Your Part in God’s Story: An Interview with Author Steve Addison
MF: Why did you write Your Part in God’s Story?
Steve: For years I’ve been fascinated by the stories of when Jesus rose from the dead and faced a band of disciples who were defeated and disillusioned. Just like us! Luke tells us that it took Jesus just forty days to restore them and prepare them for a worldwide mission. How did He do that?
Jesus took His disciples from Moses to Malachi—He opened their minds to understand the great movement of God. He showed them how the Scriptures are fulfilled in His sufferings, His victory, His mission to make disciples of all nations. That’s how these disciples discovered their part in God’s story. Then Jesus sent them out into the world with His authority. This is not just an academic exercise. God continues His mission today, through us, by His Word and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Over the last few years I’ve been working through every book of the Bible asking the questions: What’s God’s mission? What part do we play? How does He shape us? What does He want us to do? The more I studied, the more excited I got to discover the one story that unites all the stories of Scripture. I wanted to give people that same experience.
MF: What’s the “big idea” in your book?
Steve: The center of the book for me is the Risen Lord Jesus encountering failed disciples and turning them into a mighty missionary force. He did this by teaching them from His Word, empowering them with the Spirit and giving them the core missionary task to make disciples of the nations. This is the very heart of what He came to do.
He is still at work today through His Word and the Holy Spirit to walk us through the whole of Scripture and reveal who He is as Savior, Lord and coming King. He wants to teach us God’s story and show us our part in it. Nothing could be more important. If we let Him do that in our lives, we will never be the same.
MF: What’s the format?
Steve: 40 key passages from Genesis to Revelation in 40 days. You can do the 40-Day Challenge as a group, as an individual or a combination of both. You read the passage and then read what I’ve written. I unpack the significance of each passage and show how each one links to a greater story—God’s story. Then you respond to what you are learning about your part in God’s story.
MF: Were there any surprises for you in writing the book?
Steve: One surprise was God’s persistence in wanting to include us in His story.
Take Jonah, for instance. The call of God comes on his life and he runs in the opposite direction. He had good reason; the Assyrians were cruel and evil in their oppression of the peoples they conquered. God chases after Jonah and through judgment and mercy seeks to win Jonah over to His cause—the offer of forgiveness if Nineveh will turn from evil. I’m amazed by His mercy on an evil empire but also His persistence with Jonah, the reluctant nmissionary. God never gave up on Jonah.
Then there is Jesus’ calling of His first disciples. They had been fishing all night and caught nothing. This carpenter comes along and tells fishermen how to fish. Jesus shattered Peter’s world with a miraculous catch. While Peter is broken before Him, confessing his sinfulness, Jesus tells him that from now on you’ll be following Me and learning how to fish for people. If Peter will follow, Jesus will teach him how to make disciples. If Jesus does that for Peter, He’ll do the same for each one of us.
MF: What do you hope people will gain from reading Your Part in God’s Story?
Steve: What Jesus did for those first disciples He can do for us today. He met them in their failure. He opened their minds to His Word. He showed them their part in God’s story. He promised the power of the Spirit. Then He set them loose on the world!
That’s my prayer for everyone who reads this book.