preacher God created you to be.

I pray the book is a major encouragement to you and an enhancement of your pulpit ministry.

—Chuck

Meet Me in the Library

On a lonely Greyhound bus in January of 1958, a young Marine slumped in his seat with his head down. His heart ached for the wife he’d left behind and feared for the place he was headed. In his hands. he held Elisabeth Elliot’s book, Through Gates of Splendor. As he turned the pages, his life was turned around forever . . .

That was me.

I had no idea what God had in store for me when I boarded that bus. It turned out to be one of my life’s defining moments . . . and it came to me through a book. God used Elisabeth Elliot’s volume to rearrange my attitude, my thinking . . . my entire future.

Meet Me in the Library God has used other books and their significant messages in my life. I’d like to introduce you to a few. I want to encourage you with the truths I’ve learned from them and to tell you a bit about their authors. My hope is that you will be strengthened and challenged by these grand messengers that have pointed the way for me.

At a time when the publishing industry pushes out thousands of new books in print each year and even more than that electronically, I want to share with you selections from eight works that endure—works that have inspired me to reach higher and further. You’ll see they touch on various aspects of the Christian life: suffering, joy, prayer, and servanthood, to name a few.

Across time and generations, these great books carry the truths of God and the thoughts and feelings of the human spirit. They are worth passing on, and each one should be read in the next generation and beyond.

What books would make your list? Consider the authors who speak into your life—the ones whose writings have defined your life in some way. My short list is the new volume, Meet Me in the Library: Readings from Eight Writers Who Shaped My Life. I could easily add a dozen more books for each topic mentioned, but this is a good place to start.

—Chuck

The Church Awakening: An Urgent Call for Renewal

For this post I’m going to do something I rarely do.

I want to share with you why I’ve written my newest book, The Church Awakening: An Urgent Call for Renewal. Truth be told, part of the reason I wrote the book is because of you, my fellow pastors.

The Church Awakening Ours is a whole new world, and nothing has been more adversely affected by postmodernism than the church and its relationship to God’s Word. When the Bible loses its central place in the church’s worship—even if good things replace it—the fallout is biblical ignorance. The longer substitutes replace the preaching of the Word as the centerpiece of Christian worship, the more we will witness the intensifying drift into ignorance. Over time, a congregation that is distant from the Word of God seeks more entertainment and less biblical truth.

The slumbering evangelical church has now bought into this way of thinking. I have worked hard to explain why and how in this book. But let me add that I have not written this volume just to point out all that’s wrong. That is not my intention. My writing has always had an emphasis on grace, which is God’s emphasis in the Bible. Each chapter addresses solutions—not just problems—and points to the hope that God offers in His Word.

I have written The Church Awakening primarily to two groups of people. First, to serious-thinking churchgoers, who know there is a better way. In the Bible there was a group of clear-thinking, tough-minded men called the “sons of Issachar” (1 Chron. 12:32). They were those who “understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” We need that same clear-headed discernment today in the church. And along with discernment, we need an equal supply of courage. My aim is to ignite that passion within those who are willing to think seriously.

I am also writing to you pastors, especially to those who are on the fence, who need a voice of permission to buck the tide and to put the preaching of the Word of God back in its central place of the church’s worship.

In my almost fifty years in ministry, I have never been more passionate, or hopeful, for The Church Awakening—that is, for the church to wake up, to see how far it has drifted, to begin walking with God, and to engage the culture for Jesus Christ.

It is my hope that God will use this new volume in a powerful way to contribute to the master plan Jesus is building. He was the One who promised: “I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matt. 16:18).

—Chuck

P. S. If you want to pick up a copy of the book, I have asked Insight for Living to extend a 40% discount to you pastors who call in (800-523-6959) and mention that you regularly read my blog. (The discount expires 10/31/10.) You might also enjoy watching the video below.