Where Ministry and Book Writing Collide
By Blythe Daniel
Do you remember when someone slipped you a note in class to check a box? Friend or not? If only we could contain our responses to a little box. Unfortunately, our boxes get bigger and sometimes they’re so big that we can’t tell what’s in what box!
I remember the first time I thought about whether my ministry was also my business and my writing too. How would I combine all three into what I loved since I was taking time away from my family?
Over the years, I’ve tried to put God first, then family, then ministry/business/writing third. All the slash this, slash that. It can add up! Inevitably I’ve seen ministry lead to writing and writing lead to business. We want to make sure we’ve got things in the right order, yes?
Whether you are newly starting out or you have been checking the boxes and figuring out your slashes (friend-slash-leader-slash..insert your own here!), there is a connection between your ministry and your writing. How do they fit together?
I like to think of them colliding into a brilliant display of God’s glory. Not my glory. But His. It can be hard to tell the difference after you’ve been doing it for a while. Ministry is how you connect with others to bring them closer to God. Writing is an avenue to expand this. Both have the potential to bring more souls into Heaven than you and I will know in this lifetime. Ministry is an extension of the gifts God has uniquely qualified you to share. Writing is the written form of this. One doesn’t overshadow the other, but one informs the other.
What is the greatest asset you need? You and I need wisdom. Do you recall how Solomon asked God for wisdom? It delighted God’s heart. Solomon’s words were:
1 Kings 3:7-9 (NIV)
7 “Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
Now, you and I aren’t governing people, but we are governing our responsibilities, relationships, opportunities. We need to live in wisdom—not wait for it. When Solomon turned from wisdom, so did his throne. The kingdom was taken from Solomon because he didn’t follow God the way his father David did. Solomon turned to other gods to fulfill his desires. Solomon’s decisions affected families, those who served him, and the kingdom of Israel. Solomon chose to go the way that his influencers chose.
How do we follow our desires rather than God? We might say, “I’ll do this business/ministry/book, and then I’ll ask God how he’ll confirm this is to be published, created, or started.” Are we turning from wisdom and seeking what fulfills us? We need to keep God’s wisdom as close as our hands are to our phones, our ipads, our computers. We charge them each day but how are we charging our minds with wisdom?
Moses is a great example of ministry and writing. Do you think about how careful he must have been to get down God’s word verbatim? God spoke, Moses wrote it down. His ministry was to lead the Israelite people, but it was necessary to have some key statements in writing. He heard; he wrote. Not the other way around—something we can do without realizing the implications.
We need to know why we are doing ministry and writing, and it needs to be bigger than a book. Writing is the easy part, right? I see at least three areas that we need to remember to align our ministry and writing.
- We need to see ourselves as ministers and a book adds to our ministry the way that it did for Moses – the writing needs to be there to carry out the message.
- Ministry is ongoing. What do you expect God will give you? Quail and manna come just when we need it – not before, not after. You can’t expect when He’ll give you what you need, but He will give it. We often want to rush things. But God’s drop-ins are just what we need.
- We need to expect to receive the provisions for our ministry and writing, but receiving is not our reason for what we do. The glory of God is better than the glory of a check. Solomon was wise with what he collected and lavishly offered to God. He ruled successfully and was blessed, but he gave generously to God. Once he completed the temple, he gave fellowship offerings to God: 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats. Now that doesn’t sound like a man who is hurting because he is following God closely and remembering who put him in the position he was in!
When the outcome for us becomes more important than the process, we need to go back to the Great Commission—it’s not so our kingdom would expand but His.
May we not submit to other sources that can take our attention and miss what could have been our ministry and writing due to making our desires more of the focus than His.
What do you need to give back to God so that your ministry and writing line up with the heartbeat of Heaven, that all should call upon the name of the Lord and be saved? How is He using you to usher others into God’s kingdom as you make your steps there, too?
A Note from Carol Kent: Blythe Daniel is one of our July 14-16, 2021 Speak Up Conference faculty members and industry experts. If you select the Classic or Premiere Package, you can make an appointment for a one-on-one ZOOM meeting with Blythe to discuss your book idea and to explore whether her literary agency would be a good fit for you and your project. For information, click here.
If you’re in need of partial scholarship assistance, email Bonnie@speakupconference.com for an application.
If you’d like to “Pay It Forward” and give a tax-deductible donation to the scholarship fund, here’s the link.
Blythe Daniel has been involved in publishing for over 20 years. She’s a marketer, author, and literary agent. The Blythe Daniel Agency, Inc. represents authors to publishers and to consumers through marketing campaigns: blogs, podcasts, branding, and social networking. She and her mother, Dr. Helen McIntosh, are the co-authors of Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters.