Why Sean Lowe’s Story Matters.

on February 13, 2014 in Culture Matters with 36 comments by

I like Sean Lowe. I liked him on Emily’s Bachelorette season. I liked when he was the Bachelor. I like his sister’s blog. I wanna be friends with him and Catherine.

But. That’s not why Sean’s story matters.

Yes, everyone’s story matters. But that’s not what Sean’s story matters.

And this isn’t going to be a sexual purity post. That’s a great part of Sean’s story, but it isn’t why this I Am Second video matters.

Here it is, by the way. (It’s worth a watch, I promise.)

Is he perfect? Probably not. But he’s open about his faith and his mistakes in front of the eyes of millions who are believers and non-believers and THAT’S why his story matters. Because MILLIONS of people know who he is and probably the majority of them like him and that’s why his story matters.

But it doesn’t have to be millions. It can be one. Or ten. Or three hundred. Your story matters because you get to live your life in front of people who don’t know Jesus. And they will see Him in your story.

I’m no theologian and I’m not the type of blogger that writes posts about where the church is going and all that jazz, but I will tell you this: if we want to see people saved, we have to talk to them about Jesus. And they only way they will listen IS IF THEY LIKE US.

YoungLife says it best. “Earn the right to be heard.”

Gone are the days when street preaching impacts young lives (if it ever did). Passing out tracts and tiny New Testaments may still be effective (if it ever was), but the problem is that WE as Christians don’t want to do that anymore. Do you? I don’t. It doesn’t feel authentic to me. If I want people to know Jesus, I want to tell them about Him with my life and words. Not just tracts with sentences that I explain to a stranger.

So maybe it’s my generation and younger. Maybe it’s the ones coming behind us. But I’m telling you, as sure as I’m sitting here, 20-somethings don’t want to be preached at. They want to feel like they KNOW you and THEN they will listen.

THAT IS WHY SEAN’S STORY MATTERS.

Because he has earned the right to be heard. And now? Now they are hearing.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot. And talking about it a lot with people in my life, for months actually. Since Beth Moore wrote this blog post, since Pete Wilson preached this sermon.ย And I’m telling you it looks like God is doing something new on this planet- opening doors for Christians to get mainstream attention for HIS GLORY and for the salvation of souls.

Sean’s story matters to me because I’m seeing him do what I want to do. To be clear, I don’t want to be on the Bachelor or Bachelorette… per se. I don’t necessarily want to be famous- I’ve tasted the tiniest amounts of it, just enough to know that it isn’t glamorous and can be pretty terrible and if God doesn’t do it for you, it’s not worth the cost.

But I do want to be a Christian that non-Christians like and want to listen to.ย I see Sean and it reminds me of who I want to be. I want to be honest with my life, humble with my words, and I want to be as famous as I need to be in order for people to come to Jesus. Nothing more, nothing less. For His glory and the salvation of souls.

That’s why we’re here. That’s why your story matters. Because someone will see God’s glory in it, and maybe someone’s soul will be rescued.

That’s why Sean’s story matters.

That’s why my story matters.

Andย I pray for us, that God will make our lives flow like a stream in a wasteland.

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

36 comments

  1. posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 9:17 AM  |  reply

    I like Sean more now than when he was on the show. He seems genuine. Good perspective here. His story does matter.

    • posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 10:57 PM  |  reply

      Thanks, Ruth. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Jill
    posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 10:01 AM  |  reply

    “But it doesnโ€™t have to be millions. It can be one. Or ten. Or three hundred. Your story matters because you get to live your life in front of people who donโ€™t know Jesus. And they will see Him in your story.”

    PERFECTLY said, Annie. I don’t want to be a “tract evangelist”, either. I think authenticity is the most liberating and gritty and difficult thing to display as a Christian, but it’s also the most relatable for people. Great post =)

    • posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 10:58 PM  |  reply

      Thank you, Jill. Yes- it isn’t about being famous, it’s about being REAL to the people in your life and earning the right to be heard.

  3. Whitney
    posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 11:44 AM  |  reply

    Thank you for this post! And love the Young Life mention! A book this reminds me of is Whole by Lisa Whittle. She talks about the importance of sharing your story ๐Ÿ™‚

    • posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 10:58 PM  |  reply

      I love Lisa Whittle with my whole heart. She’s a gem. Her book is AMAZING.

