Welcome to Part 12 of the Writing by Faith series for Christian authors! If you’re new to Authoring Arrowheads, be sure to subscribe!
And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.Habakkuk 2:2-3, KJV
Throughout the course of the Writing by Faith series, we’ve learned how to navigate the ups and down of being a Christian author and fulfilling our calling to write for God. For our final section, entitled Write the Vision, we’re going to learn how to do just that. But, just what does that entail?
In the verses above, God instructs Habakkuk to first write the vision, and second, make it plain so that others can easily understand what it says and “run with it”, or spread it to others. Likewise, our calling as Christian authors involves the same two-step plan: 1) Write the books God lays on our heart as a form of ministry to the lost world, and 2) Make God’s love known through the books we write.
We Are His Ministers in the Book Community
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.Mark 16:15, KJV
Our duty as believers in Christ is to use our God-given gifts to share the Good News with as many people as we can. If we are called to be Christian authors, this means that we are specifically asked to use our gift of writing (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, etc.) as a way to communicate God’s love and Jesus’s message of salvation to the world.
First, let’s ask ourselves the same question that most writers ask themselves when they first begin writing: what messages do I want to share with the world through the written word?
As Christian authors, our first realization should be that by accepting this calling from God, that we need to be His ministers in the book community. Instead of blending in with every other mainstream author in our filth-ridden society, the books we write should be beacons of hope to the lost world, offering readers Christ-centered messages.
For example, as an avid contemporary Young Adult fiction reader, I’ve noticed over the years that one of the messages many of the mainstream books in the genre are perpetuating is that having a physical relationship with someone, even as early as fourteen/fifteen years old, outside of marriage is not only okay, but to be celebrated, despite all the negative consequences that could come from it. As Christians, we know that God warns us against such things, as the verses in 1 Thessalonians 4:2-5 state. A way we as Christian authors can combat this growing lie in the young adult fiction book community is to write our own contemporary young adult books that communicate the Biblical truth to readers: that God wants us to protect our purity before marriage, because He knows how detrimental the consequences of pre-marital sex can be, especially for young adults (STDs, unplanned pregnancies, etc.). By offering these kind of Biblical alternatives to the specific audiences God has called us to write for, we are ministering God’s Truth to anyone who reads our books, and planting seeds of the gospel in their hearts.
Now, I’m not saying our works need to be full of messages of condemnation, just chapter after chapter of God says don’t do this, and God says don’t do that. That, my friend, will get your book labeled as preachy by readers. Browbeating dos and donts into readers, especially those who don’t know Christ, never goes over well. As God’s ministers to the book community, we need to realize that we’re not just trying to pull in readers who have already accepted salvation through Jesus. Our main goal, as ministers of the Gospel for God in the book community is to reach the lost souls.
This doesn’t mean that we need to water down the gospel. This also doesn’t mean that we need to fill our books full of the world’s “truths” (aka, sinful ideologies) to make the books more relatable. As ministers of the written word, our duty is a lot like a pastor’s when they are preparing a sermon: ask God for guidance, and write the vision for the message He lays on our hearts. This may seem as too preachy to some, or it may seem as too taboo to others. Like we discussed in a previous section, it’s impossible to find a balance that pleases the world. But, luckily, we’re not trying to please the world. We’re following God’s purpose for our lives by using the tools He gives us (story ideas, Biblical messages and themes, etc.) to put His Truth out there, trusting that He will put it in the path of those who need it most.
We are His Laborers, So Make That Plain
Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.Luke 10:2, KJV
A message that has woven itself throughout the Writing by Faith series is that our ministry as Christian authors is to make God known and not ourselves, and it is a message I feel that can’t be stressed enough, especially when it comes to the trap of placing our own identities in our books.
Books are unique and personal to the author that writes them, and after we spend months or years putting our heart and soul into the books we write, it’s extremely difficult to keep in mind that we are doing all this to spread God’s word to the world, and not our own. Like parents, we as authors can develop strong personal attachments to our work, and even begin to place our own identity in them.
