Top Ten FAQ…
Making almost two hundred guest appearances on Trinity Broadcasting Network, Daystar Television Network, TCT Network, ABC News Australia, The Word Network plus interviews on radio talk shows, Norman gets asked many questions about his life and ministry – here are the ten most popular…
Q1: “What do you see as the primary focus of your ministry?”
A: Advancing the gospel, and through the life-giving truth of God’s Word leading as many people as possible into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. From the early days of my Bible teaching ministry, I’ve sought to equip and help Christians understand what they believe, why they believe it, how to live it, and how to disciple others with God’s truth. Over the years, my commitment has not changed.
Q2: “How were you called to full-time ministry?”
A: As a young engineer, newly married, I moved to South Africa on contract and within weeks after arriving in Durban I heard the gospel, and experienced a life-altering encounter with Jesus Christ. As I grew in my personal walk with the Lord I had an insatiable hunger for His Word, and began studying the Bible in-depth. This dramatically changed the whole course of my life and I began to clearly discern God’s call to ministry.
Q3: “How has God confirmed His divine calling and ministry gift upon your life?”
A: God has graciously and faithfully opened doors for my Bible teaching ministry and given me the privilege of speaking to tens of thousands of people around the world each year advancing the Lord’s work and helping churches thrive. Why? There are two reasons that I can identify…
- First, I match the profile of the kind of person God says He uses. The Bible says in 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 only: I love His Word and I love teaching people everywhere who want to grow in their understanding of the Word.
I am humbled and honored to be used as a channel through which the grace of God, the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and the life-saving power of the gospel can supernaturally impact countless lives around the world.
Q4: “What truth is most central to your life and ministry?”
A: He’s God and I’m not! It is God’s Word ministered under the anointing of the Holy Spirit that brings real change in people’s lives. Our sermons accomplish nothing without the life-imparting ability of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the “divine equipper” and His power makes all the difference. We must rely on Him, His empowerment, and His enablement to unpack God’s truth that transforms lives.
Successful ministry requires “the unction to function.” God always equips and supernaturally enables me to do what He has called me to do! Whether I’m speaking to an audience of 250 or 25,000 – every time I open my Bible to teach: I can rest in the life-transforming impact of the Word of God, ignited by the Spirit of God, to bring real and meaningful change in hearts and lives.
Bottom Line: Never forget it is the Holy Spirit who illuminates and empowers the preacher, opens the hearts of the hearers, and applies the message to their lives.
Q5: “As you travel and speak, what encourages you most about what you see in today’s church?”
A: Almost everywhere I speak these days I’m seeing more and more Bible-believing, Bible-preaching, Bible-obedient, Bible-structured churches with truly gifted and anointed church leaders that are hungry and thirsty for more of God. Here are 5 encouraging things I’m seeing happen in churches across America, in Australia, Canada, and Ireland and in several parts of Europe…
- I’m seeing more churches today lifting high the name of Jesus and proclaiming the authority of God’s Word without apology – positively engaging and massively impacting their communities for Christ.
- I’m seeing more and more congregations that were once struggling to survive, experience real breakthroughs and consistently break attendance barriers to advance Christ’s Kingdom.
- I’m seeing more churches with a fresh desire to grow in Christ and in the understanding of God’s Word – to purposely live God-honoring lives.
- I’m seeing more and more congregations unashamed to preach the life-saving gospel of Christ, foster discipleship, encourage evangelism and launch gospel-centered missions.
- I’m seeing more churches that were once shrinking and dying, revitalized by the Word of God and the Spirit of God – and experiencing dramatic reversals from decline to vibrant health.
These are great and exciting days for the church and I’m thrilled to be a part of what God is doing. I’m convinced the best is yet to come for the church and the greatest harvest of souls in history is about to be reaped for the glory of God.
Q6: “What is your wife’s role in ministry and what do you most appreciate about her?”