  4. posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 12:08 PM  |  reply

    I’ve always loved that quote from Young Life, it’s one of my favorite parts of the ministry is that mentality. Thank you for posting this!

    • posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 10:59 PM  |  reply

      You know what’s hilarious? I’ve NEVER done Young Life. Never been involved! I’m a supporter here in Nashville and have tons of friends that do it, but I never have! But man, that quote has changed my life.

  5. posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 12:19 PM  |  reply

    Laura and I have liked Sean from the beginning, like you. The fact that he isn’t perfect is what makes him so relatable for others. Great post, Annie, as usual.

    • posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 10:59 PM  |  reply

      Thanks, Susan! ๐Ÿ™‚ Love y’all.

  6. Erika (@rougeandwhimsy)
    posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 2:20 PM  |  reply

    yes yes yes!

    i feel like for SO long people were just about the salvation part of Christ– like save ’em and move on. don’t know them, don’t get to hear their story, don’t share your story. that’s crap, in my opinion.

    i think we need to be real people, sharing our real struggles and how God is REAL and shows up in that. it is NOT just saving people so we can check off another person for heaven. it is transformation and sharing and growing all by Jesus, through Jesus and for Jesus.

    as my pastor always says, we are called to be the VISIBLE work of the invisible God.

    • posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 11:00 PM  |  reply

      oh girl. I love that. Be the visible work of the invisible God. I’m gonna steal that and put it in my journal. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing.

  7. posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 3:58 PM  |  reply

    Great stuff Annie. ๐Ÿ™‚ Love it and totally agree.

    • posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 11:01 PM  |  reply

      Thanks, friend. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 8:27 PM  |  reply

    All of this. I’m with you…I see a shift in our culture and I like it. For one or for a million. Your story matters. Great post girl!

    • posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 11:02 PM  |  reply

      Yes yes yes. Me too, Julie. Something feels like it is shifting- I’m asking God to show us each our role in bringing His truth to our world.

  9. Sarah Yeatman
    posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 10:52 PM  |  reply

    Annie,
    This states exactly how I feel perfectly, and so much better than I ever could have said. I agree with everything you wrote. Thank you this was wonderful!

    • posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 11:03 PM  |  reply

      Thanks, Sarah. You’re kind. It’s exciting to know you connect with it because it reminds me that God is whispering the same thing to all of us.

  10. Sherri
    posted on Feb 14, 2014 at 12:48 AM  |  reply

    I discovered you on http://www.biblegateway.com this morning. Really enjoy reading your blog. I’m planning to get your book tomorrow for my granddaughter. She’s a believer but I’m not looking forward to her going to college. I’ve had other granddaughters that have been seduced by the activist unbelievers. They seem to be as passionate to lead others away from faith as others have been in spreading the “Good News”. The young need all the help they can get. Thank You. btw I read the passage in Hosea 10. I read the whole chapter for context in the ERV (Easy-to-Read Version). My take on it is simply, You will reap what you sow. I suspect you are already doing that (sowing good, that is) judging from what I’ve read today!

    • posted on Feb 14, 2014 at 9:47 AM  |  reply

      Thanks for your kind words, Sherri! College can be a tough time for young adults trying to figure out their purpose in life- praying your granddaughters seek God during that season!

  11. posted on Feb 14, 2014 at 7:15 AM  |  reply

    […] love what Annie had to say about this. Even if you don’t know who Sean Lowe is, she brings up an interesting point about Christians […]

  12. Phoebe
    posted on Feb 14, 2014 at 8:15 AM  |  reply

    I’m not discrediting Christianity, Christian values, or abstaining until marriage if that is what you feel is a righteous way to conduct your relationships (w/ your partner & your faith). In fact, I feel to some degree it is refreshing that an ‘alternative lifestyle’ (by today’s standards) was showcased. That said, The Bachelor goes against anything to do with living your life with humility & restraint. Or anything ‘godly’. It is the antithesis of these attributes. Sean & Catherine’s story has nothing to do with a devout life. How many women did he make out with publicly before choosing her as his life partner? What’s the difference between that and the implied ‘sex’ that we see on other seasons? Then, on their televised wedding, how many times did we have to see a tawdry “bedroom cam” of their ‘”consummation station” flash at the bottom of the screen? Ew. Then all the focus on lingerie, on “Grown Sexy” (if I hear the term ‘sexy’ one more time…), then the lie detector test on some night talk show to test whether or not they truly abstained? For a story/season that was supposed to not be about sex and instead be about loving someone for who they are without that as a distraction, ABC, Sean, & the gang sure seemed to be pretty obsessed with the act. Ironic? Or just tacky and pathetic? I think both, personally. I’m not even Christian and I can see the holes in this superficially sanctimonious pile of garbage.

