Sunday, July 31, 2011

Interview with Sherree Funk, Author of Peter: Rock Star from Galilee

Joining us today is Sherree Funk, author of Peter: Rock Star from Galilee: A Guided Bible Study for Teens.

Well-grounded in biblical Christianity, Sherree is passionate about sharing her love and knowledge of God’s Word with the next generation. She has earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and holds a Certificate in Christian Studies from Asbury Theological Seminary. Sherree leads small groups of teens at Ingomar UMC.

Welcome to The Book Connection, Sherree. Where did you grow up?

I grew up near the Santa Susanna Mountains in Chatsworth, California, just down the road from Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. (In fact we attended the same church.) The Southern California weather was almost always sunny and mild. I didn’t know until much later in life what real seasons were like.

What is your fondest childhood memory?

One fond memory from my childhood summers is buying fresh California produce from a farm stand near my house. Juan, the stand owner, introduced us to exotic Casaba and Crenshaw melons with juicy sweet samples. Fruit salads, sliced tomatoes and steaming corn-on-the-cob made their way to our backyard picnic table at the hands of my mother.

And I can’t forget the warm ripe apricots, red-staining pomegranates, black olives, and early season strawberries from neighborhood trees and local farms. Delicious!

When did you begin writing?

I took a creative writing class at UC Davis, wrote a technical master’s thesis and many technical reports for work, and then did very little writing until 3 years ago when I started writing Bible studies for teens.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I normally like to write during the day in a comfy chair at my local Starbucks. I like to have a good cup of coffee in hand, the aroma all around me, and good music playing on the speakers. Somehow that environment inspires me.

What is this book about?

This book is a close look at Peter and his relationship with Jesus. Peter had a rock star personality. His name means rock, and he became a star disciple. But there is so much more. Peter is a central character in Acts, too, and he wrote a couple of letters.

Peter is impulsive, eager to do well, and prone to pride. He does some amazing things like walking on water, but he gets in trouble, too. When his pride comes tumbling down after his triple denial he learns humility. Peter finally understands that his own efforts are doomed to fail, but when he is filled with the Holy Spirit he becomes the rock upon which the Church was built.

The book is designed for personal study with discussion questions to encourage lively debate in small groups. There are real-life challenges to stimulate teens to service and greater faith. Each chapter begins with a playlist of contemporary Christian songs and hymns to highlight the Biblical themes. By combining music, song lyrics, and Bible study, the lessons of Peter’s faith journey can be retained for life.

What inspired you to write it?

I was leading a group of Middle School students in Bible study and found very little in the way of high-quality materials for that age group. At the same time, I was participating in one of Beth Moore’s engaging studies for adults. Suddenly one day, while doing my own study, I felt a gentle nudge – well, maybe a strong push - to write in a similar style for teens. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I first wrote a study on Lydia of Philippi. Peter: Rock Star from Galilee is my fourth teen Bible study.

Who is your favorite character from the book?

One of the most appealing characters in the Bible, Peter has long been a favorite of mine. His life is given more coverage than any other New Testament figure, except Jesus of course. He is so lovable. One minute he’s brilliant, the next he is screaming for help. In my experience, many young teens have similar personalities.

There is a minor character, Rhoda, who I love, too. Once, when Peter escaped from prison, he headed to a home where a prayer group was meeting. They were praying for him, but Rhoda, rising to answer the bell, couldn’t believe it was actually Peter. She almost turned him away. You can find that story in Acts 12.

Who is your biggest supporter?
My husband, Jim, is my greatest fan and biggest supporter. I have several long-time friends who give me advice and encouragement and keep me laughing. I am so thankful for them all.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Peter: Rock Star from Galilee can be purchased from,,,,,,, and, and it should be available at your local Christian store soon.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

I do, and would love more visitors and

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

My book trailer is on my website,  and at

What is up next for you?

My next Bible study will be about Hannah, the prayerful mother of Samuel in the Old Testament. She faced childlessness and relentless bullying, yet she cried out to God in faith. She’s a beautiful, relatable character for teens today.

Thank you for spending time with us today, Sherree. We wish you continued success.


Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I have this one ad can not wait to dive into it!

Karen Cioffi said...

What a unique and engaging way to teach the MG and YA groups about the Bible.

Best wishes for your book's success.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Very nice interview. Love the idea of the story as Peter is a character I think most of us can relate to. The book should appeal to young readers.

V.R. Leavitt said...

Great interview!! What a great idea for a book.

Sherree G. Funk said...

Thanks for your comments! Join me on facebook in September for an online group study of Peter! Go to Peter Rock Star bible study group.