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Max Lucado has spent the last 40 years telling the story of God’s grace in books, in pulpits, on broadcasts, on music tours…every chance he gets. He found a forgiveness that is too deep to be plumbed, too high to be summited. Max’s message of God’s unfathomable grace has resonated with people around the world for the past thirty years, making Max one of the world’s most popular authors, selling nearly 100 million copies and occupying spots on every major national bestseller list.
His writing has been translated into more than 54 languages, and has been featured in countless national media outlets. Lucado was dubbed “America’s Pastor” by Christianity Today, Reader’s Digest called him “The Best Preacher in America,” and The New York Times named him one of the most influential leaders in social media. In addition to books, Lucado’s writing has been shaped into an additional 20 million products sold, including videos, devotionals, songs, plush toys, greeting cards, booklets, Bible studies, commentaries and theatrically-released movies.
Max believes one of God’s most enduring graces to him are the people of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas where he has been on staff since 1988 and he currently serves as Senior Minister. Every book he writes has first been preached to the people at Oak Hills.
Growing up in a conservative home in a small West Texas town, Max needed much grace from his oil mechanic father and nurse mother. Max hit his teens years and rebellion kicked in. After one specific drunken night, Max had an awakening and began to wonder if there was more to life than parties and chasing girls. It was not long after that when his heart was moved toward the unconditional love of God through a Bible class while attending Abilene Christian University (ACU). “I might be able to find the very seat in which I was sitting when this grace found me. I was a twenty-year-old college sophomore. For four years, I had lived with the concrete block of guilt, not just from that first night of drunkenness, but also a hundred more like it. The guilt had made a mess of my life, and I was headed toward a lifetime of misery.”
Max returned with passion to his studies gaining a master’s degree in Biblical Studies from ACU. After graduation, Max set out on his mission to communicate the grace and mercy of God he had discovered. His first assignment was as the associate pastor of a small church in Miami, Florida, where he was able to develop his passion for people, ministry, and writing through a column in their weekly newsletter. In Florida, he also married Denalyn, now his wife of more than three decades.
In 1983, Max and Denalyn moved to Rio de Janeiro to help plant churches. During their five years in Brazil, Max continued to write, updating friends and family about their ministry. Eventually Max gathered the Rio newsletters and Florida columns into a manuscript and sent them off to fifteen publishers. After multiple rejections, one publisher finally said yes.
That first book, On the Anvil, was published in 1985. His 34th trade book, Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World (September 2017), is a balm for those who are trying to find peace and grace in a world that is increasingly filled with unrest. “One would think Christians would be exempt from worry. But we are not. We have been taught that the Christian life is a life of peace, and when we don’t have peace, we assume the problem lies within us. Not only do we feel anxious, but we also feel guilty about our anxiety! The result is a downward spiral of worry, guilt, worry, guilt.”
In 2016, more than 80 boxes of Max’s manuscripts, journals and personal correspondence has been curated at his alma mater, Abilene Christian University, as a part of the new Max Lucado Collection to be archived and displayed at ACU’s Brown Library. Adds Max about the honor: “It is heartening to think that some of these materials might encourage somebody else in their faith or lead someone to discover the great grace of God.”
Max and Denalyn live in San Antonio, Texas and have three grown daughters, two sons-in-law, and one granddaughter.