    • posted on Feb 14, 2014 at 9:53 AM  |  reply

      Hi Phoebe. Thanks for your thoughts. As I stated, this isn’t a post about sexual purity or that part of Sean’s life. Also, I have no idea how what really happened was edited for us. And yes- I agree that the televised wedding had some points of bizarro focus.

      All that being said, I still appreciate that Sean and Catherine are pretty widely known and loved and he is open about his faith. Though I don’t personally know either of them, I would imagine that the one area that the public chose to talk about is just a small portion of how they live their lives (as Sean spoke about in the video).

      Thank you for the comment and your thoughts. Hope you’ll stick around! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Kim
        posted on Feb 14, 2014 at 4:54 PM  |  reply

        Phoebe ~ While I agree with you that The Bachelor is a strange place to “showcase” your faith… I think God is bigger than “The Bachelor” and that Sean himself probably didn’t go into it thinking he’d “showcase” anything. He probably prayed that he could be himself and his faith is a big part of who he is. He stands out by virtue of being different than a lot of guys his age. Jesus himself went TO the people… wherever they were. He was misunderstood by the religious of the day and he was judged for it. I appreciated the part of his “I Am Second” video that talks about his hesitancy to do anything “Bachelor” related… and how he talked it over with his parents, etc. Sounds like he was worried about being misunderstood. I used to put christianity into a “religious” box… and I thank God and my adult children for challenging me to think outside the box. Though I’ve followed the Lord for a long time now ~ I still don’t have Him all figured out! I know for sure that He doesn’t always work conventionally! ๐Ÿ™‚ As for all the kissing… yeah, I agree – it’s a lot. But I could still see the difference with Sean’s season of The Bachelor and other seasons/bachelors… even the current one! I guess I looked at all the making out as what dating several people would be like in fast motion… because that’s kind of what they were doing. As for the Wedding and all the sex hype… I’m sure the media and Bachelor franchise itself encouraged all that stuff… and I thought it was cheesy but good-natured. Of course they were excited, as they should be. It’s just that their process of waiting with anticipation was broadcast to everyone and that’s what was a little uncomfortable. Probably for them too! Hopefully they will look back and laugh. Overall ~ I didn’t think anything was offensive or a bad representation of what they profess. They are two very normal people who couldn’t wait to be married! But they did. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Kim
    posted on Feb 14, 2014 at 8:41 AM  |  reply

    My husband comes home from work and watches documentaries. I come home from teaching first graders and want to turn my brain off and watch something highly entertaining – and different than my life! So… I watch The Bachelor. I couldn’t wait to watch Sean on his season because I knew he was genuine about his faith. I couldn’t wait to see how he handled himself and I knew that over it all ~ God is in control… yep, even with television shows! I knew God could use anything He wanted for His glory and more often in my own life – He’s been full of surprises. His ways are not our own, that’s for sure! So…. to my delight… my mindless tv watching turned into something I had to follow… not because of Sean.. (even though he’s a cutie pie!) ~ but because I wanted to see what God would do. I totally agree with you that God is using ways and means to get the attention of this new generation. It’s not that the “old” ways don’t work – the Gospel is the Gospel!!! It’s supernatural and doesn’t need a venue! However… this generation is authentic, real, unadulterated. I am 55 years old and have raised children in the church. Their experience of faith was contained primarily within those safe walls. It wasn’t bad… but thank God they know that their faith is meant to be shared, lived out and must be real and relevant for their world today. Otherwise why would the multitude of young, inquisitive minds even want to hear? Their challenge is to show their faith and speak of their faith as relevant… without compromising it’s message, The Gospel. This is why I appreciate Sean (and Catherine’s) testimony so very much. They are not perfect kiddos… and they know that and don’t hide that. But they’ve been using their “platform” to blind people ๐Ÿ™‚ with the light that can only be God-given. I haven’t prayed for them yet… but maybe I need to start! There are few who have the opportunities they have had and will have. And I will continue to follow them not just as an “old lady school teacher hooked on The Bachelor” ๐Ÿ™‚ ~ but because I want to see what God is going to do! Thank you Sean & Catherine… not an easy job… but one I hope you feel compelled to do! I’ll be watching! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • posted on Feb 14, 2014 at 10:03 AM  |  reply

      Amen, Kim. The Gospel never changes and the Holy Spirit is the one who draws people to Himself. But I, like you, am thankful for public figures who live openly for Christ.

