June 12, 2014

Ministry of Christian poets and writers

Wondering how the members of our Christian Poets and Writers group on Facebook saw their writing ministries, I recently asked:

In what ways do you hope your writing will help to draw others to Christ, up-build the church, and strength faith?

Adeline: I believe people respond to writers who are real and authentic – honest about our struggles and how God reveals himself to us in the midst of good and tough times. My desire is for my life and my writing to be congruent – nothing more and nothing less.

Brian: Many of my poems center on Christian truth. There can be a kind of prophetic dimension to poems that comfort, challenge, inform, and edify.

Christine: I hope others will be able to see and say, "Wow, she can relate to me. God does love me and want the best for me. I'm not perfect, but I am the apple of His eye, and there is hope."

Anne: I hope my writing will give others hope. I want those who hurt to know God cares. And for those who feel alone, I want them to know God is with them, even though they only hear silence.

Gregory: (I want to) empower and equip others to live out their unique, God-given destiny!

Kristen: I write for children 9 to 14. I want them to realize our God can be relied upon and even children can make a difference.

Me: What a joy to see so many ways of expressing God's love! Like Adeline, I believe people respond well to honesty, and the Bible itself shows this to be true. Except for Christ, every Bible story shows flawed people, whom God still chose, forgave, and blessed, so I want my writing to be real and help readers to get real with themselves and God. My primary goals, however, are to encourage loving interactions among Christians, up-build the church Body of Christ, and draw people into reading the Bible.

Rali: My desire is to see my readers inspired to live fulfilled, empowered, and victorious lives in Christ – that they know and walk in God's plan for their lives.

Paul: (I want to give) examples from real life that show our past errors can point us to Christ, who offers grace and new beginnings. Writing that offers hope in spite of the past draws attention away from the sin and toward His forgiveness. I'm not sure I've accomplished that yet, but every day gives new opportunities. I like blank pages.

Barbara: I hope and pray my recent book will break down some prejudices and stereotypes. I wrote it to tell a story but was also keenly aware of the fact that I was to approach a certain topic with accurate facts and an open mind. So far the response to the book has been positive.

Marie: I hope my writing will bring encouragement and hope to many people! I also pray for my readers, wherever they are, that God will bring glory to His name through my poetry.

Fran: I hope my book about seeing God in everyday experiences will bring others closer to God through my easy-to-understand poems and devotions. I also hope people will be encouraged to know my first book was published a month after my 80th birthday.

Jeannie: I hope my writing will inspire others to trust God and create a deeper hunger for His Word by sharing real life examples of what He is doing in my heart. His Word is greater than gold, achieving things for us money cannot buy. I hope my writing will show His greatness.

Norma: I believe Christian fiction is a terrific tool for leading people to Christ and discipling believers. It provides a non-confrontational format to show how believers live and how their lives differ from the world around them. I hope my characters will be identified with and will lead others to see the need for Christ in their own lives.

Stacey: All I hope my writing does is show people God/Jesus' love and desire for them and to glorify Him in all things, working for the advancement of the Kingdom.

Rebecca: By writing the truth, especially within the genre of fiction, I hope my readers will gasp and see the a-ha.

Carole: I pray the Lord will use my writings to draw people unto Himself, to realize their need for Him in their lives. I pray this with all my heart, and I thank Him for the opportunity He has given me to do so. Jeremiah 31: 1, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you,” NKJV.

Patti: I write for a Christian newspaper and hope people can identify with my being real, humorous, in love with God and His church. Having my stories and poems in books and magazines 20 years ago was all about "me,” and that byline was fun! But God changed my heart around and made it all about HIM, and there the difference made a mark on my heart.

Dawn: Speak the Truth in Love. (Ephesians 4:15) Encourage and build up others. (1 Thessalonians 5:11) Correct and instruct the body of Christ. (2 Timothy 4:2) Teach and train in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Brayden: I pray people realize that the way the world handles problems is not necessarily how God wanted us to handle problems. I pray that people would see that He is very much concerned with every facet of our lives and that when we follow His ways, the outcome is so much better than what we could ever expect. The situation may never change, but our hearts and attitudes do.

Elizabeth: I want my writing to point to spiritual truths in a way that catches people by surprise. Many of my poems contain symbols of spiritual truth and/ or are somewhat allegorical. I love to create an image that has greater meaning than what appears on the surface.

Terry: No matter what I am writing about, I always try to have a clear presentation of the gospel somewhere in the book. It is always my prayer that someone will be saved as a result.

