A calling and a comma.
Have you ever struggled to understand your purpose? It goes by other names too — your gift, your vocation, your calling. (Really, it’s all a matter of identity.)
For most of my life I was certain about my purpose. I was, beyond the shadow of a doubt, called by God to be in official, full-time church ministry. And I pursued that calling with everything I had at the deepest personal level and the most earnest vocational level, eventually planting and pastoring a church in one of America’s least religious cities.
Then, over the course of several years and a series of life-changing events, things shifted. Instead of flourishing and enduring, this deep-seated calling began to die.
I’ve come to understand that some things about our identity never change. We are called to worship, called to love, called to serve. I’m called to be a faithful Christian, to be a loving husband and father, to help those God brings into my circle of influence.
But the outworking of that core identity — the manifestation of our gift and calling — may very well evolve over time. And if we evolve with it, letting go of the past and pressing on toward the mark God is setting for us, our work, and indeed our very lives, will flourish and endure.
My calling is evolving, and it has come to look like this: writing and creating so that people — you, and even me! — can find greater flourishing in faith, life, and creativity.
Let me put it even more simply. Whatever my lifelong sense of calling once was, I now know who I am like never before:
I’m Zach Hoag, Writer.
There’s so much power in that little comma.
Thanks for joining me here. I couldn’t be more stoked to pursue flourishing in faith, life, and creativity alongside you.
Writing and creating for you.
When your calling evolves, it’s really just getting closer to your essence, to your core, to a purpose more primitive than what you once thought you were absolutely, positively meant to do.
It’s like that first line in Goodfellas: “As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a writer.” Ok, so that’s not exactly the first line in Goodfellas, but it might as well be the opening line of my life! I’ve been writing stuff ever since I learned to write — journaling, poetry, comic books, short stories, articles, studies, sermons, you name it.
And here at the midpoint of my life, writing is the way my deepest purpose expresses itself in the world, and the best way I know how to serve God and my community, my people, my readers…you.
Over the past decade or so, I’ve written a bunch publicly in the form of blog posts, articles for various publications, and two published books. I’ve frequented places like HuffPost, Patheos, and Religion News Service. My latest book, The Light is Winning, was my first with a major publisher (Harper Collins Christian).
I’m stoked to write more books in the very near future, but for now my day-to-day writing happens right here on my blog and in my weekly newsletter. On that note, I send out an exclusive article about finding flourishing every Sunday, and you can subscribe right here:
I’m also building a supportive Patreon community of readers and writers/creators who are all pursuing flourishing in faith, life, and creativity. And, coming soon, I’ll be releasing online courses toward that same end, so faith writers and creators can flourish. Head over to the courses page to get on the waiting list for my first offering!
Articles and interviews re: moi.
What follows is a list of recent-ish blips on the Interwebs re: me and my work. But before I get to that, if you’d like to interview me on your podcast, or feature my work in some way, feel free to reach out anytime!
- My interview on The Deconstructionists podcast
- My interview with Jonathan Merritt at Religion News Service
- The Light is Winning gets blurbed by Publisher’s Weekly
- My interview about the book at Bible Gateway
- My interview on the United Methodist Church’s Compass podcast
- My interview on the Christianity x Mental Health (CXMH) podcast
- A few reader reviews of the book: Smith, Lencke, Rowland