C.S. Lewis said, “Every life is comprised of a few themes.” I always quote that when I talk to writers and preachers. You need to know your themes! I think this is a huge part of self-discovery. And it’s a big part of finding your voice.
For me, my themes find expression in my writing. I think In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day captures a big part of my personality and theology. We’re called play offense for the kingdom. One of our values says it this way: playing it safe is risky. Or to put it in metaphorical terms: chase the lion.
I think Primal captures another theme: we’ve got to be great at the Great Commandment. Let’s not be great at unimportant things! Let’s be great at what matters most. And that is a drum I’ll beat till the day I die.
Not only will identifying themes help you find your voice as a preacher or writer. It’ll also help you identity imbalances in your preaching! Vision may be one of your themes, but you can’t teach on it every week. You’ve got to preach the whole counsel of God. It will also help you identify the battlefields you’re called to fight on. There are some battlefields you aren’t called to die on. And that’s ok. But your God-ordained themes are things you’ll throw down the gauntlet for.
What are you themes?