My other books are more, 'Let's get on our knees,' while this book is more, 'Let's roll up our sleeves,'?" says Max Lucado, whose upcoming book royalties will go to World Vision. Lucado will be on tour with TobyMac, Michael W. Smith, and Third Day for World Vision's "Make a Difference Tour" this month. He spoke with CT online editor Sarah Pulliam Bailey about Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference (Thomas Nelson) and his recent shift in focus.
What provoked your interest in poverty?
About four years ago, a guy asked me what my great-grandchildren would think about my response to the one billion hungry people on the planet. I had neglected this area in my life and in my teaching. It led to a series I did for the church, which led to this book, which is based on the Book of Acts, about the Jerusalem church. When you study the first 12 chapters of Acts, you see how the church responded to things like hunger, bias, persecution, racial tension, and hypocrisy inside the church.
You write, "Cut concern out of the Bible, and you cut the heart out of it." How do you prioritize poverty among other issues?
Compassion is the best apologetic. There are many controversial issues in our culture. The church should take a strong stance on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. But there's something about compassion that causes society to say, "We're going to take this person seriously." Take Mother Teresa. She was confrontational on abortion, but she wasn't rejected by society.
You ask people to "outlive" their lives. Does the title suggest that you have to appeal to people's own interest before you can call them to action?
Good point—although I think Jesus appealed to that when he talked about not laying up treasures ...