Charles Stone Answers The Faithful Fifteen
In this interview Charles talks about his church experiences, the importance of faith-based writing, and how he helped a security guard strengthen his relationship with God.
FaithfulReader.com: What kind of testimony to your faith are you demonstrating in this book? Is your goal to demonstrate your faith in your writing?
Charles Stone: We hope to demonstrate that faith really matters when life gets messy. Technique and sheer willpower go only so far to help us weather life's storms. I pray the readers will come away with realistic hope and practical help to help them become the best parent God wants them to be.
FR: When did you come to a saving knowledge of Jesus? Where are you today in your walk? How is your faith an important part of what you do?
CS: I grew up in church and even joined a church as a child. Not until later in life did I realize that good works didn't cut it but only faith in Christ. I crossed the line of faith at that time and have never looked back. Without Jesus Christ, my life could not satisfy my inner thirsts. Faith is huge for me.
FR: Tell us about your church experiences --- how you grew up (or maybe didn't grow up) in the church, where you attend now, your involvement in your local assembly, etc.
CS: I grew up in a Christian home. My parents took me to a baptist church and, for the most part, I enjoyed it. When I trusted Christ, church took on a new dimension for me. When I neared graduation from GA Tech, I sensed a call into full-time vocational ministry. I now serve as a senior pastor in a great church in the Chicago suburbs.
FR: Tell us about your current church family/fellowship. How does it influence your work?
CS: I love my church. They encourage me by their response and have fully embraced my writing.
FR: Who are your spiritual mentors? Your professional mentors?
CS: Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, and John Maxwell have mentored me through their writing and teaching.
FR: Discuss your calling/mission --- as a writer and as a Christian.
CS: God has called me to make the maximum impact for Him through teaching, leading and writing. I've only been writing for about three years and I'm excited about how God can use that medium. I hope to use writing not only to speak to the hearts of hurting people, but Christian leaders as well.
FR: What are your Scripture reading habits?
CS: I'm leading our entire church to read through the gospels each day this year (three times). I also am reading through the New Testament at night.
FR: What books have most influenced your work?
CS: PARENTS IN PAIN by John White and RELIEF FOR HURTING PARENTS by Buddy Scott.
FR: Do you read secular fiction at all? If so, who are your favorite authors and why?
CS: I mostly read nonfiction, but I've enjoyed HG Wells's and Frank Peretti's books.
FR: What are your other media habits --- television, movies, music, etc.?
CS: My wife and I usually go see a movie each week and always buy the large refillable popcorn bucket (I eat most of it). We're hooked on "24" and "Lost." I love classical music.
FR: Do you and your family have any special faith-based traditions?
CS: Nothing stands out other than special prayers and Scripture readings on key holidays.
FR: Tell us about your prayer life and habits.
CS: I usually have a daily quiet time when I read the bible, journal, and pray. Periodic fasting has also impacted my spiritual journey.
FR: Describe what you believe the role of writing in religion is.
CS: Faith-based writing provides a deeper foundation for the writer and the reader. It touches the core of the human spirit, that God shaped vacuum. Since God created us with eternity in our hearts, writing to touch the spirit helps a reader connect with that part of his or her soul.
FR: Tell us about one or more of your favorite encounters with readers.
CS: I wrote an article on sexual purity for a small magazine and received a letter from a student in Africa who wanted to use the article in his bible class. It reminded me that we may never know how our writing can impact others.
FR: Would you share a story about someone you've brought to Christ or share how your writing has helped someone come to Christ?
CS: Three years ago I met an old security guard who watched over the unfinished homes in our neighborhood in California. I built a relationship with him over several months, and on the way home one night I felt impressed to stop and talk to him about Christ. As we talked he told me that this was his last night and that he would soon move out of state. I knew I would probably never see him again and I approached him about his relationship with God. After a few minutes he bowed his head and with tears in his eyes asked Christ to become his savior.
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