I was interviewing Beth Moore some years ago when she told me a story about her teenage daughter. I don't recall the specifics of the story as much as the intensity of the storyteller.
By this point in the interview, Moore knew I had teenage children, and I'm pretty sure she told the story because she knew I would identify with it. It was a story with some emotional punch, and as she was telling it, it occurred to me that she was trying to hook me, trying to get me to feel the story's pathos. As I felt myself getting hooked, knowing what she was doing, I tightened my jaw and worked to retain my journalistic composure.
When she finished the story, I was blinking away tears, which I professionally assured her were due to allergies.
So when people tell me that Beth Moore is an effective communicator, I do not doubt it. And she is, to all sorts of people.
About that time, I discovered two sets of women who were attending Beth Moore Bible studies, watching her lecture on video while they explored Scripture together. One group was represented by an African American woman on welfare who attended such a study at a local Baptist church. Another was a group of northern Episcopalians from a wealthy Chicago suburb who could not quite fathom Moore's big hair, yet every week watched her videos with a Bible in one hand and a glass of Merlot in the other.
It was at that point that I knew we had to do a profile of Moore. That was a few years ago. We assigned the story to one writer, then another, but for different reasons, the story was never completed. Finally, our inimitable online editor, Sarah Pulliam Bailey, managed to pull it off. See "Why Women Want Moore" to read the whole story.
Next Month: We look at a new subculture in the American church (hipster Christianity), libertarian hero Ayn Rand's continuing bad influence on Christian economics, and the results of a Your Church survey on sex offenders in the church.
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This story accompanies the cover story on Beth Moore for the August issue of Christianity Today.
Previous articles related to Beth Moore from CT and its sister publications include:
Excerpt: So Long, Insecurity | It's time we got our dignity back. (May 26, 2010)
Passion Takes It Higher | The most influential annual gathering of young evangelicals plans to go global. (March 23, 2007)
Beth's Passion | Bible study teacher Beth Moore is on fire for God. Here's how you can be, too. (Today's Christian Woman, September/October 2005)
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