5 Questions for Andy Frost
We recently caught up with Andy Frost, author of Long Story Short. He had lots to say about writing, narratives, and looking at a bigger picture beyond our own happiness.
1. Why was it important to you to write Long Story Short?
I have been sharing on the power of story over the past couple of years and have found that stories connect with people on so many levels. Everyone loves a good story! As a Christian, I think we, as the Church, have sometimes become too focused on theological statements, rather than enjoying the grand narrative of the Bible. Jesus told stories to connect and I wanted to share some of these ideas to help connect people with the greatest story teller!
2. Whose writing do you look to for inspiration?
I’m a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell. I love the way he hooks you with great questions. He has such an inquisitive mind and invites you into his thinking. He has this great ability to tell story upon story to build a robust argument, often challenging some of your previously held ideas.
3. Can you tell us a bit about why the God Story is important to you?
Society offer us so many stories to live by, many of them good stories but there is a problem: the stories we live by end up defining us. They tell us who we are, that we defined by what we achieve or what we attain or how we feel. At the heart of the God Story is an understanding that our identity is ultimately defined by how God sees us.
The story begins in a garden, where it is clear that humanity is not a mistake. The story continues with the great cost God pays to bring us back into relationship with him. And the story is filled with hope, as it ends in a city, where there will be no more tears. This story profoundly reveals that we are loved, not because of what we do but because of what God has done.
4. How is the God Story different than living for significance, safety, or happiness?
Living for significance, safety and happiness all put ourselves at the centre of the story. We become the central character chasing what we think will satisfy us. But these three aspirations never fully satisfy. In the God story, we find that we were never meant to be central to our life story. Instead God is to be the centre and when he is, we find that these three small stories begin to make more sense. We discover there is a significance that comes from being wrapped up in God’s story and a sense of safety that comes from knowing nothing can separate us from God’s love and a sense of happiness from knowing that we are loved.
5. What would you like readers to take away from Long Story Short?
My hope is that this book will inspire many people who have not really considered the Christian faith to re-assess their own life story and consider whether the God Story makes sense. I have already given a few copies to my friends to read. And then for those of us who have been Christians many years, my hope is that we will be challenged not to settle for the smaller stories the world has to offer but to keep focused on how we serve God’s greater story. 6. What advice would you give someone who would like to write? Start writing! I think the most important thing is to start writing and discover your style. Whether you blog or write short stories, start somewhere and look for people who can help you as you write, offering critique and praise.