My name is Zach Hoag, and I’m an author, preacher, and creator from New England. But mainly, I’m a light writer.
I have an “official” author bio, if you’re into that sort of thing:
Zach Hoag is an author, preacher, and creator from New England. Planting a church in one of the least churched cities in the U.S. (Burlington, Vermont), and pursuing ministry beyond that in a variety of spaces, Zach has learned a few things about the power of a deeply rooted life in Christ. Zach has found belonging in the Vermont countryside where he lives with his wife, Kalen, and their three girls. Find him writing at zhoag.com and follow him on Twitter @zhoag.
Also, I just published my first book with Zondervan, The Light is Winning: Why Religion Just Might Bring Us Back to Life. My amazing editor is Stephanie Smith, and I’m represented by the wonderful Jenni Burke of D.C. Jacobson & Associates.
But hey, let’s dig a little deeper.
On writing into the light:
So, I said I’m a light writer. Here’s what I mean by that. My core calling is to write into the light. And writing into the light is equal parts revealing truth and radiating hope.
Revealing truth requires a brutal and sometimes prophetic honesty about our own story and the stories taking place in the world around us. And radiating hope requires seeking out the brilliant thread in all of those stories that leads us through the darkness to ever-increasing justice, freedom, and flourishing. All because the light himself, Jesus, has come into the world.
My journey of being and becoming a light writer has taken me across the blogosphere, through all kinds of publications, to the point of a book contract with a major publisher and a mission to help other writers and creators on their own journey. But more importantly, it’s taken me from a place of darkness and struggle to a place of light and liberation.
Here’s another thing. I think there’s a rising tide of light writers who are catching this same revealing truth/radiating hope vision and want to act on it. And if that’s you, I hope you find some inspiration and support here in your writing journey. (If you want, you can request to join our Facebook Group. And stay tuned for more resources dedicated to light writers like us!)
Here’s a little more about me:
My story starts with growing up in a ministry family and being connected to the life of the church for as long as I can remember. I embraced a sincere faith as a little kid, and a powerful sense of calling was planted deep within me during those early years, intensifying as I got older. This calling eventually led to my wife and I planting a church in one of the least churched cities in the U.S. – Burlington, VT.
Throughout the life of our church plant, I became passionate about seeing the church engage culture rather than escape it, and embrace people rather than exclude them. We were an evangelical church, but my deepest desire was for us to include and impact the people of our progressive city. Out of that experience, I wrote my first book – about the gospel of Jesus and a TV serial killer named Dexter, no less! It really was the culmination of preaching week after week to connect the Word to the words of our cultural conversation.
Of course, as Bruce Cockburn sings, “Sometimes a wind comes out of nowhere, and knocks you off your feet.” Life has its darkness, its pain, its corresponding lament – another part of the story. As our church plant ended, an apocalyptic kind of season was triggered in my life, revealing deeply broken things in my past family and church experiences, and challenging the very foundation of my faith and calling.
In the midst of that season, when I was at my wit’s end, I desperately asked God what I should do next. I’m convinced he answered, “Just keep writing.”
And I haven’t stopped since.
What this site is all about:
On this site, I’m writing into the light every week on faith, culture, and creativity. And of course, you can look for The Light Letter in your inbox every Monday morning—a mini life-sermon based in the Sunday Lectionary text meant to draw you into deeper flourishing.
This is also a space where I’m offering coaching and resources to help you on your creative journey. I believe in doing sustainable work that helps you sustain your work too – as part of a broader vision of an honest, modest, and flourishing life. You won’t ever hear me selling big-money-making Internet marketing tactics – because that stuff is BS. But you will hear me talking about finding ways to support your creative work – because a sustainable life is central to loving our neighbors and seeking economic justice in church and society.
Not too long ago, at exactly the moment I was ready to hear it, God spoke to me again, this time through a TV detective (because obviously!). He said, “The light is winning.”
And everything changed after I began to believe that.
So, thanks for joining me here as I continue to write into the light. If you want to, go ahead and jot this line down before you leave – because it’s the truest thing I know:
Everything changes when we begin to believe the light is winning.Click To Tweet