On the Subject of Me:
The Short Version
- Born: Glasgow, Scotland.
- Saved By Grace: Durban, South Africa.
- Watch My Story.
- Husband to Eleanor.
- Speaker and Author: Check Out My Books.
- Education: M.Div., Th.D. [Moody Bible Institute; Church of God Seminary].
- Find Out What I Believe. [PDF]
- Read My Blog.
- Favorite Book of the Bible: Romans – Pivotal to Understanding the Gospel and Essentials of the Christian Life.
- Favorite Scripture: Proverbs 9:10
- Favorite Quote: “Your reputation is what people say about you. Your character is what God and your wife know about you.” — Billy Sunday
- My Hero of the Faith: Smith Wigglesworth.
- See What I Do: Here and Here and Here
- Sign Up For My Free Downloads.
- For Media Inquiries and to Contact Me.
- Need More Info? Go Here!
The Longer Version
With over sixty appearances on TBN, The Word Network, TCT, and Daystar Television, and interviews on Christian radio talk shows, Norman gets asked many questions about his life and ministry — here’s the top ten FAQ…
Q: What do you see as the primary focus of your ministry?
A: From the beginning days of my Bible teaching ministry, I’ve sought to equip and help Christians know what they believe, why they believe it, how to live it, and how to disciple others. Over the years, my commitment has not changed.
Q: How were you called to the ministry, and why do you believe that ministry is the greatest calling anyone can have?
A: As a young engineer I moved to South Africa on contract, and within weeks after my arrival in Durban I experienced a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ. As I grew in my personal relationship with the Lord I had an unquenchable hunger for His Word, and began studying the Bible in-depth. This altered the whole course of my life and I began to sense God’s plan for my life and ministry.
Why has God given me the privilege of teaching His Word to tens of thousands around the world? There are two reasons that I can identify. First, I match the profile of the kind of person God says He uses. 1 Corinthians 1:27, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” I’m a perfect match! Second, because God knows that I’m in ministry for one reason: I love Him and His Word, and I want to connect as many people as possible with the life-transforming principles of the Bible.
1 Timothy 1:12 I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.
I am truly honored to be a channel through which the grace of God, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the life and liberty in Jesus Christ can become real to people.
Q: As an author you’ve written seventeen books — when did you write your first book and why did you write it?
A: I have an uncommon zeal for the great truths of the Christian faith, and in the mid-80s I was a lecturer at a large Bible training institute in Johannesburg, South Africa. While teaching the second-year ministerial students on Eschatology, (the study of Bible prophecy and the end times), due to the popularity of the course I felt it would be helpful to the students to put all of my lecture notes into a readable and theologically rock solid book.
This triggered a significant project and the result was a hefty 300 page book: “Understanding End Time Prophecy.” And to my astonishment 5000 copies sold in a few months and I had to reprint it. Then Sovereign World, a UK publishing company, bought the rights to the book and it became one of their best sellers.
I do not think I will ever cease to be astounded by what God did with that book. This encouraged me to continue writing Christian books, and providentially open our own publishing company. By God’s grace, several of my books have become perennial best-sellers.
Q: What truth is most central to your life and ministry?
A: God always equips and supernaturally empowers you to do what He has called you to do!
Our sermons accomplish nothing without the anointing and life of the Holy Spirit. Successful ministry requires the unction to function. The Holy Spirit is the “divine equipper” and we must rely on Him, His power and His abilities to unpack God’s truth that transforms lives.
For example, whether I’m speaking to an audience of 500 or 23,000 — every place and every time I minister: I can rest in the transforming power of the grace of God, working through the Word of God, and ignited by the Spirit of God to make a lasting impact in hearts and lives.
Q: Aside from the Bible, which books have been influential in your life and ministry — what are your favorites?
A: When God called me into full-time Christian ministry, He called me to study His Word in-depth. I took that sacred charge seriously, and was trained and ordained to a ministry of teaching God’s Word. I am grateful to have read and studied many excellent books that taught me the life-changing truths of biblical Christianity.
