Pastor Roger Hernandez is the Ministerial and Evangelism director for the Southern Union Conference, based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He is the author of 14 books including the “Sharing Book of the Year”—on two occasions—and the “Discipleship Book of the Year” for 2016: Everyone Welcome. He talked about his ministry and writing—and his ministry of writing.
As a pastor and ministry leader, why add writing to your busy work life?
Writing is like breathing—if I don’t, I die. Someone once told me, publish or perish. When you die, your ideas don’t have to, if they are written somewhere. Since I speak often, writing is really helpful in condensing thoughts and ideas in a palatable form that is concise and practical.
How did writing begin for you?
I started 25 years ago. I saw how some of my messages helped people in their marriage, so I decided to put them down in book form. What kept me writing is seeing the benefit it had for people. One of my first resources was a small-group book that I pitched to a publishing company, but was rejected. We self-published and worked really hard to promote it. It did so well that the publishing company circled back and offered to print the book.
Your recent books have a self-help feel. What does our faith offer for the challenges of life that we all face at times?
I prefer to use the phrase “helpful truth” to describe my work. Truth that is not helpful is just information. But self-help books that aren’t based in truth can lead people astray. Both are necessary. Growing up, I mainly saw information in our denomination but little on how the gospel can apply to the everyday life of people. I promised myself when I became a writer and pastor that I would work to balance things out a bit.