      Thanks for the comment! I used to teach elementary school, so I know how hairy Valentine’s Day can be in a first grade classroom! Hope you get LOTS of rest this weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Katie Manga
    posted on Feb 14, 2014 at 10:20 AM  |  reply

    Great post! I enjoy reading your blogs/tweets Annie. ๐Ÿ™‚ The lovely Anna Brawner speaks very highly of you, so let’s just be friends bc her friends are my friends and i really dig your humor. ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxo

  15. posted on Feb 14, 2014 at 3:52 PM  |  reply

    Annie darling, 5 star post, m’friend. Love it so much…and YOU. xo

  16. Angela Stein
    posted on Feb 14, 2014 at 3:54 PM  |  reply

    Jesus has used you to speak to me today. Thank you for writing this post ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. posted on Feb 14, 2014 at 6:38 PM  |  reply

    Thank you for this post! I found your blog through Sean’s Twitter and and am impressed with your approach. I couldn’t agree with you more. You hit the nail on the head about this new generation and how we live our lives for Jesus! Keep doing what you are doing!

  18. posted on Feb 14, 2014 at 9:21 PM  |  reply

    […] Why Sean Lowe’s Story Matters […]

  19. posted on Feb 15, 2014 at 12:00 PM  |  reply

    Thank you, Annie, for a few things.

    1. Writing. I know sometimes it’s not easy to write for Jesus. Thank you for pushing through.
    2. Encouraging. As a former Young Life staff member and staff wife, hearing someone say it makes a difference is good for the soul!
    3. Reminding. In this season of my life, I needed to hear my small part still makes an eternal impact.

    Thank you.

  20. posted on Feb 17, 2014 at 8:34 AM  |  reply

    I enjoy your writing a ton, Annie, and although I’m say out of the bachelor /bachelorette world I can offer a few other comments that your post had me thinking about…

    -so, so true that we need to get back to remembering the power of relationship in our witness for Christ.
    -I do think we can lean too far into this (me included) and forget that it’s not most important to be liked but to love people and sometimes loving people with true grace and truth means they won’t like us.
    -on a side note, I like what you said about fame. It can be costly! I’d love to hear more from your taste of it…That’s a whole other post in itself, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. posted on Feb 17, 2014 at 8:36 AM  |  reply

    So sorry for the auto corrects! Eek. This is why commenting on blogs can be my arch nemesis.

  22. posted on Feb 17, 2014 at 12:10 PM  |  reply

    Amen Annie!

    For so long I have done things “MY” way in life. Always knowing my God, but always taking my own path. I refer to myself as the prodigal daughter. Then something happened a few months ago, and I feel God pulling me like never before, and something is different within me as well. This desire to fall in love with Jesus has never been like this before. I guess I’m finally growing up in my faith! LOL No actually it, it is because God has had grace and mercy on me, and I have ignored His calling many times. He brought me to a place where I had no choice but to listen. Thanking Him everyday for that. But this is something that I am seeing, I am being honest and open on my blog I started about my stumblings and my failings, and people respond to that. I think everyone of NEEDS to see Christians being honest in their mistakes, being honest that they aren’t perfect. For years I struggled with myself because I never felt like I could be all that God would want or call me to be for Him. So I gave up. I gave up out of fears, I gave up out of sinfulness in my life that I wasn’t ready to let go of.
    It’s taken me 34 years to get where I have been getting in the past few months, and I’m so thankful for all the struggles, so thankful for all the messiness. Because I know in all of this, God has a purpose and a plan for me and I’m finally seeing that. And I think so many people feel the same way, so when someone comes along with raw honesty… we listen.
    Every story matters. We all have one that’s for sure and people need to know, so they can see what Jesus does, how He transforms us when we really set our heart before Him.

    Melanie
    http://www.aheartlikehers.com

  23. posted on Mar 03, 2014 at 1:43 PM  |  reply

    Love this. It’s exactly what I needed to hear today. The best way to reach souls for the Kingdom is to LOVE them into itโ€ฆand the best way to do that is to LIVE the love of Jesus. Out in the open, plain for everyone to see. Real. Raw.

    Great post, Annie. Thank you.

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