The following titles are some of the most influential books that have helped to shape my thinking and ministry:
- The Cross of Christ — John Stott
- Knowing God — J. I. Packer
- Ever Increasing Faith — Smith Wigglesworth
- Spiritual Leadership — J. Oswald Sanders
- Systematic Theology — Wayne Grudem
- Christ the Healer — F. F. Bosworth
- The Knowledge of the Holy — A. W. Tozer
- The Autobiography of George Muller
- Great Doctrines of the Bible — Martyn Lloyd-Jones
- The Epistle to the Romans — Leon Morris
- The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit — R. A. Torrey
- The Normal Christian Life — Watchman Nee
- The Treasury of David — Charles Spurgeon
- With Christ in the School of Prayer — Andrew Murray
- The Gifts and Ministries of the Holy Spirit — Lester Sumrall
- The Holiness of God — R. C. Sproul
These are the books I would most like to see every student of God’s Word have on their shelves. Also, there are many great options available in study Bibles — my current favorite is the ESV Study Bible.
Q: What do you most appreciate about your wife and her role in your ministry?
A: I have a wonderful wife, Eleanor, who cares for me better than I deserve. She has been a priceless blessing to me in so many ways — her incredible love and support; her spiritual strength and wisdom. Eleanor is my anchor; my compass; a constant encourager and my best friend. She is my greatest joy! Her ministry priority is taking care of me, and our family, and she does an amazing job. “Her worth is far above rubies.” (Proverbs 31:10)
Q: Can you describe for us what your sermon preparation looks like?
A: I believe that anointed, authentic, and accurate biblical teaching changes lives. I also believe that the hallmark of a great sermon is not “What a great sermon” or “What a great preacher,” but “What a great God!”
Revelation 1:2 For the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Firstly, my preparation involves spending much time in study and prayer — relying on the “master teacher” the Holy Spirit for His direction, inspiration, and illumination. I want to make sure I’m serving up a soul-nourishing diet of spiritual meat, with Bible-based, God-honoring messages that are engaging, relevant, and life-giving.
Secondly, through my ministry I want people to clearly understand what the Bible says, what it means today, and what it personally means for them. These three keys are central in my thinking when I prepare to speak, and they serve as the framework for the structure of my Bible teaching.
Thirdly, practical application is at the heart of my approach to ministry and to the Word, and it is what engraves God’s truth in people’s lives, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Q: What’s the most valuable advice you’ve ever received?
A: As a young minister, I was very fortunate to spend time with Pastor John Osteen, founder of Lakewood Church, and he gave me a pearl of wisdom that has always stayed with me: “God is far more interested in your faithfulness than He is in your accomplishments.”
Q: Over the past decade a driving passion of your ministry has been helping local churches break growth barriers and thrive — what are some signs of flourishing churches?
A: Churches that flourish are constantly seeking to improve; constantly seeking to grow spiritually, and constantly seeking to do things better for the glory of God.
It’s no secret I love the local church and I love helping pastors succeed, and that’s why for the past decade I have majored on church revitalization and church acceleration. I believe that dynamic growth is God’s plan for every local church! However, church growth is more than the number of warm bodies sitting in the pews. Healthy churches are made up of spiritually healthy members.
The spiritual health of any local church requires engagement in the process of making disciples. Effective discipleship gets the church moving in the right direction and is a result of intentional, passionate and strategic commitment to spiritual growth.
When church members become disciples, they become faithful followers of Jesus — they learn what Jesus said and live out what Jesus did (Matthew 28:19).
Disciples are committed to making God the number one priority in their life. Every pastor wants his congregation to be advancing spiritually — that’s why I wrote the discipleship workbook: Walking In Victory to equip local churches with a spiritual growth track for making disciples — the heart of the Great Commission.
Q: What encourages you most about what you see in the church today?
A: I’m seeing more and more congregations embrace the Word of God, and the God of the Word with a fresh hunger and passion.
I’m seeing more and more churches revitalized and coming alive to the glory of God and advancement of His Kingdom!
I’m seeing more and more churches elevate the supremacy of the Scriptures, promote discipleship, encourage evangelism, and launch missions.
I’m seeing more and more congregations that were once dying experience dramatic reversals, from decline to vibrant health.
I’m seeing more and more churches that were once struggling to grow experience real breakthroughs, and consistently break attendance barriers.
These are exciting days for the church and I’m thrilled to be a part of what God is doing — the best is yet to come!