By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
He loves to craft sentences that are memorable, inspiring and hopefully life-changing. In almost 25 years of writing, more than 100 million products-80 million books-filled with his words have been sold.
Max is the only author to have won three Christian Book of the Year* awards-in 1999 for Just Like Jesus, in 1997 for In the Grip of Grace, and in 1995 for When God Whispers Your Name. In 2005, Reader’s Digest magazine dubbed him “America’s Best Preacher” and in 2004, Christianity Today magazine called him “America’s Pastor.”
The product line for 3:16-The Numbers of Hope sold more than four million units worldwide, including one million units of the cornerstone trade book of the same title (released in September 2007), making it the fastest selling Lucado product in his career. His Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference (September 2010) hit both the Publishers Weekly and New York Times bestseller lists and has been featured on “Fox & Friends” and “CNN American Morning.” He has participated on the “Good Morning America” Christmas Day panel in 2009 and 2010.
His works have appeared on every major national bestseller list including Publishers Weekly, USA Today, The New York Times, Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, and Christian Booksellers Association. He has been featured in countless media outlets and national broadcasts.
Max is also a Minister of Preaching at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, where he has served since 1988. He has been married to Denalyn Preston Lucado since 1981, and they have three grown daughters-Jenna, Andrea and Sara-and one son-in-law, Brett.
I caught up with this delightful man at the NRB 2012 Convention in Nashville, Tenn., where he shared about his life as a pastor, a missionary in Brazil and also as a best-selling author.
He began by talking about his latest book, Great Day Every Day (Thomas Nelson), saying, “You know I’m a pastor of a church I’ve been at the same church since 1988. It’s called Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, and one of the things that I’ve noticed is that this basic fundamental challenge that people that people have trying to have a good day. You know it’s not easy, and I remember several years ago running into some of our members in a grocery store and saying, ‘How is your day going?’ and they gave me kind of a ho-hum answer.
“And the thought occurred to me was why can we not have a great day every day? If we’re children of God, couldn’t a Monday be a fun as a Saturday or a Sunday and couldn’t you know a deadline day be as satisfying as a holiday. I know it’s not that easy but I think that as children of God we can really get to the point where every day is a great day.”
Lucado went on to say that he had read the verse from Psalm 118:24 that said, “Today is the day that the Lord has made …”
“Every word of that verse is helpful when you know that today is the day God has made — not some days are days that God has made but God makes every day. So that means that every day has the potential of being a good day. Then he says, ‘I will rejoice and be glad in it.’ The psalmist made a decision the that he was going to rejoice in this day, not after this day, not once I get through this day, but right in the middle of this day ‘I’m going to rejoice and be glad in it.’ So all your readers right now could say, ‘OK, God made this day. I didn’t make it like this but God did, so I’m going to rejoice and be glad in it.”
How does he describe his writing style?
“I like to write books for people who don’t like to read books,” he laughed. “I have such high regard for academic writers. I loved, for example, reading John Stott’s books through the years and how helpful they were. I feel like I try to write books for people who find academic books a little to meaty and so I’m thinking, ‘What can I say for the person who drives a truck, to a busy mom and how can I take this message and put it put the cookies on the lower shelf so we can all have access to them.'”
If you would like to hear the audio version of this interview, please go to: http://www.assist-ministries.com/FrontPageRadio/FPR08.12.12MaxLucadoMono.mp3