Sergey Sologub is pastor of Irpin Bible Church in Kiev, Ukraine, and author of Kitchen Table Devotions: Worshiping God from A to Z as a Family, published originally in Ukrainian. Here, we talk with Sergey about Christian writing in Ukraine and his new family devotional resource.
MAI: Give us a brief overview of life for Christians in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian people formally declare that they believe in God, but there are few born-again Christians. We still appreciate relationships and hospitality, but recognize that the “pro-individualistic” Western culture has had a big impact on us. We love to communicate and to create new forms of serving and worshiping.
MAI: You have said that “Ukraine has a deep crisis of national Christian authors.” Why?
There are two main barriers. First, during Soviet times we lost our “writing culture.” Slavic countries in the past were famous because of authors such as Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Pushkin and others. But during the communist regime people were encouraged to focus on physical work. Intellectual work was not honored. This created an authors’ gap of which we are still reaping the fruits. Second, we have “low digitalization,” meaning that we are not taught to type on the keyboard. Converting thoughts into editable text is still a challenge for many who want to write.
MAI: What would you say to other writers in similar situations who feel that they are called to create something?
If you have a strong desire from God to write, try to do something for this big dream every day.
MAI: Why did you write Kitchen Table Devotions, and what is your hope for it?
The book contains a simple model for how to host weekly “worship dinners” with our families. I believe that as parents, we are called to share our faith with them. The book contains a worship toolbox of 26 stories about God’s attributes that parents can use at home.
MAI: Talk to us about the A-Z attributes of God in your book.
I was inspired by King David, who used the alphabetical order in his worship. Psalm 119 is written as an acrostic with eight verses grouped after each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. I have a habit of noting God’s attributes while I’m reading the Bible or hearing a sermon, and I collect stories that help me to illustrate these. So my family and I created https://worshipalphabet.com as a resource for family worship.
MAI: You attended LittWorld 2018 in Singapore. What came out of that for you?
I am particularly grateful to my American friends for their support and for the opportunity to attend the conference, where I met Randall Payleitner from Moody Publishers, who later published Kitchen Table Devotions in the U.S.