david_taylor_jr — 2017-03-15T12:46:53-04:00 — #1
Kevin DeYoung wrote an excellent article for The Gospel Coalition about pastors and writing and why it matters.
My favorite paragraph from the article states:
Writing is essential in defending the truth. Much can be done to promote and defend the faith through oral arguments. But for most of us, there will come a time when the truth will be won or lost by the construction of sentences and paragraphs. When we are knee deep in a doctrinal controversy at church or in the thick of a theological squabble in the denomination, we will have to rely on words. Written words. Those who can write–not professionally, not brilliantly, just clearly–will be heard. Those who cannot, won’t.
Obviously this is very applicable to those of us who participate in this arena as we never get to debate via oral arguments. Our only medium is written word and much care must be taken.
I would love to know everyone else's thoughts on this matter.
You can read the article at https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/kevindeyoung/2017/03/15/why-pastors-should-work-hard-to-write-well/
dave_l — 2017-03-15T13:45:46-04:00 — #2
I junk the big technical words and try to write on a third grade level. I spend a lot of time writing.
lu1 — 2017-03-15T21:34:31-04:00 — #3
Writing is a learned skill set. Like most of us writing isn't something we hold dear. We write enough to be understood in some small matter. You write emails, you write notes, you write papers, you write personal journals but real in depth writing is not the norm for many. Since we are people of God and the written word is so important we need to really work on our writing skills. Why? Because it is the media the Lord uses to reach many and it helps to develop thought. As for writing a sermon. I found it takes time to hear what the Lord wants and what He want you to convey. Writing and re-writing sermons should be the norm. So conveying the truth of scripture in writing and to speak to people orally is a skill set that takes time to develop ... So writing help a pastor become better at thinking things through. The better you think things through the better you can convey important information for the spiritual growth of the church... But re-reading this post I meander making my point. The point is yes we should write better...lol
justin_gatlin — 2017-03-15T23:08:20-04:00 — #4
I can say some of the writing here on CD works against the viewpoint being presented.
bill_coley — 2017-03-15T23:09:36-04:00 — #5
For people in ministry, particularly those whose ministry leverages written communication, intentional efforts to improve writing skills are imperative. And in my experience, the single best way to improve writing skills is to write.
Throughout my first two years in seminary I wrote daily personal journal entries, end-of-day reflection pieces that focused more on my development as a person than as a pastor. The 600+ single-spaced typewritten pages I created for that journal represented the single most significant thing I have ever done to advance my writing skills.
Once hooked on writing's creative adventure, I expanded my interest into grammar and diction. Some people I knew back then read novels; I read usage and style manuals.
The combination of disciplined writing, concern for language and grammar, and attention paid to others' writing created a passion in me for words and their potential in all aspects of ministry.
One final suggestion: If you preach, write full manuscripts. You don't have to use them when you preach, but write them anyway because there will come a season in your life when, whether due to professional interest or simple curiosity, you will value knowing HOW you said what you said. More, I have found, you will grow to esteem the words you chose as God's chosen expression uniquely through you.
I have a collection of nearly 550 funerals I have written over the years. Because I create intensely personal funeral experiences that include eulogy-like word pictures of people's lives AND write them in full manuscripts, a predictably moving experience for me now is to read the services God wrote through me for people important to me personally and pastorally. Those words help me honor anew people whose lives mattered to me any time I desire... because I wrote full manuscripts. That experience is especially poignant when I re-visit the words I used to celebrate my parents, aunt and uncle, cousin, and nephew.
For what it's worth....
dave_l — 2017-03-16T06:43:29-04:00 — #6
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."
david_taylor_jr — 2017-03-16T07:47:19-04:00 — #7
I also find that journaling is crucial in my life and do it almost every day.
And your preferred style is? Come on, don't leave us hanging!
This is also the suggestion of Dr. Steven J. Lawson and I could not agree more. There is something about writing a manuscript that helps you fine tune that sermon to as close to perfection as a human can get.