Bill Johnson Talks About His Next Book: "Why I Wrote 'The Way of Life'"
My first international ministry trips, which began in 1986, were with a dear friend of mine, Dale Harrison. We have had such great times together, bringing the message of the Kingdom of God to several nations. A few years ago, Dale came to visit. We talked and caught up a bit on what was happening in our families and ministry life. Then he said something that stuck with me. He told me that I didn’t realize how different the culture was at Bethel, but I needed to, and I needed to write about it in a book. I already had enough writing goals and assignments. I really didn’t want to add to what was in my heart to write. But the main reason for my resistance to the idea was I didn’t want to write about us. At all. Ever. But in all honesty, I couldn’t shake it. I called him several weeks later and asked him to repeat his idea to me, as I felt life on what he said. He did, and I began to ponder the uniqueness of our world and took notes on what might be helpful to the broader body of Christ. The Way of Life is the result.
As much as I know how, I have avoided making this book about Bethel without robbing you, the reader, of the insights and experiences that have shaped our world.
For years, I have called Bethel “the great experiment.” It really is, which means we succeed and fail. With that comes the privilege of learning what works and what doesn’t. And that approach to life and ministry is an ongoing process, which implies we have not arrived to an elite status at all. We face that painful reality on a regular basis. And yet there is something happening here that I have ached for for so many years. I’ve learned it can be taught and imparted.
We have had breakthroughs that were once only dreams. We’ve also had levels of impact that were never even in our dreams. We have had extreme favor, and we’ve had tremendous opposition. Both of these realities were new to us. All of that is to say we are in process. This book is my best attempt to speak of His great work of grace in us in a way that inspires unto hope, stirs up great faith, and releases an impartation for transformation. I offer this with the hope of seeing the full impact of the Gospel of the Kingdom on earth—in my lifetime. And if not mine, then in my children’s lifetime.
I pray that from reading this, you will experience a breakthrough that will mark the rest of your life.