Kannapolis pastor shares eternal perspective in COVID-motivated book
By Ann Wayne
For the Salisbury Post
Most pastors spend a lifetime writing sermons and ministering to their flock. They spend hours studying and preparing to teach their congregations and give them hope. But few take the time to write a book on a topic that could change the way we perceive trials in our own lives and in the world.
Bill Coleman felt the nudging of the Holy Spirt to make a difference.
He said, “everyone has a spiritual gift, and I came to realize that mine was faith.”
He shared a story about a struggle he had his senior year in high school. It was weighing heavily on him, so he searched the scriptures. He came across 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 and it made an impact on him forever.
“So, we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” Coleman said, “My faith grew, and I learned to trust the Lord in all circumstances. These became my life verses.”
In ministry, Coleman counsels a lot of people whose trials fall under the category of focusing on the temporal and not the eternal. He tries to shift their point of view regarding marriage, relationships and their job issues. He said, “Most people don’t have an eternal perspective and I thought maybe I could help people see life through a different lens through a book.” This became his genesis for writing his new book, “The Eternity Lens.”
He worked on the book when he would find a window of time and had written half of the book before COVID-19. Then he began to feel a burden to complete it. “What if I died and my children found my unfinished book on my computer. Would they do something with it or bury it?” Coleman knew he needed to finish what he started, so he began to set aside a few days to go away and write. This allowed him to finish the book.
He shows God’s desire for us to rise above our temporal circumstances and view life through an eternal perspective by using scripture and personal experiences from his own life in the book. People can relate to this, and the book melds the two together. The book has five sections with five chapters in each section. The topics are I. Though our outer self is wasting away. II. Our inner self is being renewed day by day. III. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. IV. As we look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen. V. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. The introduction expounds on not losing heart in the midst of the challenges of living in the real world.
Coleman said that there is no question that the timing of his book is perfect. Chapter No. 1 is called 2020. The pandemic, politics, world disasters and racial unrest are all temporal. Many churches and businesses had a 2020 vision before the pandemic. This lends itself to a great analogy.
“However, the year 2020, for us was the exact opposite. It became the perfect storm for people to focus on the temporal,” Coleman said. He referred to Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. Satan offered him temporal things such as turning the stones into bread. But Jesus was focused on eternal things. His eternal perspective enabled him to see the temporal things clearly.
In asking Dr. Coleman why have people, even Christians, allowed the unrest in 2020 to cause such anxiety, he said, “We were not grounded enough. We have a natural tendency to focus on temporal things and an innate desire for life to be calm and manageable. When that does not happen, it can get us out of whack.”
He shared an excerpt from Chapter No. 1 about predicting what a person would be accomplishing in five years. No one would have predicted a pandemic or all the protests, injustices or political division. He said, “it was a year for the books.”
Coleman said anyone would benefit from a greater clarity of an eternal perspective. The book is light-hearted but can be serious. It is very moving emotionally and funny at times. The composition of the book brings out Dr. Coleman’s personality and teaching style.
The cover of the book depicts a stormy sea with a lighthouse in the middle of the storm and a bright light to enable one to see more clearly in the storm. Susan Grace, a local artist from Salisbury, who attends Coleman’s church, designed the cover. She had gifted him with a free chalk drawing, so this became a project for the front cover. You can contact her on Facebook at facebook.com/slgrace1.
“The Eternity Lens” is available on Amazon and the paperback became available on Sept. 25. People are invited to come and meet Coleman at his book signing today at 3 p.m. at He’s Alive Church. The address is 1310 N. Cannon Blvd. in Kannapolis. You may also go to his website at drbillcoleman.com to purchase his book and learn more about his ministry and mission work.
He will also have special guest author, John Curran, who wrote “My Redemption Story” at the book signing. John’s book shares his journey of overcoming addiction and how God is using his testimony to help others.
Coleman graduated from Wingate University, received his master’s in divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and earned his doctorate in ministry in expository preaching from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has pastored four churches and is currently the associate pastor and an elder at He’s Alive Church in Kannapolis. He also serves as an assistant professor of pastoral ministry at Luther Rice College and Seminary. He has led over 25 mission trips and has trained pastors around the world.
Coleman is married to his wife, Tiffany, and they have two grown children, Austin and Alaina. Bill and Tiffany live in Concord.
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