Ministry of Christian Writers

The written word has a rich, powerful simplicity that is impossible to duplicate through any other media. By utilizing our primary senses—body, spirit and intellect—we translate the symbols printed on the page and slowly digest, or pray the words. The process itself has the potential to heal and restore.
Words not only teach us, they also have the ability to soften and inform, to clarify and to show. In our quiet times, sipping tea in our favorite chair, we may come across a phrase or thought that triggers awareness of what God is saying to us. Through these experiences, we grow. Then we want to share our growth with others, so we pass the poem, article or book to friends, and a simple ministry begins—simple on the surface, but deep in its potential.
Good writing means having something to say and saying it well. I feel a strong sense of urgency today about my writing projects I didn’t feel earlier. This intense desire to write what I feel may be a response to the violence and chaos in the world. Sometimes I think, I just had to write, had to.
If God has given you this compulsion to write, you have to write . . . have to. Aside from being a great form of creative expression, when published, Christian writing becomes a powerful tool for reaching thousands of people with a helpful message.
The Bible is rich in encouragements to remember:
• "Remember the former things, those of long ago” (Isaiah 46:9).
• "Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced” (1 Chronicles 16:12).
• "Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering” (Hebrews 10:32).
• "Remember the words I spoke to you” (John 15:20).

Writing down our thoughts, emotions and insights is the best way to make sure we don’t forget them. You might be thinking, But I’m not a writer; I’ve never had anything published, and God has never spoken to me in dramatic ways like he did to Moses, Elijah or the apostle Paul. If those are your thoughts, I have good news. The earth doesn’t have to shake and smoke billow for you to hear from God. In fact, remember the times He has spoken to you in the following ways:
• Through His Word
• Through a silent, inner witness of peace as you talked and listened to Him in prayer
• Through divinely appointed conversations
• Through times of searching and studying
• Through flashes of insight
Once you identify the times when God spoke to you, or revealed an important truth to you, ask yourself: How would my life be different if God hadn’t revealed that to me? What would I have missed if God had left me to my own wisdom?
For beginners, an excellent way to start writing is by expanding your devotionals into articles with these parts:
• A catchy title
• A Scripture verse to support the idea
• A lead—an anecdote, illustration or quotation to hook the reader
• A central point that explains the Scripture with quotations (a mix of direct and indirect quotes about every third paragraph)
• A closing paragraph that gives direction or encouragement
Still uncertain? Try writing the focus of your article as a headline. Then write an ending because you need to know where you are going before you start. Write without notes . . . the story is not in your notes, it’s in your head.
Just because you are writing as ministry doesn’t mean the quality should be less than excellent. In everything you write, strive to find a new "twist” by making the new ordinary and the ordinary new. But here are two temptations to avoid:
1. Don’t preach . . . leave the preaching to the preachers.
2. Don't use clichés . . . no matter how well they seem to fit.
"But where do I get ideas?” you may ask. Write about everything that touches your life—books, songs, poems, your own experiences. Other sources include stories from the news, observations and research. The important thing is, if you believe the Lord has given you a gift to write, you need to develop it to the best of your ability.
The following things help keep my "writing battery” charged:
1. Read, read, read broadly.
2. Stay in touch with other writers by attending writing conferences, seminars and workshops.
3. Keep an active file of ideas and projects to develop.
4. Write something every day.
5. Write and rewrite until its right.
6. Bathe everything you write with prayer.
By Wanda Griffith, Book Editor, Church of God Publishing House, Cleveland, Tennessee 
 If you are interested in the Ministry of Christian Writing, contact us for further information at nationalallianceowim@yahoo.com.

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