Pete Hise suggests you don't hesitate when you hear the call of God, whether it's to be a better person, to grow as a leader or to take spiritual risks.
The Quest Community Church pastor is the author of a new book, What Life Are You Waiting For? (Tyndale, $15.99), which includes stories about himself and about various Quest members and staff who made hard decisions and felt they grew spiritually by doing so.
"We were really determined that this was a book about real people, real stories, real struggles," Hise said in a recent phone interview.
His book reflects the spirit of Quest, which he said is "about real power, real solutions." It's meant for people who realize that "life is harder than we maybe thought it would be."
"We want to walk people through the challenges of life. Our church is a 'no perfect people allowed' church."
In his book, Hise asks readers to examine their lives and see if they have left challenges behind because they were too fond of the status quo, afraid of failure or simply afraid that others will find their dreams far-fetched.
Quest church, for example, started after Hise responded to a 1997 call he felt God gave him to start a church. Now Quest has about 5,000 members at its centers in Lexington and Frankfort and is planning a church in Cincinnati.
"What if on some level God had adventures for us?" Hise said.
He cited the case of a churchgoer who waited until nearly the end of his life to finally make a leap of belief he could have made years before.
"Let's not wait until the end. Let's not keep pushing away the seasons of life," Hise said.
Accepting challenges is not simply doing things about which people have reservations, Hise said. He also urges readers to let go of emotional baggage that is weighing them down. That involves forgiveness, financial giving, personal humility and church service, Hise writes.
"A level of unforgiveness provokes such a lack of growth in someone's life," Hise said. "We've bought this idea that you just move ahead. People end up with grudges that end up in bitterness, that become toxic. ... They become an unforgiving or an untrusting person."
Hise has already received responses from all over the country about the book. He said there will probably be a sequel.
"I was not an eager author," Hise said. "I'm really a communicator, (but) speaking is really much more what I'm excited about."
Still, Hise said, he enjoyed writing the book "far more than I thought I would."