We are pleased to introduce Mark Hughes. Mark has recently published A Greater Passion with us, which is now available for pre-order through the Word Alive Press Bookstore, and everywhere fine Christian books are sold. We asked Mark to share a little bit about his writing, and new book. But first, a little bit about him.
Mark Hughes is the founding pastor of Church of the Rock in Winnipeg, Canada. He is best known for the humorous and engaging style in which he communicates life’s most challenging truths. His television program, seen from coast to coast in Canada, continues to be one of the highest viewed faith-based broadcasts since the 1990s.
What inspired the idea for the book?
A: A Greater Passion
is the second book in a series. While writing the first book A Greater Purpose
I did a few pages on the subject of passion and realized that it was an intrinsic component to discovering one’s purpose in life. In the end, the thesis is, that if we could align our passions with God’s purpose for our life, it would be the ultimate path to fulfilment. Secondly, I have always had a fascination with the life and teachings of King Solomon, whom I call the ‘world’s most passionate man’. Upon further research, I discovered that no one had ever written a book on this subject from the context of King Solomon, and thus the idea was born.
What is a greater passion as opposed to any other passion?
We all have passions, even though some people don’t even recognize them. Anything we spend our time, money, or energy on, is likely our passions. Sometimes these passions do not add value or purpose to our lives. Greater passions are meaningful ones. And they all exist within us if we dig deep for them. More often than not these passions are about a who not a what. Cars, boats, computers, golf, and skydiving are all “what’s”. It is not to say that we should not have pastimes, we all should, but life will begin to feel quite unfulfilled until we discover our greater passions.
What is the Passion Paradox that you write about in Chapter Four?
The passion paradox is simply this, “That we cannot pursue our potential without our passions, and sometimes it is our passions that stand in the way of our potential.”
It all goes back to the other passions that don’t lead us to our destiny. Sometimes those passions are downright unhelpful and even destructive. The good news is that once we stir our greater passions the others just seem to fade away. The Apostle Paul put it this way, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust
(passions) of the flesh”
(Galatians 5:16, NKJV
How do people figure out their greater passion?
This is perhaps the hardest part of all. There are a couple of factors. The Psalms says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4, NKJV
). Desire is just another word for passion. When we delight ourselves in Him, the passions that come into our hearts are the ones He gives us. You see it throughout scripture and history. I have included dozens of these stories in the book as to how God redirected people’s passions and then they went on to change the world. The other factor is that more often than not our greater passions are right under our nose and we need something of an epiphany to recognize them. All of a sudden, they become crystal clear.
The book is split up into two sections: the first being: The Pathway to Fulfillment
. The second is Lessons in Living large in Life and Love
. Does the book take a major shift in focus?
Yes, Part Two, which makes up at least two-thirds of the book, is the practical application of the thesis. It addresses the most important parts of our lives—marriage, sex, children, friendships, work-life, money, church life, etc. The book is chocked full of practical insights that are found in the teachings of Solomon, as well as the experience I have gained in forty years of ministry helping people walk out the challenges of everyday life. There is nothing we face in life that scripture does not have an answer for.
One of your chapters is entitled The Myth of Balance
. Do you say that obtaining balance in your life is unattainable?
One of the great ironies of modern life is that it has imposed upon us an unmanageable number of responsibilities, and then we are expected to find some magical way to put them all in balance. What it has done has been to contribute to an increasing level of stress, anxiety, and often feelings of failure. I argue that balance is a myth and an unattainable ideal. All high achievers are by nature unbalanced. Instead, I suggest we need to be passionate people in the areas that are truly important because passionate people always have time for their passions.
Who is the book written for?
The first book, A Greater Purpose
, was written for the broader audience, Christian and non-Christian alike. Every person wants to know what their purpose in life is. A Greater Passion
is a more targeted book and is for those that genuinely would like to discover God’s plan for their life. Without using the word discipleship even once, that is essentially what the book is about. What would it look like to be a fully committed follower of Christ in every area of one’s life?
What do you hope readers will get out of the book by the time they have finished reading it?
At the risk of sounding trite, the goal of the book is to stir people towards their greater passions and to give them to tools to start living them out. I believe that within every one of us there is a world changer. And the world we need to change is not on the other side of the planet, but the immediate one within which each of us already lives. The penultimate chapter of the book is a rapid-fire survey of dozens of people that did just that with their brief time on earth. My hope is that it will inspire people to literally jump up to their feet and shout, “Yes! That is what I want to do with my life!”