Author Lucado to speak at worship gathering

Saturday, November 16, 2002

People today are so burdened with fears, anxiety and stress that they often forget to worship. But a call to "Come Together and Worship" is bringing people together across the country.

A mix of music and devotional talks, the "Chevrolet Presents: Come Together and Worship" tour will make a stop in St. Louis Wednesday. The music of Christian artists Michael W. Smith and Third Day draws a blend of generations. Author and minister Max Lucado is the evening's featured speaker.

Unlike a concert, the evening includes devotions and some brief messages, but certainly no sermons, Lucado said in a telephone interview Friday from Mobile, Ala., the latest tour stop.

Most concerts are for entertainment while the "Come Together and Worship" tour is for encouragement and inspiration, Lucado said.

"It lets people spend time in worship," he said. "People have such burdens and fears and anxieties that they don't worship."

But God can carry all those burdens, if people would just lay them down, Lucado said.

His newest book "A Love Worth Living" published by W Publishing Group, talks about that. The book focuses on the Scripture of First Corinthians 13, which speaks of the qualities of love.

As a minister who sometimes counsels couples, Lucado said he found many people just didn't know how to love. And many didn't have any love to give.

He starts the book with a verse from Luke 7:47 that talks about forgiveness. "If I just let God forgive me a little bit then I only have a little bit to give," he said. "If you receive his abundance then that means you have an abundance to give."

Lucado knows it's not easy to love everyone, but it could be. People have to receive love in order to give it, he says in the book. "It would be like writing a check but never making a deposit."

Lucado's book began as a sermon series at Oak Hills Church of Christ in San Antonio, Texas. All of his books begin that way and then are turned into manuscripts.

Preaching through his book topic "helps so much," he said. "I can tell a story or joke that I think will be great but lands like a lead balloon. Or I can make a comment and see how it impacts the people.

"I don't want it to sound sermonic," Lucado said. "What your ears hear is different than what your eye sees."

Lucado said his books aren't geared for church leaders but for everyone. "I like to write for people who don't like to read."

When he writes, he imagines a truck driver, a busy mother and a person going through tough times as his audience. "They always speak to me when I write," he said.

His next book is titled "Next Door Savior" and will look at the life of Christ.

ljohnston@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 126

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