Three Things I Learned From Preaching My First Sermon

Ever since I published my first book, I’ve done sporadic speaking gigs. I have gotten to speak at law schools, preschools, men’s retreats, and non-profits. it is a joy to communicate about what matters, and it’s even more rewarding to have conversations afterward about how the Spirit showed someone something new about God’s glory or Christ-centered living.

I am a garden variety introvert, and growing up I was utterly horrified of public speaking or being on the receiving end of public attention. When I was put on the spot, I would glow red and shut down and I wanted to hide under a rock. 

But God…

Dear Nonbeliever:

Dear Nonbeliever:

Sorry. Sorry that many Jesus people have told you crazy things. I know you are trying to make the most of your existence, just like I am. We all grasp for answers.

I hate what has been done to the term “evangelical.” You molded it into a straw man with the raw material of the moralists on the right. Apparently what is meant by the term is someone who is condescending and doesn’t like refugees. The dictionary definition still works but the political one is a big problem for me.

You need to know that my faith is not partisan, nor is it American. It is cosmic. What I believe about Jesus Christ—what he did, who he was, what he’s doing—transcends categories. My faith doesn’t provide marching orders to ballot boxes; it beams out into the cosmos into a bank of a billion unnamed stars.

What is the Role of a Christian Writer?

I have a lot of words in print, and it scares me. As a fallible—nay, sinful—person with a young perspective on the world, I worry that my words may somehow mislead. Many of my words live in the nebulous world of the internet, in blogs and articles and tweets. I am quite sure a good critic could cross-examine my writing and find great fault.

So this anxiety (which I know is unbiblical per Matthew 6:34) got me to thinking about my role as a Christian author, article-writer, and poet. I spend hours upon hours every week in front of a computer screen, a Bible splayed open along with my heart. What am I doing here? What is the net result of these words strung together?