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Difference Makers Author Q&A

Andy Whisenant | May 22nd

What inspired you to write “Difference Makers”?

As a leader, I knew that making the  greatest impact in this area would not come through my gifts or personality, but instead would happen by mobilizing thousands.  We believed that if our church would release that God-given desire to make a difference in individuals and their circles of influence—look out world!  As a result, the difference maker declaration became our rally cry.

Who did you write it for?

The person who feels like the only difference makers have a high profile position or dynamic personality. Instead, they will discover God wants to use them.  Every believer has an opportunity to live beyond themselves and make a difference for eternity.

What does it mean to be a “difference maker”? Why do believers seem to struggle so much with our purpose and whether we can actually make a difference?

A difference maker is someone living with purpose and impact who realizes they were made for more than watching.  They were made to be a part of God’s work. We struggle with this because we think this is for someone more gifted.  We doubt ourselves and therefore limit ourselves. I hope this book helps reframe our perspective to jump into the action and trust Jesus to work through us.

This book was heavily influenced by your experience and your church’s experience when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston (approximately 13 million people were affected, nearly 135,000 homes damaged or destroyed in the historic flooding, and up to a million cars were wrecked). Talk about what God taught you as it relates to being a difference maker through that hurricane?

Harvey rocked our city and church.  We had over 700 members and 23 staff members flooded.  BUT, I had been teaching on how to be a difference maker.  God prepared us to go into over 1,000 homes to help clean up.  He taught me we need everyone, and we need to be active. There was no waiting around; a sense of urgency gripped us to help our neighbor in need.  The same is true with relational and spiritual needs around us; it’s time to make a difference. What a joy to be able to!

How can people practically make a difference after reading the book?

The book, Bible study and accompanying CD will be a catalyst for someone to step up and step out.  I hope churches see more volunteers and neighborhoods see more caring and praying people reaching out, and we all catch a vision that God can use even us.

Your church has released a music album in conjunction with the book. What inspired this?

We work as a team at our church and love to connect the dots between worship through song and worship through teaching.  Our musicians were inspired to use their gifts to make a difference, too. To create these songs, key leaders on our worship staff and I spent a day at our church’s retreat center, and I went through each chapter of the book.  I shared the thrust of the chapter, illustrations I used, my heart and my hopes. Chapter by chapter they took notes, asked questions and then prayed and pondered. After a lot of work these songs materialized. It was incredible to see my gift of teaching stoke their gifts of songwriting to create a companion piece for the book and Bible study.  See, we are all difference makers in our own ways.

How do you hope readers are changed after they finish “Difference Makers”?

I hope they discover the joy of stepping out in faith to make a difference.  It isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it.