Susan: Taking C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien to heart, I write to feed the religious imaginations of readers through fantastical-whimsical-spiritual stories. It is a first step to belief for the secular-minded and pure fun for the believer, who will recognize Christian themes and allusions.

Susan P: Some of my poetry has me crying as I am writing it as I know the Holy Spirit is healing me through every word I write. He inspires.

Joy: My default mode seems to be to write vulnerable, open, and honest in the hope that other wounded souls will see that they are not alone. And I hope and pray readers may be blessed by hearing how being in relationship with God makes all the difference in the world in coping with life's trials. I aim to encourage fellow believers in their faith and point to the One who gives me daily grace and strength to live and write for His glory. I'm tremendously encouraged by Fran's admission here about the age she achieved being a published author! As I'm approaching my 60th birthday, I was beginning to feel time was running out to achieve publishing my own poetry anthology and/or a devotional book/ memoir. But her words have given me fresh hope that God isn't finished with me yet, and it can still happen within His perfect timing. I love how we can inspire one another here!

Keren: Poetry for me, like Susan, feels like a release which I hope others can share, mystical stories I hope others can glimpse something of the nature of transformational love, but with my theology/ polemical writing I can be more straightforward and hope to encourage and edify. I pray over all of it that the Lord will use it (one day as I'm not published yet either) and that none of it will go to waste.

Lorretta: I aim for authenticity and transparency. I simply tell the stories of how I once was lost and now am found and hope others can see Christ through it all. Humorous or Serious – no topic is too big or too small and no mistake or triumph will get wasted.

Mamie: I write for a ministry and do various other writings too (articles, poems, etc.) So, as I write to minister, I am also teaching and preaching the Word of the Lord to anyone who's already a saved person and who receives the message from the Spirit. That involves much prayer, the Word of God, and staying in living contact with the Lord. Therefore, people have responded in considerable numbers. I give praise and glory to the Lord our God Who has given me the talent of writing that I may use it to the utmost for His glory!!

Regina: My blog is all about showing God at work in our lives – every day! And the show I produce, The Hand of God, was developed to do the same.

Prayer Soldierone: I simply pray that the words I share will find the person who needs them in the moment or the one who will reflect on them from which to build their understanding as to where the Holy Spirit is guiding.

Joyce: Faith in God is found in Christ alone. Unity in the church is found in Christ alone. My writing goal is to grow, in myself and others, a hunger and thirst for the Word of God in order that we may truly know God as we walk with Christ.

Eileen: So many authors have inspired me to grow in my walk with the Lord. Some may never know until heaven the influence they've had on me. Because of that investment in my life, I'm now a writer who longs to encourage others in their faith walk. Whether it's a word or phrase that plays in the reader's mind while she washes dishes or bathes an infant, or whether it's a life-changing chapter that she must read again and mull over, I want my words to challenge thinking and move toward real change. Words keep; they are such powerful motivators, either for good or ill. I pray my words will leave a lasting legacy of faith for all who partake.

Karin: I am learning more each day that God wants me to help Believers become more connected to His mindset, which is outlined in the Bible. The more we respond to His way, the more peace and joy we will have. Having peace and joy releases us to be who He called us to be which in turn affects other lives for the better. We cannot fulfill His call if we are stressed and worried.

Lisa B: I hope to maybe help others see things in the Word that they may have had a hard time understanding, amen.

Linda: I want my writing to draw out what hurts, so the reader can lift it to the Lord.

Anne: It is only in drawing out that hurt that it can truly heal. We live in a society that looks like things are fine – airbrushed fine. And the reality is, people are hurting, just getting better at hiding it.

Tesha: Praying our post will empower single women to take godly steps to prepare to become a wife.

Tim C: I write Bible-inspired poetry to sustain long, loving meditation on Scripture and communion with Christ. Moreover, I find poetry (and hiking) most helpful in curbing depression. Now, to your question: Much of my time after coming to Christ at age twelve had been "I think" and "I feel" instead of "It is written" and "Thus saith the Lord." When the Bible (more than my gut) becomes primary in informing my Christian walk, i am greatly helped. Hence, I write to point to the word and the Word. Said another way, I write poetry in hopes of stimulating a Berean (Acts 17:11-12) response.

Me: Thank you all for your wonderful responses! May God continue to bless you and the writing you have been given to do in all genres for the glory of God and the healing of the church Body of Christ in Jesus' Name.

© 2014, Mary Harwell Sayler, poet-author of 26 traditionally published books in all genres and the Christian Writer's Guide e-book on Amazon.

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