MARY REICHARD, HOST: Next up on The World and Everything in It: a preview of this week’s Listening In.
Canadian author and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof took an unconventional path to the pastorate. He worked as a lawyer for a year before going to seminary. He started pastoring at age 30 but quickly made up for lost time.
NICK EICHER, HOST: The tiny congregations he started with eventually became among the most influential evangelical churches in Canada.
Nieuwhof now spends his time writing and speaking, most often about leadership.
Listening In host Warren Smith talked to Nieuwhof about facing challenges that almost all of us experience.
Let’s listen now to an excerpt of their conversation.
WARREN SMITH: Let’s start with cynicism because that’s where you start in the book. What is cynicism? What causes it and how can we move beyond it?
CAREY NIEUWHOF: Yeah, cynicism, to me is a loss of hope. I’m very naturally, I think God wired me as an optimist. I think the majority of people are optimistic, particularly when they’re young. But what happened to me, it wasn’t law that made me cynical. It happened to me in the context of ministry. And I think theologically, cynicism routes itself in knowledge. King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes chapter 1, it’s really fascinating because he’s like the smartest guy in the world, according to the Scripture and the story as we understand it. And he says something really profound at the end of Chapter 1 of Ecclesiastes. He says, the greater my wisdom, the greater my sorrow. The greater my knowledge, the greater my grief. And it’s like, whoa, what is that? But when you live a little longer, like you get past your 18th birthday, you get into like life and you begin to realize, oh, that’s what he’s talking about. I think the ultimate antidote to cynicism is the gospel itself. Because the gospel itself, I mean, you give me death, I’ll show you resurrection. You show me hate, I’m going to show you love. Like that is the gospel. So the gospel is the opposite of cynicism. And it’s really hard. You got to hope again, you’ve got to trust again. You got to believe again. But the daily hack that I’ve tried to to cultivate in my life is just being a curious person. Because if I’m curious, I find it kills my cynicism.