A: I am blessed with a wonderful wife, Eleanor, who cares for me far better than I deserve. She continues to be priceless in so many ways – I can always count on her incredible love and support; her spiritual strength and wisdom, and her great sense of humor! 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).
Q7: “What drives you and keeps you motivated, excited and focused in ministry?”
A: I’ve had hundreds of conversations with pastors, and when they talk about their church I’m hearing more and more of them say to me… “Norman we want our faith strengthened, our knowledge broadened, and our love for Jesus deepened. We need you to come and help us cultivate a culture of discipleship, launch gospel-centered evangelism, and help elevate our church so we see more and more people in our community encounter Jesus and apply the Bible to their lives.”
Hearing these encouraging words from so many senior pastors, bishops and church leaders – across denominational lines – keeps me fired up and focused on the three things I do best…
1. Teaching life-giving messages designed to equip, disciple, and energize believers from every walk of life to faithfully follow Christ, pursue godliness, and thrive in all spheres of life. Discipleship never happens by accident!
2. Helping churches, and church leaders, reach higher, breakthrough growth barriers, build momentum, advance spiritually and make a lasting kingdom impact.
3. Preaching Bible-saturated sermons in an engaging and relevant way that meets the needs of people and applies the power of the Christian message that produces radical life change. This is essential to the church’s ongoing health and vibrant growth.
Q8: “As an author you’ve written seventeen books, when did you write your first book and why?”
A: I have strong convictions about the great truths of the Christian faith, and in the mid-80s I was a senior-lecturer at a large Bible Training Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa. While teaching the second-year ministerial students on Eschatology (the study of biblical 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 solidly biblical manual that explained the end times.
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 just a few months and we had to reprint it. Then Sovereign World, a UK publishing company, bought the rights to the book and it became one of their most popular sellers.
I don’t think I’ll ever cease to be amazed by what God did with that first 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 top sellers.
Q9: “What advice do you have for pastors who want to see real growth take place in their church?”
A: I am in the business of church acceleration, because I know beyond any doubt, God wants churches to flourish and succeed. Growing churches rely on God. God does it. God brings the growth, as long as people don’t get in His way! Growing churches challenge the status quo: very often the right question to ask is not “how can I grow my church” – but to ask yourself what is it that is keeping your church from growing.
Healthy churches are meant to flourish. Healthy churches are made up of spiritually healthy members. Healthy churches are growing churches. Church growth is more than the number of warm bodies sitting in the pews. It’s more than getting the right systems, structures and staff in place… Churches that flourish are constantly seeking to improve, constantly seeking to advance spiritually – they cultivate a climate of discipleship and promote gospel-centered evangelism.
They foster a genuine team spirit and a winning attitude throughout the leadership and in every area of the church. They raise the bar of excellence and are constantly seeking to do things better for the glory of God and advancement of Christ’s Kingdom! God wants local churches to thrive everywhere and become unstoppable.
Q10: “Aside from the Bible, which books have been influential in your life and ministry and 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 the Holy Spirit used in my life to anchor my soul in sound doctrine and 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 over the years…
- Knowing God. – J. I. Packer
- The Cross of Christ. – John Stott
- The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit. – R. A. Torrey
- The Power of Prayer in a Believer’s Life. – Charles Spurgeon
- The Blood of Christ. – Andrew Murray
- The Holiness of God. – R. C. Sproul
- Old Paths. – J. C. Ryle
- The Epistle to the Romans – Leon Morris
- The Journey. – Billy Graham
- Systematic Theology. – Wayne Grudem
- The Knowledge of the Holy. – A. W. Tozer
- Spiritual Leadership. – J. Oswald Sanders
- Christ the Healer. – F. F. Bosworth
- Heaven. – Randy Alcorn
- The Autobiography of George Müller
Also, there are many great options available in Study Bibles – my current favorites are the ESV Study Bible, the Biblical Theology Study Bible, and the Spirit-Filled Life Bible.