Conversation: Max Lucado
Cast of characters
Max Lucado is minister of preaching and writing for the Oak
Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, and a prolific author who recently wrote Cast of Characters: Common People in the Hands of an Uncommon God (Thomas
Nelson, 2008). Managing Editor Kirk Noonan spoke with Lucado about the talents
God gives His followers and how they should use them.
tpe: You're a master storyteller, so it's no surprise your
world revolves around stories. But why do you think stories are foundational to
faith in Jesus Christ?
LUCADO: The beauty of the Bible is that it is written
according to stories of people. I suppose if God had desired to communicate His
plans through a list of ordinances, commands or principles, He surely could
have. But He chose to do so primarily through stories of people like Abraham,
Sarah, Moses, David, Peter and Paul. I believe He did so because readers today
can still relate to such people. Their story is our story.
tpe: In Cast of Characters whom do you relate to the most?
LUCADO: Because of the irregularities of his life, I'd say
David. He was a man of great mercy who wrote many of the Psalms, but he was
also a bloodthirsty warrior who cut off the head of Goliath. David had to live
with the consequences of his mistakes, but God never abandoned him. He really
wanted to know God. That gives me hope because I want to know God too.
tpe: How did you begin your writing career?
LUCADO: I worked at a church in Miami, and part of my job
was to write articles for our church's weekly bulletin. That's when I found out
how much I loved writing. In fact, those articles became my first book. I
compiled them into a manuscript and sent them out. The manuscript was rejected
14 times, but I got a yes from the 15th publisher.
tpe: Did you grow up aspiring to be a writer?
LUCADO: I always loved working with words, and I was a
ravenous reader as a youngster. But I came from a good blue-collar family. We
were not the literature type and didn't have a lot of books in our home. Even
so, I always had an attraction to books, words and stories. As a kid I didn't
get upset when a teacher would say we had a writing assignment.
tpe: When did you become a follower of Christ?
LUCADO: I grew up going to church and made a commitment to
Christ at 10. I do believe I was saved, but I was not a disciple. I wasn't
following Him, bearing fruit or knowing His joy. In high school I developed a
drinking habit and got my life off track. My world revolved around when the
next party was. I was on my way to alcoholism by the time I was 20. But I had a
Christian friend in college. What I saw in him I wanted in my life. It's been
quite a ride since.
tpe: What do you say to the person who feels he or she
doesn't have a God-given gift?
LUCADO: Don't think for a moment that you don't have
something to offer. Everyone has something to offer. There is no gift-less
person. The Bible contends that every person has at least one talent and using
that talent is the highest way we can give worship to God. Ask God what your
gift is, and He will show it to you.
tpe: What do you say to the person who is not satisfied with
the gift they've been given?
LUCADO: The worst thing we can do is compare ourselves to
other people. When we compare ourselves to others we're getting close to being
irreverent. It's like saying God didn't know what He was doing when He made us.
When we do that we're questioning His sovereignty. Be grateful you have a gift,
put it to use and trust God to bless it with fruit.
tpe: What is it about God that just fascinates you?
LUCADO: His commitment to us. There is not one person who
has sinned so much that he or she cannot come to Christ. We can step out of
God's will, but never out of His love.
tpe: Besides using our gifts to worship God, what is the
most extraordinary thing a person can do in this life?
LUCADO: Christ died on the cross for us. If we repent of our
sins He has a door open for us. The biggest decision of this life is where we
go for the next life, and I pray everyone who reads this will trust Christ as
his or her Savior.
tpe: What's one of your favorite sayings?
LUCADO: Life is short and then it's past; only what's done
for Christ will last.
TPExtra: Read a chapter of Max Lucado's recently released Cast of Characters.
E-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.