Author and pastor David Chadwick has just released his brand new book, From Superficial to Significant: What It Means to Become Great in God's Eyes. The book offers ten fundamentals that Jesus practiced and offered as an example of the Christian life. David Chadwick has pastored Forest Hill Church in Charlotte, NC for over 30 years and has grown the church from 180 members to more than 6,000. There are a total of 6 campuses. He is also a former pro-basketball player (UNC-Chapel Hill) and was coached under the legendary College Basketball Hall of Famer Coach Dean Smith.
We are honored to catch up with Pastor Chadwick for this exclusive interview.
Q: Thank you David for doing this interview with us. How did you feel the Lord's call to be a pastor after your successful career in professional basketball?
I had finished my pro basketball career and was a graduate assistant basketball coach at the University of Florida, working on a graduate degree in counseling psychology. I was alone in my apartment in Gainesville, Florida. I was confused about what the Lord wanted for me. Basketball coach? Counseling? Broadcasting (my undergraduate degree)? I had a sudden moment when the Lord came over me. I fell to my knees with an open heart. Then I heard a voice. Was it audible to others? I don't know. I just know I heard it. It said, "David, don't you know from the foundations of the earth I created you to proclaim my gospel throughout the world?" At that moment, I yielded my heart to the Lord and entered seminary two months later.
Q: Did your time as a basketball player help you in your pastoral ministry?
Yes, my time as a basketball player greatly aided my involvement in ministry. I learned teamwork, discipline, humility, giving, sharing, and what it takes to accomplish a task with others. Aren't these qualities the nature of church work and ministry? Aren't they necessary for all success to occur, especially the winning of souls for our Lord?
Q: While you pastoring your church, the church grew from 180 to 6,000 worshippers. What were some factors that caused the church to grow so exponentially?
There were many factors that contributed to the church's growth. Here are a few: 1) the faithful exposition of God's Word 2) a group of people committed to prayer 3) a strong Life Group ministry where people experience biblical community 4) a heart among the people for lost people locally and globally 5) a deep compassion for the poor locally and globally 6) a constant desire to understand how to contextualize the gospel without ever compromising its truth
Q: Congratulations on the release of your new book, "From Superficial to Significant: What It Means to Become Great in God's Eyes." In what ways do many of us live superficial lives?
We live superficial lives by seeking entertainment and self-fulfillment as our highest priorities. We live each day for self: self-aggrandizement, self-satisfaction and selfish consumption. We have failed to realize that true life and significance is found in serving, not hoarding, in giving, not taking. We find our lives in losing them for something greater than ourselves: following Jesus and the gospel of the kingdom of God.
Q: Define "greatness in God's eyes."
Greatness in God's eyes is 1) Humility that realizes God is everything and all we have comes from him 2) It's people who have received forgiveness for their sins 3) who know that when we are weak, he is strong 4) who worship him with all that is within them 5) who love their neighbors both locally and globally 6) who passionately desire to make disciples of all the nations 7) who possess mountain-moving faith 8) who persevere thru tough times yet still believe 9) who seek holiness above all and 10) who have great generosity for the gifts God has loaned them. These ten factors (which are my chapters), when followed well, make us great in God's eyes. This is his biblical definition of greatness.
Q: In the book you talked about 10 fundamentals that Jesus practiced. Why are these fundamentals important to us?
The above-mentioned fundamentals (chapters) are how God wants us to play this life's games. No basketball player (or any other athlete) can play at a high level unless he or she understands and practices the fundamentals of the game. God has a desire for how he wants our lives to be lived. These ten insights give us God's way to greatness, how he wants us to play life's game, what allow us to hear "Well done" when we see him in heaven.
Q: How has your own life been impacted as a result of this book?
This book share my heart. It's the culmination of almost 40 years in ministry. It's what I want every disciple to practice. It's what I will use to mentor the next generation of Christ followers.