Writing isn't a desire or skill I was born with.
You see, I’m dyslexic and re-learned how to properly read when I was 22-years-old. The idea of being a pastor, author, and publisher was something I’d never dreamed of doing.
But over the years, I noticed a gradual change in my life and interests. I discovered a passion for reading, which led the way to a passion for writing. I found myself looking forward to writing papers for graduate school and excited to research and write my sermons.
I didn't notice these changes at first. It wasn't until some years had passed by that I realized I enjoyed reading and writing as much as I did.
I started making opportunities to write, received positive feedback, and was inspired to push through my challenges after hearing from people that my writing encouraged them.
Since becoming a pastor, I’ve discovered many reasons why I should pursue my interest in writing and write a book. If you’re a pastor and you’re thinking about writing a book, here are five reasons why I believe you should consider doing so.
I don't consider myself the best writer. Far from it. But I do consider myself called to write.
Writing is a legitimate extension of pastoral ministry. In the words of Tim Keller, “It is part of the ministry of the Word.”
If you desire to write, then write. But remember this: Writing well takes time. So, if you believe you are called to write, prayerfully consider if you have the bandwidth in your life and ministry to pursue your passion as a writer. There are seasons in my life where I need to put my writing on pause in order to focus on other important things.
As a ministry of the Word, writing is a great medium to serve others within your church and beyond. Writing is a great complement to your preaching. It’s a way to reinforce your message, add additional insight, and better resonate with people who best learn through reading.
If you’re not ready to write a book, consider writing a newsletter for your church, starting a blog, or expanding your thoughts via social media.
The church I pastor gives a free copy of my book to every visitor. This isn't a ploy of self-promotion, but an opportunity to help those who are visiting to connect with the guy on stage. It adds value to those who are attending by letting them know we understand everyone has a story, and the way Jesus influences our story is worthy of sharing.
I’ve had many people who joined our church tell me that after reading my book they felt like they knew me. In a church who longs to be relationally connected with Jesus and one another, I would say this is a win!
Writing and publishing a book has afforded me, and the leaders in my church, the opportunity to talk about Jesus with people who may typically hesitate to discuss spiritual matters with a pastor. It has also provided us an opportunity to encourage people to tell their story without fear of judgment or retribution.
For our people to feel comfortable enough to share their story, we have to be comfortable enough to communicate ours, and we must do so in a way that is scalable as our church grows.
Capturing how the Lord has influenced your life in the form of a book creates a lasting legacy of the example of His grace. Not only does it build connectivity locally and increase the opportunity for ministry, but such a book allows you to point to your Savior long after you’re gone.
Some leaders have messages they want to share other than their testimony, which I think is great! These messages still display the glory and redemptive quality of God in human lives.
As a pastor and publisher, I love to guide fellow pastors to realize they have a message deep within them. Not only that, but the act of writing and publishing that message will lead to deeper connectivity, opportunity, and legacy in their lives.
For another perspective on this conversation, check out Casey’s blog post 5 Reasons Why Pastors Should Not Write a Book.