This week I'm giving away THREE copies of Pete Wilson's new book, Let Hope In. Pete is the founding and senior pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN. Pete desires to see churches become radically devoted to Christ, irrevocably committed to one another, and relentlessly dedicated to reaching those outside of God's family. Pete and his wife, Brandi, have three boys.
I recently had the chance to ask Pete a few questions about his new book: Margaret: For readers who aren’t familiar with the book, what is the main idea of Let Hope In?
Pete: The main idea behind the book is that "Hope changes everything." As a pastor I've walked with people through almost every imaginable circumstance over the past two decades and I'm convinced more than ever before that hope is not something that happens to you but rather something that each of us has the opportunity to choose. Hope can disarm guilt, shatter shame and put your past in it's place. Letting it in won't always be easy or quick but it's possible because we serve a God who promises over and over again that anything is possible.
What has been the greatest encouragement in your writing experience?
I think my greatest encouragement was also my greatest surprise, which was the notion that I could actually do this. I could write. I'm not saying that I'm a great writer because I'm far from it. However, learning how to weave stories and principles together in a way that helps to raise the ‘get it’ factor for people has been a blast. I remember when my publisher asked me to write my first book Plan B. He told me the expectation for the book length was 60,000 words. I had already completed a sermon series on that topic and since I write out my messages word for word I dumped all six of those message into 1 Microsoft Word document thinking it would exceed the book length. I remember looking at the world count and all six messages only equaled 12,983 words. I panicked. That was absolutely everything that I knew about that topic. I had no idea where the other 47,000 words were going to come from. It turns out God was gracious and had more truth for me to write so as I sat down to write, the words just started to come.
What were the biggest challenges or struggles during the writing process?
I think the greatest surprise for me in the writing process has been the self-awareness that I've gained through it. I'm an extrovert. I've spent most of my life in crowds of people. And while this is where I tend to get my energy, I think I've also used it to shield myself from, at times, some of the painful internal realities. The practice of getting alone to write has helped me shed some of the scaffolding I've used to hide. When I write there's no friends, no cell-phones, no TV, no meetings, no music, just nothing.
Nothing but me and my brokenness.
Nothing but me, my brokenness and my God who wants to meet me right there. It's scary, challenging, and encouraging and hope-filled all at the same time.
What do you hope will happen in the reader’s heart and mind after they finish with the book?
I'm praying that they will embrace God's grace which will release them from where they've been so they can receive what God has for them now. Inside all of us is a pull toward regret. Inside all of us is a tug toward fear. But also inside of all of us is a desire for hope. I'm praying they'll realize that deep within, nothing is hopeless. We are children of God and he's planted hope in us. If we can, with His help, let go of the regret and fear we can choose to let hope in.
Check out the book trailer for Let Hope In:
Congratulations to the winners: Karla Meachem, Rob Robinson, Angela
Hope changes everything. How have you seen this to be true in your life?