I'm the 2nd stop on the 200 Pomegranates Blog Tour. Shawn Wood is getting the word out about his new book and you know how it goes; he had his people call my people and here we are. Ah, the honor. The thrills. The spills.
Thanks, Shawn, for stopping by for a few questions today.
Kem: I experienced my first pomegranate Thanksgiving 2007. When was the first time you encountered a pomegranate face to face?
Shawn: I must admit, my first encounter with a pomegranate was through the cold Tazo tea at Starbucks and not the real fruit. I actually experienced my first pomegranate at a message planning meeting at Seacoast a couple of years ago. I thought it was an onion. We were looking at the symbolism behind the pomegranate in scripture and most of us around the table had never actually eaten one so we had one as a sample the next week and then used it as a stage prop in the message as well. It’s a weird fruit really. Look like an onion on the outside and a corn that had a really bad day on the inside. For some reason the old testament dudes really likes them…I think it’s because they did not have Starbucks.
Kem: When I had my first bite, it reminded me of corn. Red, sweet corn. What made you think of God?
Shawn: I am a very spiritual person and think of God a lot more than you. Where you simply see corn, I see Jesus. Not really. I actually heard a message in the early 1990’s that preached on the “lily work” and “pomegranates” that were carved into the tops of the columns at Solomon’s temple. It was one of those messages that just stuck like a good bowl of cheese grits. I have always had a bent towards the arts through music, design and building and my dad is a metal artisan so it just seemed to resonate with me. Then one day it hit me. This guys carved this stuff not as “art” but as worship. Art is usually viewed by people, but this stuff was 30 something feet in the air and no one would see it. I realized at that moment that we all have something to carve towards an audience of one. I also really like corn too.
Kem: I cried reading the acknowledgments and was laughing in chapter one. Is it going to be that much of an emotional roller-coaster the whole way through?
Shawn: I think that emotions are a key-hole that God has created to people’s heart. Through emotions God can enter our lives and thus we can enter his story. That is when cool things happen. My hope would be that at the end of this book you would say what this reader did about it:
"I laughed a lot. I cried a lot. Then I laughed and cried some more." --Shawn’s Mom
Kem: How will I be changed after reading this book?
Shawn: My hope is that people will realize that God is not waiting on them to become something they are not so they can do things they were never called to do, but that instead they will be the artist God has created them to be and do the things that they were uniquely created to do. This will mean as a Mom you see the impact you have on your children as a canvas before you primed to be painted like a the masterpiece God wants them to be. As a leader you will see the people you work with not just as people but pieces of clay that when molded together will create a monument to who God is and as a artist you will see that you gifts, though seemingly distant from the story of God are in fact not just footnotes in his story but cover art for his novel called Kem. If after that happens you do something of great value that can be appreciated by others, I will be a happy author.
Kem: What if I want to hear your story-telling live?
Shawn: I am so excited to be able to share at a few conferences this year. First, Innovate 2008 at Granger Church (maybe you're familiar) will be the launching pad for the book. If you are not planning on coming you should change your plans. This is a must-conference for every church leader in my opinion. I am honored to share the stage with the Granger Team as well as the unbelievable speakers headlining this year. I also would love to see folks at ECHO, Multi-site exposed and Outreach. Let's connect! You can also hear my stories (good and bad) on my blog and follow me on twitter.
Kem: What parting gift did you bring for my readers?
Shawn: An advance look at the book.
Kem: What if somebody wants to host a stop on your blog tour?
Shawn: Have their people contact my people [firstname.lastname@example.org] and it'll happen.