I would like to introduce Bruce Chant who has agreed to be interviewed about his work.
When I met Bruce on Twitter, two things leaped out at me.
First he has an amazing number of followers on Twitter (over 30,000!) and Facebook (over 1,100 likes). Being new to these media outlets, I am impressed by those who have done well using them.
Secondly, his blog, EDevotional, where he regularly posts devotionals really drew me in. His devotionals often use well-known Bible verses in a unique way to encourage and challenge his readers. His own spiritual journey frequently is fodder for his work along with a smattering of psychological insights. I find myself slowing down and evaluating the health of my spiritual life when I read his work.
So, let’s meet Bruce Chant!
Kerry: Please tell me about yourself.
My name is Bruce Chant. I am a husband and father of two great kids. I live on the West Coast of Australia in a city called Perth. It’s a great place to live, so much so that we joke about the Perth-ect weather here!
I have 14 years of experience in pastoral roles in the church, but now I run my business and ministry which specializes in Communications and Strategy. I also consult to churches on these matters helping them uncover their unique identity and how to move forward from there. Lastly, I have recently ventured into the world of publishing! I have published an iPad App Magazine which is available via iTunes called R3 Magazine (AppStore.com/R3magazine). It is a magazine for Christians, to encourage the 3 Rs – Revelation, Revival and Reformation – in their lives. In my spare time I blog at EDevotional and I’m working on a couple of books I hope to get out in the coming months.
Kerry: What was the inspiration for EDevotional?
Bruce: EDevotional grew out of my own devotional life. I shared various snippets and things I had written with friends and from the feedback I got I thought, why not put this online. So that is what I did!
Basically, I like to think EDevotional comes out of place of “what is God saying to me”, through my devotional life in the Word of God. Then, where it is relevant and helpful, I publish posts that I pray help those reading it gain greater focus and clarity on God’s heart and desire for us. I have also put together a couple of special devotional series that are sent out via email. I’ve put one out for each of the past two years and have had amazing feedback, so I’d like to do more along these lines.
Kerry: How did you get started writing devotionals?
Bruce: As I mentioned, it was just a thought that “hey, maybe others would enjoy this too?” I have always journaled and written notes on what I find in the Word of God and so it all stems from there.
Kerry: I’ve noticed a psychological component to your devotionals. Talk about your integration of theology and psychology?
Bruce: Wow that is a good question. I am in no ways a person with a clear understanding of psychology so I will do my best to answer that question!
A couple of things come to mind. I think when it comes to Bible teaching or devotions there are two angles to take the human angle looking up (i.e. this is life, how does God fit in) and the heavenly angle looking down (i.e. this is God, how does life fit in). I think both are relevant and necessary. I tend to write more from the second angle, probably because that is how I tend to “hear” God in my own devotional life.
But I am aware that can be very “preachy” in tone and can easily become theoretical and highly conceptual in nature. And that doesn’t make for a great devotional thought! So I do like to mix that up with some simple “How to” type posts. Ultimately, the Christian faith is about living, not about theory. Of course our beliefs inform our actions, but providing some simple and accessible tools, tips and direction can be helpful in putting our faith into action, starting with our own devotional life.
Not sure I answered the question, but there you are!
Kerry: What surprising insight or blessing have you gained from writing?
Bruce: The greatest blessing in writing is the lucidity of thought that comes with it. I tend to start with some notes I’ve hand written, but I find as I type I do gain (or am forced towards in some cases) greater clarity. That to me is a great blessing.
The other great blessing of course, is feedback and encouragement from people I have never met, often from the other side of the planet. That is also a great “wow” factor in writing for me.
Kerry: What unexpectedly writing-related difficulty have you encountered, if any?
Bruce: For me it is finding time to focus in order to write well. The irony for me is that I tend to write better when I have a time constraint. But the downside to that is rushing what I write and it not carrying the thought as clearly as I’d like. No one wants to put out rubbish work.
I am working with my schedule now to create from time slots that work as a positive constraint towards good writing!
Kerry: What is your current favorite Bible verse and why?
Bruce: Wow, this is hard. For me it tends to change season to season in my life. I guess one that I do come back to is Psalm 37. So much good stuff in there!
Kerry: You have quite large following on Twitter. Any helpful tips to pass along to those new to Twitter who are building their social platform?
Bruce: I think if you’ve got something to say, you need to find people who might like to hear it! So I’d say be proactive in finding people with a similar interest, follow them and say hello. I would also definitely say make sure you have good, interesting, well-considered tweets to tweet, regularly. Don’t fill up your time line with other people’s retweets (although RT what is worth RTing) or inane comments about losing your keys or what you’re having for breakfast. It is fine line between being real and authentic online and being superficial, or dare I say, a bore. Work out what you want to say and say it. People will appreciate it!
Kerry: Bruce, thank you very much for taking time to tell us more about yourself!
If you would like to be blessed and encouraged, please check out Bruce’s work online:
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