Max Lucado is a pastor, speaker, and best-selling author who, in his own words, “writes books for people who don’t read books.” He serves the people of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, and his message is for the hurting, the guilty, the lonely, and the discouraged: God loves you; let him.
As a writer, Max is known for combining poetic storytelling and homespun humor with the heart of a pastor. All of his trade books began as sermon series at Oak Hills Church, and his sermons all begin with Max asking himself this question: “What can I say on Sunday that will still matter on Monday?” He’s been dubbed “America’s Pastor” by Christianity Today, and “The Best Preacher in America” by Reader’s Digest.
Max’s books have sold more than 120 million copies in 54 languages worldwide. He published On the Anvil, his first trade book, in 1985. His 42nd trade book, You Are Never Alone: Trust in the Miracle of God’s Presence and Power, was released on September 14, 2020. Max’s books regularly appear on bestseller lists, including The New York Times. His writing has also been featured in Bible studies, Bible commentaries, songs, greeting cards, and even plush toys.
Max’s love for everyday people began during his childhood in the small town of Andrews, Texas. His father was an oilfield mechanic, his mother was a nurse, and Max spent a lot of his time either running from or running after his brother, Dee. Max grew rebellious in his teenage years, and after one specific drunken night, he began to wonder if there was more to life than parties and chasing girls. He now believes that if Jesus hadn’t found him and changed his heart, alcoholism would have been in his future.
After high school, Max attended Abilene Christian University and left with two degrees and a heart for following Jesus and helping others learn about him, too. He moved to Miami, Florida, and took a position as an associate pastor at a small church. This is where Max started writing about Jesus for the first time in the church’s monthly newsletter, and it’s where he developed his passion for people and ministry.
Florida was also where Max met his wife, Denalyn. Together, they lived first in Miami and then spent several years in Rio de Janeiro, helping plant churches. The newsletters Max wrote to family and friends while in Rio, along with the newsletters he wrote at his church in Miami, eventually formed the manuscript of his first book, On the Anvil.
Max and Denalyn now live in San Antonio, Texas. They have three grown daughters, two sons-in-law, and two grandchildren.
Vision and Beliefs
UpWords Ministries and MaxLucado.com exist to help people take one step closer to Jesus.
God’s story is one of love and redemption. The message that most clearly shows this redemptive love is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (1 John 3:16). Paul says this message is of “first importance” (1 Corinthians 15:3). As God reveals his nature through the stories of the Bible, the following teachings emerge as the central core doctrines.
There is one true God, eternally existing in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These are equal and are one God. God created the world out of nothing, and by his power, he sustains all he has created (Romans 8:22-25; Ephesians 1:13-14).
Jesus was miraculously born of the Virgin Mary (Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:35) and became flesh and blood (John 1:1-16; 29-34) without ceasing to be God. He lived a sinless life and performed many miracles to confirm his divinity. He died on the cross as a perfect sacrifice, paying the debt for our sins (Mark 10:45). On the third day after his death he arose from the dead, showing his victory over sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). He appeared to his disciples and then ascended into heaven, and now he sits at the right hand of God serving as our mediator.
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son. He makes people aware of their need for Christ (John 16:8-11; 2 Corinthians 6:11). He indwells and empowers the believer (I John 4:13; Galatians 5:16-26). His presence in our life is a seal and a guarantee that we are God’s children (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). The Holy Spirit gives believers spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7-11; Romans 12:4-8), which are talents or abilities to be used to help others.
Baptism is an act of obedience and demonstrates our devotion to Jesus as Lord and Savior. For further explanation, read this position paper, written by Max Lucado.
The Bible is the inspired word of God and is the final authority in life and doctrine (2 Timothy 3:16).
Salvation is a free gift of God. The death of Christ on the cross is the only sufficient payment for our sins. All have sinned, but all can be saved. This salvation is available for any who put their trust in Christ as Savior (Romans 3:23; 6:23; John 3:16). Those trusting Christ should repent of sin, confess their faith, and be baptized (Romans 10:9; Acts 2:38).
The church is the body of Christ on earth, empowered by the Holy Spirit to continue the task of reaching the lost and discipling the saved, helping them become fully devoted followers of Christ (Ephesians 4:1-16).
Christ will one day return and judge all people (1Thessalonians 4:13-18). Unbelievers will be separated from God’s presence in Hell, and believers will be welcomed into God’s presence in Heaven.
At UpWords, we sincerely try to follow the Bible and its teachings. However, our ability to logically figure everything out is not the basis for our acceptability before God. Our salvation is based on what God has done for us through Jesus Christ. What we must be right about is the fact that we cannot be right about everything and are therefore completely dependent on God’s graciousness and mercy.