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What Are Your Themes?

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?

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Mark Batterson is the lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C., a multi-site church and a leading fellowship in the nation’s capital. Meeting in movie theaters and Metro stops throughout the D.C. area, NCC is attended by more than 70 percent single twenty-somethings. Mark’s weekly podcast is one of the fastest growing in America. His book, In A Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars peaked at #44 on Amazon.com’s best-seller list. He has just released his newest book entitled, Wild Goose Chase: Reclaiming the Adventure of Pursuing God. He and his wife Lora live on Capitol Hill. They have three children.