Alan's monthly letter for December 2012
Our life is short. We strive to make a difference while we’re here. As believers, we’re not looking to make just any kind of impact, we want to have kingdom impact.
I’m pleased to report that you and I accomplished that in 2012. We made a tremendous contribution for the cause of Christ because we partnered together. I’d like to give you some specific examples in the areas of my speaking, writing, and training.
I gave 105 talks to a total of nearly 10,000 people. That’s an average of two talks a week. Just over half of them (55) were outside the Southern California area, including five in the Caribbean and 19 in Egypt.
Many of these events were at churches, conferences, camps, and universities. In addition, I was interviewed on several radio shows and also debated a classroom of medical students at the University of Southern California on abortion.
When I wasn’t prepping to speak, traveling to speak, or speaking, I was often writing. Every week I’m working on either blog posts, newsletters, articles, contributions to published works, or my own books.
My book, The Ambassador’s Guide to Islam, has had two printing runs and sold out of all 2,800 copies since its publication. I’ve edited and revised it for its third printing run, which Stand to Reason recently issued. It will now also be featured on Amazon.com for increased visibility.
This year I began writing a second Ambassador’s Guide on the topic of homosexuality. I’ll finish writing it by the end of the month for publication in 2013.
I’m also taking full advantage of social media. I’m routinely highlighting my work on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and YouTube – all for the sake of leveraging my impact. By making my content available online, it can serve the purpose of equipping believers 24 hours a day.
Real training isn’t merely listening to a lecture. It’s taking what you learn to the street and engaging people who disagree with you about your ideas. That’s something I’ve done this year with two mission trips: the pro-life mission and the Muslim mission. Both entail training believers to engage non-Christians (whether abortion-choice advocates or Muslims) in real-life settings. This kind of hands-on exercise builds believers’ confidence in a way that no lecture can.
Real training also leads to real life results. At one pro-life mission, I spent the day training students how to change minds on abortion. The next day I took them to downtown Portland to practice their skills. One of my students, Joel, met a man named Kyle whose girlfriend was going to abort her child. During their quick encounter, Joel convinced him that abortion was the wrong choice. Kyle immediately called his girlfriend to cancel their abortion. Real training led to a real life being saved.
There are several other things that supplement my work. I’m making a lot of my teaching content available through my podcast, “Thinking Out Loud” and also through YouTube. My videos, that cover topics like atheism, abortion, evolution, homosexuality, and Islam, have been viewed tens of thousands of times literally across the globe. I also contribute regularly to STR’s video blog, a regular Monday feature, and the weekly challenge, another video feature on the blog.
I’m not telling you this to toot my own horn. Of course I’m thrilled God is using me in powerful ways to train believers and impact non-Christians. But I wanted to report to you our progress this year. Working together means we’re able to accomplish more. That’s the power of partnership. And I’m grateful you’re standing with me.
For the kingdom,