As soon as Louie Giglio walks in the room, it is clear that he's a man on a mission with a very important message. Anyone who knows Giglio or has heard him speak before will also know that it is not unusual for him to be passionate.
Giglio has written more than 20 books, but it is clear that Not Forsaken was his toughest work as an author. Originally, his plan was to write a different book, but he knew that God wanted him to write Not Forsaken. "I can remember waking up one day knowing that God wanted me to write the book," Giglio says. "It was a hard book to write because with every page I knew that I would be speaking into people's pain about how they had been treated by their earthly father."
Giglio says that he wrote the book for everyone because we all have a father, and how we view God is directly related to how we view our father. In Giglio's opinion, God is nothing like our earthly father, no matter how good or bad of a father we had. To those who have followed Giglio, it is not unexpected for him to talk about the characteristics of God. In fact, it’s his trademark.
According to Giglio, receiving the approval of our earthly father is something we all desire. For many people, when they don't receive it, they struggle inwardly. This is one of the reasons why he felt the need to not only speak on the topic but also write about it. He wanted to give people the hope of knowing that they are chosen, loved, prized, wanted, and believed in by a perfect Father. No matter the relationship that they have with their earthly father, God has a plan for their life. Giglio says that when we are able to grasp the approval that the heavenly father has toward us, there is nothing that God can't do because we are chosen by God.
Not Forsaken has been on Giglio's heart for over 30 years and is a subject that he has spoken about in the past. He would be the first to admit that working on the book took a lot out of him emotionally as he remembered his own relationship with his father, whose name he bears.
Giglio's dad was a self-taught graphic designer and a creative like his son. He designed the iconic Chick-Fil-A logo, for which he was paid $75 dollars. It is something that Giglio is proud to know his father left behind.
When talking about his dad, Giglio is very clear that he loved him and was thankful to have him in his life, but their relationship—like many father and son relationships—had its twists and turns.
The beginning of Giglio's calling into the ministry was fraught with tension between them. Giglio can remember telling his dad that he was going to surrender to the calling of ministry: it was at his home church, First Baptist of Atlanta, only three hours before the service. His dad, who was not attending, responded simply, "That's great."
Later in his life, Giglio's dad would end up hearing him speak and giving his full approval to his son’s ministry.
One of the reasons Giglio loves pastoring Passion City Church is the life changes he has the privilege of experiencing week after week. It is a calling that, even after 10 years of doing it, surprises him. "I never thought I would be a pastor. In fact, I had someone tell me when I was 30 that pastoring wasn't something that I should do." There are many people who are thankful that Giglio didn't listen to that advice.
Photo Courtesy: Louie Giglio Facebook