I was recently able to ask Author Kyle Idleman a few questions about his new book recently released entitled The End of Me. A transcript of the interview is listed below.
Brad: Kyle, you have authored multiple books including best-seller Not a Fan, you are a pastor at Southeast Christian Church, a presenter for City on a Hill Productions. Tell me a little bit about your background, and what drives you as you continue to serve the church.
Kyle: Whether it’s preaching a sermon, writing a book, or a producing a film I am passionate about connecting Scripture to a person’s life at just the right time. A number of yeas ago I learned that what encourages me as a communicator more than anything else is seeing one life at a time experience the difference that Jesus makes. While all three mediums of communication overlap I’ve also learned that there is no substitute preaching to real live people. When I can look them in they eyes as they encounter God’s Word it helps me see how God is a work and how I can join him through writing and producing.
Brad: As you’ve grown in your faith, which authors and books have been influential on you and your writing?
Kyle: I really appreciate the way you asked that question because different writers have been especially influential in different areas of my life. It’s hard for me to choose one or two over the others. But I’m challenged when I read the way Brennan Manning talks about following Jesus. I’m moved when I read the way Phillip Yancey describes grace. I’m convicted when I read the way John Ortberg talks about me. The two books I’ve especially loved this year: “God for the Rest of Us” by Vince Antonucci and “Messy Grace” by Caleb Kaltenbach.
Brad: What sparked you to write your newest release The End of Me?
Kyle: Years ago I was taught the simple truth that what God does through you, he does in you first. I have certainly found that to be true in my own life. There have been times I have tried to let God work through me, while resisting his work in me and it hasn’t turned out well. So my commitment as a pastor and an author is to daily ask God what he wants to do in me and then I ask God how he wants to work through me. Each chapter represents some work God has been doing in me, although I have often resisted every step of the way. For example the chapter “Weak to be Strong” focuses on how God’s power shows up most dramatically in our weaknesses and inadequacies. When I refuse to be vulnerable because of pride or fear and instead try to mask my weakness I miss out on an opportunity to experience his strength. Coming to the end myself means that I am going to not just be honest about my weakness, but I’m going to delight in them. Each of the chapters in this book speaks to some kind of work that God has been doing in my own heart and life. My prayer is that this book will help others on their journey to the end of themselves so that they can discover the real life in Christ that waits for them.
Brad: The End of Me focuses on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, what are the major truths readers with take away from your book?
Kyle: The natural tendency is for me to think that the best and most fulfilling life is all about me. I am drawn to messages that promise to advance me or promote me. Intuitively, it just makes sense that I will be the happiest when I am at the front of the line, get the biggest piece of cake at the party, and receive applause as I stand in the spotlight. But Jesus came with a message that was upside-down from what we are constantly told and how we personally feel. For example, he taught that the last will be first, the broken will be blessed, and the humble will be exalted. Because his teachings are often so paradoxical we try to filter them and take a more reasonable and measured approach. But Jesus made it clear that an invitation to live for him is an invitation to die to myself. It may not make sense; it may not feel right, but the abundant life that Jesus offers is found at the end of me.
Purchase The End of Me by clicking here
I am a Husband to Clarissa, Pastor at Liberty Baptist Church, reader of many books, and tweeter at @brad_merchant.