"The Third Option" author Miles McPherson answered five questions ahead of his presentation on Friday, Sept. 23.
Concordia students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend McPherson’s talk on Friday, Sept. 23rd, from 10 am-noon in the Todd Wehr Auditorium. Visit here for more information.
Ahead of his visit, the pastor, author, former NFL player, and motivational speaker agreed to visit with us and answer five burning questions.
What is the third option, and how did this vision come about?
We are forced to choose one side in an ‘us versus them culture. The Third Option is honoring what we have in common, namely the image of God we share. If we honor or value all that comes with our image of God, unity would be much easier to achieve.
How does the topic of race inform your ministry?
First, there is only one race, the human race. The division created by ethnic diversity creates the opportunity for ministry. Because our church is diverse, it forces our staff and me to address a multitude of conflicting issues related to the various ethnicities. This forces us to be more aware of the issues facing culture and maintain a Biblical position that is more prophetic versus political.
You talk about the importance of honoring the experience of others; what are concrete steps each of us can take to demonstrate the honor you describe?
To honor someone is to place value on them. We can honor the image of God in each person, and our equally shared humanity by first acknowledging that it exists. We need to acknowledge that the pain others feel when they lose a loved one is the same type of pain we feel. It is acknowledging the desire for clarity in personal direction and purpose that is the same for others as it is for me. It amounts to actively loving others as I love myself.
If everyone valued or honored the needs of others as themselves, unity would be much easier to achieve.
What role did coaches and mentors play in your journey from a Division III athlete to the NFL to now a pastor and author?
Coaches and mentors were critical in my journey from being a Div. III athlete to author. My college position coach created fliers and sent them to the NFL teams during my senior season, and it was those fliers brought NFL scouts to my college to test my abilities through individual drills. That led to me being drafted. There was no way I would have made it into the NFL without his efforts.
When it comes to being an author, several people coached me in the information related to the subject of race. When I started writing the book, I was writing from my personal experience, but there was so much more to be communicated.
Would you talk about how God helped you through your struggles with addiction?
God reminded me daily that He loved me and that whenever I was ready, He would deliver me from my addiction. The day I surrendered my life back to Christ, He set me free and empowered me never to get high again. The people and church God led me to help me develop a deep love for and commitment to God.
For more information about “The Third Option,” including where to purchase a copy, visit here.
— Lisa Liljegren is vice president of marketing and strategic communications.
If this story has inspired you, why not explore how you can help further Concordia's mission through giving.