To Write, Or Not To Write

Title: To Write, Or Not To Write
Category: Pastoral Issues
Subject: Writing
To Write, or not To Write?
By Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey

To write, or not to write; that is the question. Writing does not come easy for most of us, but it is one of the most powerful means of expressing the message of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The gospel can be communicated by writing tracts, Sunday school lessons, newspaper columns, and magazine articles.

Writing is a wonderful way to expand your ministry. If you serve a church with 100 in attendance on Sunday morning and suddenly have an opportunity to write a column for a newspaper with a circulation of 10,000, you have tremendously increased your ministry. If at least two people per newspaper read your column, 20,000 lives have been touched.

It not only expands your ministry, but writing provides exposure for you and your congregation in and beyond the community you serve. This multiplies your church's opportunity for outreach. Les Keylock, coordinator of the 1987 Moody Bible Institute's Write-to-Publish Conference, emphatically declared, "It is hard to think of a more effective way of making an impact for Christ in today''s world than through well written literature."1

If you sense the Lord's leadership to pursue a writing ministry, be willing to start small. The prophet Zechariah warns, "Do not despise the day of small beginnings." (Zechariah 4:10)

It has been perceptively stated "a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."

The first step to begin a writing ministry is prayer. Seek the Lord for specific guidance. You will need to know what He wants you to write and which opportunities to pursue.

Another critical step is preparation. The basic tools you will need to begin to write are a Bible, a college dictionary, a good thesaurus, and an English composition and grammar book. A computer equipped with software to correct spelling and grammar is extremely helpful, but not required. Dr. Robert Gee Witty has written an excellent book on writing titled Manuscript Production Manual. It is written specifically for serious writers, but can be a great asset to aspiring writers as well. Perhaps you could enlist someone that is proficient in English grammar to offer suggestions about your writing.

Once you have received the Lord's direction for the content of your writing project, consider writing a column in your church bulletin or newsletter. You could also consider self-publishing a sermon or a gospel tract.

After you have several well-written samples, begin the process of promotion. This step involves contacting editors of newspapers and magazines to explore the possibility of writing an article or a column for their publication. Editors will request a sample of your work and they like "tight" writing that requires little or no clean up.

It is natural to have feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, and insecurity when the Lord is leading you to serve Him in a new ministry. Do not allow these feelings to stop you! After being called by God to deliver the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage, Moses asked, "Who am I?" (Exodus 3:11) to which God answered in a self-revelatory statement, "I Am." (Exodus 3:14) Moses learned that he could depend upon God for everything he needed in performing this great task.

The apostle Paul offers an inspired word of encouragement for all that are called but feel unable to minister through writing, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13). 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 reveals that God calls us to minister based on His ability not ours. When God places the desire to write within your heart He will work in and through you for His glory.