Ryan Casey Waller Interview: Part 1

This new book is really good.

It’s different, and I think people are going to love it.

I’d heard the rumblings around the office a few months ago about one of our forthcoming books, Broken, by newly ordained priest Ryan Casey Waller. When it comes to books, especially good books, I like to wait until I have a print copy to read. I finally got my hands on Broken, eager to see what the excitement was about. My colleagues were right. Broken will change you whether or not you’re going through a challenge, but I’m thankful that Ryan’s honesty and hope met me at  the right time, when I went through a difficult situation with my daughter, Kaia. So I was excited about the opportunity to talk with Ryan Casey Waller about his path to writing Broken, his new ministry as an ordained priest, and where he draws his inspiration. –Miriam McKenney


Why Broken?

I wrote Broken because I uniquely identity as a broken person myself. What I want to say to folks is that although I’m ordained, I’m just like you. I have all of the same issues, I’m as completely broken as you; we are all completely broken. Only God, who is not broken, can bring healing to us. In that identification I feel that people might be encouraged to say that we’re all in this together, and here’s a guy who is open about the struggles that he’s had, and yet takes his faith seriously. If he can have a relationship with God, I can too. I’ve always felt like God is calling me to a certain level of self-disclosure where it’s helpful. In Broken, I try to explore scripture in a self-revelatory way, it’s hopefully helpful to people, and inspiring to them.

How long have you been a writer? How does writing enhance your ministry?

I started writing for fun ten years ago, right at the end of law school. Instead of studying for a law exam, I opened up a Microsoft Word document and started writing what I came to realize later was a story. I fell in love with writing. I continue to write because of the joy in it. God ministers to me through it, so I would do it regardless of whether or not anyone read it.

Writing enhances my ministry in a couple different ways. The art of writing, the art of using words to be precise, helps my ability to teach and preach. That’s a big part of what my job is, to stand up and say something meaningful and accessible and true to people. Additionally, writing allows another venue to speak to people. I can write something and put it on Facebook, and provide hope and consolation to people who wouldn’t hear me preach otherwise. Jesus calls us to cast the seed; it’s not up to us to determine where it lands. We have to just continue to do it. I’ll never stop.

Tune in next week for Part 2 of Miriam’s interview with Ryan Casey Waller, in which he discusses which essays he struggled with, favorite writers, and his larger goals for his ministry. 

Interested in Broken? Order your copy here.