June 21, 2014

Breaking the Good News to your readers


Television news and articles on the Internet often give the impression that no good news exists! We constantly hear about failures and falls – the fall of meteorites, the fall of the economy, the fall of politicians, pastors, past heroes, and church membership – all of which can be expected in a fallen world. But here’s the Good News! Christ rescues and forgives. Christ saves.

As Christians, we ARE the Body of Christ on earth, which means, of course, we CAN make a difference! How? Through empowerment by the Holy Spirit and the power of the pen, pencil, print, and Internet….

I’ll be eager to hear your suggestions about this in the Comments section below. Meanwhile, these starters come to mind:

Listen.

Get comfortable. Get quiet. Pray, “Come, Lord Jesus.”

Empty your thoughts. Quiet your mind. Give God a chance to speak to you. How? However, God chooses! Often this will be an impression, inspired thought, or sudden recollection of a word from the Bible that seems especially relevant and timely.

Observe. Notice. Use your good senses!

For example, notice your own reactions to people, ads, news, sermons, events. What troubles you? Do you feel grieved, as I do, when you hear someone bad-mouth God, Christ, Christianity, and the church? Do you wonder, as I do, what Jesus thinks of the bickering and “gang rivalry” that occurs among Christians and various denominations? Do you hear about problems but know of biblical solutions you can address in a poem, article, book, or Bible story retold in a fresh but accurate way?

Identify.

To whom do you intend to speak? If children, are you drawn to a particular age group? If adults, do you feel a stronger connection with young people, middle-aged readers, retirees, or elderly persons? Do you interact with those prospective readers often enough to know what’s on their minds, on their plates, or under their feet?

Focus.

When you know who your readers will be, think about a topic or theme you want to discuss that will most likely interest them. Then sharpen your focus as you identify your writing goal or purpose. i.e., What do you hope your poem, fiction, or nonfiction will accomplish? Do you want to encourage faith? Do you see yourself as an evangelizer whose writings can coax non-Christians to Christ? Do you hope to help heal rifts and misunderstandings in the Body of Christ? How would you go about each of those goals?

Consider.

• In what ways will the Kingdom of God and Will of God attract your readers?

• In what ways would you like for the church to adapt to our changing culture but not lose the power of the Gospel message?

• In what ways can you encourage readers to take the first command in Genesis 1:28 as God's word to protect the environment?

• In what ways can you encourage readers to take the “wreck” out of recreation and put godly acts into action?

• In what way can your writing show true love for God, other Christians, and “those people” we don’t relate to or even like?

• In what winsome ways can all of us accurately, intelligently, empathetically, lovingly, and prayerfully break the good Good News to our readers?

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© 2014, Mary Harwell Sayler - poet-author of 26 traditionally published books in all genres, and a lifelong lover of Jesus Christ, the Bible, and the church Body of Christ in all its parts - wrote the Christian Writer's Guide e-book with you and the above thoughts in mind.

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