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 Westford, Vermont where he lives with his wife, Kalen, and their three girls. Find him writing at zhoag.com and follow him on Twitter @zhoag.
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 golden thread in all of those stories that leads us through the darkness to ever-increasing freedom and flourishing. All because the light himself, Jesus, has come into the world.
And here's another thing. I think that there is 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. (And stay tuned for a new space with new resources dedicated to light writers like us.)
On this site, I blog at Uncategorized:
- Uncategorized - faith, culture, and creativity, outside the camp and beyond the bounds.
- The Classics - my most popular Uncategorized posts, curated over time.
- The Letter Z - past issues of my newsletter, available to subscribers.
I also do a few other things, like:
- Write Books - my new book with Zondervan will be out soon.
- Preach & Speak - in churches, on podcasts, and elsewhere.
- Design Websites & Coach Creators - making your digital presence shine.
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 early on, and a sense of calling was planted deep within me, growing as the years went by. 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.
During those church planting years, I became passionate about seeing the church engage culture instead of escaping it, and embrace people instead of excluding 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! 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, and life changed suddenly and drastically, a new chapter of writing emerged.
In fact, when I was at my wit's end, asking God what I should do next, I'm convinced he answered, "Just keep writing."
I've been writing ever since, here on this blog, and at various places around the Internet like the Huffington Post, Patheos, Onfaith, Religion News Service, Think Christian, A Deeper Story, The Other Journal, and more.
Here are some of my more popular posts:
- 3 Reasons You Should Be Writing Right Now
- 10 Things I Want You to Know About the New Charismatics
- We’re Never Gonna Survive Unless…We Get a Lot More Jesus-Centered
- 3 Reasons God Did Not Kill Jesus (But Jesus Still Had to Die)
- Rust Cohle and My Recent Conversion
- Jimmy Fallon and the Joy of the Lord
What I'm up to now:
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.
The life I'm living now is a reflection of this belief. I am caught up in a calling that includes writing and creating, and helping others do the same. Occasionally, I even get to preach! And I'm finding this sense of calling to be even deeper and more fulfilling than ever before.
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:
[Tweet "Everything changes when we begin to believe the light is winning."]
For extra credit, here are some random facts about me:
- I'm excited to be releasing my first book with a major publisher, Zondervan, in 2017. It's called THE LIGHT IS WINNING: Why Religion Just Might Bring Us Back to Life. And I'm stoked for you to read it!
- The most important thing in my life is not a thing - it's a four-person hurricane of love and amazingness known as Kalen, Gemma, Pippa, and Willa (my wife and three girls).
- I love the messy-middle, liturgical-and-missional, personal-and-social-gospel focus of the Methodist tradition. My family and I are a part of a local United Methodist church.
- My favorite band hands-down is The National (because they are more of a hands-down band).
- My favorite band hands-up (like, in worship) is a tie between The Brilliance and Citizens & Saints.
- My bishop-at-large is Brian Zahnd, and his sermon "The Whole Night Sky" changed my life.
- If our bodies are 60-90% water, you should know that in my case at least 50% of that is Café Bustelo.