Meeting Jon Acuff

Last night Jon Acuff spoke at The Walk, a college and young adult worship gathering at Sevier Heights Baptist Church in Knoxville. I met up with my friends Larry and David. I worked with those guys several years ago where we spent our breaks hanging out together. It was like old times.

While I have been a long time reader of Jon Acuff’s blog Stuff Christians Like and have enjoyed reading his books and getting acquainted with him on Twitter, this was my first time seeing him speak in person.

What did I think? Well…I was disappointed. Here are 4 reasons why:

1. There weren’t any Skittles. Anywhere. I looked under tables. I looked under chairs. I looked in the restroom. None. He didn’t even mention them. He mentioned sidehugs, but not Skittles. I thought they went together like peanut butter and jelly or teenagers and texting constantly. I was wrong; so, so wrong.

2. I was one of the oldest dudes there. I realize that The Walk is for college-aged folks, but I am only a couple of weeks away from my 34th birthday. And I was older than the average age by at least 11 years. It didn’t help that I was dressed like a model for JCPenney’s Big & Tall collection.

3. I didn’t get any banana pudding. After the service, there was banana pudding and chocolate pudding being offered. FOR FREE! Who are these crazy people giving away banana pudding?!?! Don’t they know that in some parts of the South banana pudding is considered currency? Yet, I didn’t get any. One of the biggest regrets of my life.

4. Jon’s unibrow was underwhelming. Since he has mentioned it so much, I was expecting a glorious, Greek-like strip of hair sitting boldly over his eye sockets. Instead, it was tiny. I’ve seen better unibrows on babies. Here’s hoping he will keep growing it to its full potential.

To be honest, I really wasn’t disappointed at all.

Jon was funny, engaging, and spoke about big themes in a way that was touching and real. He brought the laughs with “Booty, God, Booty” and “Deep V-Neck Syndrome.” He also proclaimed the Gospel with clarity.

Afterward, my friends and I stood in line to meet him. When it was our turn he looked up at me and said, “Hey, it’s the giant. Seekingpastor, right?” I thanked him for his ministry and bad-mouthed his unibrow. He was gracious and signed my copy of Quitter.

As I was driving home, I reflected on someone who I admire as a writer knowing who I am and calling me out by name (or Twitter handle). Then I remembered something that he talked about that I hope those in attendance really took to heart.

We are already known by the Creator of the universe. We will never get more famous than that.

I appreciate Jon, his writing, and his love for God. If you haven’t done so yet, do yourself a favor and take a look at his blog, purchase his books, and let his humor open your heart to important truths that will encourage and uplift you.

Have you ever met a writer you admire?
What do you think about a grown man getting another grown man’s autograph?

Jon Acuff's signature and my big thumb

38 thoughts on “Meeting Jon Acuff

  1. I had a chance to meet Craig Groeschel and have continued corresponding with him. He is as genuine as the day is long. Had a chance to meet Randy Dodd. You have probably never heard of him but you should. Check out his book Wisdom Hunter under the name of Randall Arthur. Awesome, awesome book about the danger of legalism. It is a novel based on events that took place in his own life to some extent (the legalism). Also met Pete & Brandi Wilson. He sure is short. 🙂 And I think its cool.

  2. When I met Ravi Zacharias I was most impressed by his entourage of personal body guards. My deacons don’t carry anything but a cane.

    When I met Steve Brown (Key Life), he was cool and sounded the same in real life.

    When I met Tony Evans, I was really amazed at how big that dude really was. He’s a lot tinier in my radio.

  3. Wow! That is the equivalent of Ann Voskamp recognizing me! How fun is that? I’m glad you had a wonderful time…and you’re right. The Designer of the Universe knows me, and I know Him…you can’t get any more famous than that!

  4. Best line of the post:

    “I’ve seen better unibrows on babies.”

    That sounds like an awesome experience. I’m not one to get star struck at all but I have to admit that Jon Acuff is my hero. I’d probably squeal like a school girl if I met him.

    Probably not, but I would be excited.

  5. This is one of the funniest post I have read. Thank you Matt.

    As far as meeting a writer I admire. Not yet. I’m hoping to one day meet Seeking Pastor, but it hasn’t happened yet.

  6. No skittles…no way…what a rip off…

    I would imagine he offer some to peeps out of his pocket! lol…

    I would love to meet donald miller…one day…maybe…

  7. I have called Matt Big Ugly for years. Last I christened him with a new nickname. He is now known as Nanner Puddin’. While Matt got a tangible autograph, I got a virtual one from Jon straight from his heart to mine.

  8. Being from the south as well, I’m not sure I could admit that I had missed out on the Banana Puddin’. One of the first signs of knowing you are getting old is realizing that you are not one of the “cool kids” anymore. Welcome to my world! Great autograph, I am sure that you will treasure that and it does show what a great person Jon is.

  9. That’s amazing! I once stood next to Jon but I was too nervous to talk to him. I am famous for saying stupid things to people I look up to. I didn’t want to become a blog post. I’m glad that you met him! That’s really cool.

  10. A shout out from The Cuff himself? That’s awesome. Living in the Northwest we really get robbed of Christian celebrity appearances (I’m talking to YOU Dave Ramsey, no EntreLeadership book stop? What gives?).

    I got to meet Lee Child at a book signing (author of the incredible Jack Reacher series) and he was much taller and British than I thought.

    No, it’s perfectly normal to get an autograph at any age. Unless you got Justin Bieber’s. Then we couldn’t be friends.

  11. That is so cool! I love how we “know” each other by our Twitter handles. I met Susan Meissner in July and told her my name and without skipping a beat, she replied “HopefulLeigh!” like we were old friends. Last year I was able to meet Shauna Niequist and speak a few minutes with her. Her book Bittersweet meant so much to me and it was an honor to be able to tell her so. Way back in the day when I was 9 or 10, I met Madeleine L’Engle. Highlight of my childhood!

    I don’t seek out autographs from anyone but authors I admire so I don’t find anything wrong with a grown man seeking another grown man’s signature…but only because it was an author. 🙂

  12. There are two authors I admire that I would love to meet, but haven’t had the chance to yet (the joys of living in the middle of nowhere – it seriously is a 3 hour drive to get to anywhere either of these authors might speak):

    Donald Miller and Jon Acuff.

    Someday I will meet them.

  13. Awesome post, Matt! What a fun experience.

    I don’t think it’s weird that you got Acuff’s autograph. If you had him autograph any part of your body, I would be somewhat disturbed.

  14. I once met Chuck Dixon. Only comics people would know who he is. I think I let out an expletive or five, but I wasn’t saved then, so that might have been okay.

    That was probably the last time I waited in line for somebody’s signature… when I was going to the comic-cons of the world. Before that, it was when I went to Star Trek conventions. Both are probably equally lame to the general public, but that was before I realized that dropping huge cash on such things was probably not a very good method of stewardship.

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