Why Erwin McManus took a six-year public hiatus


In the early 2000s, Erwin McManus penned several bestselling books, saturated the Christian conference speaking circuit, and grew a vibrant church outside of Los Angeles called Mosaic. He became known as a leading voice among Christian creatives and religious innovators. But in 2008, at the height of his popularity, Erwin McManus slipped back into the shadows as quickly as he had sprung from them. No more books, fewer speaking engagements, and far less public interaction. Six years later, McManus has decided to reenter the fray with the release of a new book, "The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art." His message is simple: you were created to be creative. Here, we discuss this idea, how it applies to those who aren't naturally artistic, and why he retreated from public life in 2008.

RNS: You wrote a whole slew of books between 2002 and 2008, but then you sort of disappeared from the publishing world. Why have you decided to write again now and why come back with this book?

EM: Yes, I made a shift in my life due to many variables and factors. A huge part was the toll on my family and my spirit to be the target of so many mean-spirited people. It really hurt my kids. I didn't want them to turn from Jesus because of the people of Jesus. But they have both come to me and called me to be a voice for the moment of Christ again. My family is all in and has a deep passion for God and the church.

I also wanted to affect the world outside of the church and be a voice to an unbelieving world. We so often focus on Sunday and hope we are changing the world. I felt compelled to tell great art and tell great stories and allow beauty to point to truth.