As we’ve covered in a previous section, this is a form of idolatry, where authors place the duty of successful authorship over the importance of doing what God has called us to do and leaving the rest to Him.
The verse above reminds us of our ultimate Why as Christian authors: that there are so, so many lost souls in this fallen world that are desperate for God’s word.
True laborers for God are few and far between in this day and time. Even those who claim to be ministers for Christ can have underlying selfish motivations, an issue within myself God has revealed to me over the past year or so. If we’re claiming to “take up our cross and follow Him”, we need to be sure we make that mission plain not just to our readers, but to ourselves as well.
Why is this so important? Because, if we allow ourselves to get so caught up in the success of the books, because we wrote them and therefore care whether they sink or swim, it can and will eat away at us when the times get tough.
If we take personal responsibility for the success of the books we write, it can affect our willingness to continue the labor for God when droughts hit and the harvest isn’t plentiful. We will feel like we aren’t good enough writers, and that no one is being impacted for that reason. We will feel like we aren’t doing enough for God, or that God is displeased with our efforts. That’s not true.
We are indeed authors, but that is not our sole identity. Our ultimate identity is first, foremost, and always as a child of God. We need not ever forget that, or God WILL be displeased with our efforts. Because, then, they will no longer be for His glory, but our own.
My parting message for all Christian authors, the one I hope stays with you for the longevity of your ministry, is that, while God has tasked us with the duty to write content for His glory, that He will have the final say in its impact. We are His laborers, and He is the harvester. We sow the seeds, and He reaps the souls that are won over to Him.
No other aspect of being an author should matter more to us. Our readership reach is up to Him. Our earned royalty amounts are up to Him. No matter how much we labor for success, we can’t force it on our own. If success becomes our goal, it defeats the purpose of serving God. We are not here to make Him millions of dollars. We are here to spread His word to those millions upon millions of souls who desperately need Him.
How do we become successful Christian authors? We write by faith, trusting that the works God uses us to write will expand His kingdom. It’s as simple as that.
I hope this series has been as edifying for you as it has been for me while writing it! God has seriously worked on my heart during the writing of this series, and I have faith that He will use it to help my fellow Christian authors stay on task and avoid the temptation worldly success offers.
If you’ve missed any of the previous posts, you can find them all twelve linked below:
- Answering the Call
- Avoid Gaining the World and Losing Your Soul
- Going Against the Status Quo
- Enduring the Opposition
- Not By Sight
- Contentment is Great Gain
- Reap What You Sow
- For Everything There is a Season
- For He is With You
- Mustard Seed Mindset
- The Love of Money is the Root of All Evil
- Write the Vision (You are here!)
Now, It’s Time to Let You in on a Secret!
If you’ve been following Authoring Arrowheads for the past year, you may remember me mentioning that I have a secret project planned for 2022 that is different than anything I’ve released before. Well, now it’s time to let that secret out of the bag!
About halfway through writing the Writing by Faith series, I felt God nudging me to compile all the posts in the series and publish them as an eBook. So, I’m planning to do just that!
Lord willing, I plan to release Writing by Faith: Following God’s Calling to be a Christian Author on February 22, 2022 (my fifth anniversary as an author!) across all my usual eBook platforms (Kindle, Nook, Apple Books, Kobo, etc.) for free. Because this is a book that’s total aim is to help Christian authors fulfill their God-given purpose, I want it to be as accessible as possible, and having it available for free is the best way to do that.
Will I be releasing it in paperback and/or hardcover as well? We will see. I haven’t completely made up my mind on that, but, if it becomes a yes, those will be offered at affordable prices too. I’m just very excited that God has used my testimony of the last five years of my authorship to make this impact for His Kingdom!
If you’d like to add Writing by Faith to your Goodreads TBR, you can do so here:
Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.