I love books and reading, and in running the Woman Alive Book Club I get to interview some great authors. Here’s an uncut interview with the legendary writer Max Lucado.
ML: It’s as not as true as people might assume, but on the other hand, I’ve never hit a writer’s block and so the bad news is that I find writing to be very difficult. It takes a lot work; it’s agonizing and challenging. Some days I hate it! But the good news is that all these years God has provided and I’ll just put forth the least amount of effort he seems to bless it with a rewarding thought.
ABP: How do you stay humble, being dubbed America’s Pastor and with over 100 million products sold?
ML: I don’t know if I always do! I wrestle with humility or lack thereof. I can tend to put myself first. Even though I’ve written a book called, It’s Not About Me, there are many times I think it is! And so I don’t think I deserve a high grade for humility, and I’m not sure how you measure someone’s humility anyway. You know that story about the boy who got the badge for being most humble and then he got it taken away because he wore it!
ABP: Can you share any stories of how your children’s books have changed lives?
ML: The book You Are Special has in my life provided the most rewarding story. Specifically the distribution of this book in China. There is a ministry called “You Are Special China” and it exists just to distribute that story among orphanages and schools in all the provinces in China. And they send back some wonderful stories. One in particular regards a school for the deaf. As they were being read this story, the story tells them that they were made by God and that God has a special place for them. The person who shared the story said that he heard the children start to wail. Start to cry. Because they’d never been told that before. And it touched such a deep, deep longing in their hearts. I wish I could have been there to see those kids with this particular response to that book.
ABP: When you’re in glory, how would you like to be remembered?
ML: Hmm. I think what brings me the most joy is that my three daughters all walk with God. When I first got into ministry, a good friend said, “Don’t sacrifice your family on the altar of Christian service.” And through the years I have seen how that could happen because ministry has its unique demand and stresses and many children and marriages suffer because of ministry. But I’m over 30 years into this ministry stuff (started in 1979) and my marriage has never been stronger and my children are all walking with the Lord. And for that I am most grateful.
ABP: Besides the Bible, what books have influenced you most? Are there specific books you turn to in a crisis?
ML: I’ve always got a lot of encouragement from the writings of John Stott. I feel like he had such a grip on Scripture. His is not the writing that I necessarily turn to for inspiration but more for careful dissection of Scripture. Of all the writers, I’ve really enjoyed him. There’s another commentary, another writer by the name of Dale Bruner. And he’s written commentaries on Matthew and John, and there’s just something about the way he studies that I find inspiring. Again they aren’t inspirational books. You won’t find them on the lower level of a bookstore, but for people who are serious about getting into a Bible study, I’ve often recommended those two writers.
Max Lucado is an author, pastor, minister and dad. With more than 100 million products in print, he is one of America’s most widely read authors. He and his wife, Denalyn, live in San Antonio, Texas, where he serves the Oak Hills Church.