After more than 20 years of pastoring and discipling Christians, bestselling author Max Lucado is delving into a new apologetics compassion.
"This whole idea of compassion being the best apologetic has really captured my heart," he said.
It was some four to six years ago when Third Day band member Tai Anderson asked Lucado a challenging question.
"When your great grandchildren learn that you lived in a day in which a billion people were hungry and 27,000 people die every day of preventable diseases, how would they gauge your response?
"The Lord used that question to wake me up," Lucado said.
"I had devoted a lot of my life to discipleship things and to evangelism initiatives but I had to acknowledge that I had not done much in the area of compassion, which is really the third leg on the stool of Christian faith," the renowned author, who currently serves as Minister of Preaching at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, realised.
With that, Lucado wrote his latest book Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference, hoping to inspire Christians to seize the opportunity to "rock the world with hope" and "take a stand for Christ in the area of compassion".
"We live in a day where it's the in thing right now to be critical or cynical about Christians, to mock anybody who would believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ," said Lucado, who has more than 65 million books in print.
Though Christians do need to respond intellectually to explain their faith, the long-time pastor recognised, "When the church argues back with society, I don't know if we get very far."
"But if we can say our passion is to help the poor and the forgotten, you cannot argue with that," he noted. "Nothing convinces people of our Lord better than to live like he lived. We cannot live like he lived without being compassionate."
Christians today must seize that opportunity.
"Never has the church been so affluent, ... so educated," he added. "I'm very excited about the idea that our churches could be known in our communities as the standard bearers for compassion."
This month, as part of his 25th anniversary celebration as an author, Lucado has embarked on a 20-city tour with popular Christian artists TobyMac, Third Day, Michael W. Smith and Jason Gray. The Make A Difference Tour is encouraging audiences to sponsor children through the global humanitarian organization World Vision as one way of doing something compassionate.
Just a few cities in, some 5,000 children have already been sponsored. Lucado is looking to have 25,000 children sponsored.
Moreover, 100 percent of the royalties from his newest book are going to benefit the work of World Vision and other small ministries in San Antonio.
Make A Difference Tour dates: www.makeadifferencetour.com/ Christian Today