My writing journey began in the summer of 1998 as a junior in high school at the age of 17 when I started writing for my friends in my high school youth group. To be honest, I wasn’t any good at writing, but I had a desire to help people grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus. People were very gracious, and that work was used of the Lord to help people to grow in the Lord Jesus. After about almost two years of doing that, I started Servants of Grace August 2nd, 2000 at the age of 19. Now at the time of beginning Servants of Grace, I was only two months out of high school a young, prideful nineteen-year-old young man who thought he knew a lot; looking back, I can see that my zeal to share the truth often lacked love and grace, sadly.
Over the years I’ve been incredibly blessed by the Lord. What began writing for a very small audience of friends has grown into something beyond my imagination that continues to grow by the grace of God today. From a small email list, I wrote for in high school to my early 20’s preaching on an internet radio station, going on several missions’ trips overseas, and later in my late 20’s till this day writing for outlets like The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, White Horse Inn, The Gospel Project, For the Church, and more it’s been an amazing journey. Now, I’m the Executive Editor of our popular magazine, Theology for Life. Additionally, I have the great privilege now to interview many of the men and women of God who have had a formative influence on my Christian life on my podcast, Equipping You in Grace.
In this article, I want to outline five reasons why I believe it matters what we write to help you understand the importance of writing in the Christian life.
Biblical Christianity is revealed in the Word
As a writer, you are following in the great tradition of Christian thinkers and writers who have written from the Scriptures about the character of God recorded in the sixty-six books that constitute the Word of God. We’ve been given these sixty-six books, so we can teach others from the authoritative Word of God.
From the very beginning of the church, Christians wrote down words. The Apostles were sent out by the Lord Jesus on a mission to make, multiply, and mature the people of God. The Early Church started writing theology with men like Justin Martyr in the second century and continued with guys like Augustine, the Cappadocian fathers, John Calvin, Martin Luther on up to the present with men like John Piper, John MacArthur, and much more. These men have sought to make plain the truth that biblical Christianity is revealed in the Word of God.
Biblical Christianity is not just some abstract truth but is grounded in the inspired, inerrant, authoritative, sufficient, and clear Word of God. Theologians often use the word “dual authorship” which means God the Holy Spirit used the Apostle’s personality, talents, and language ability and moved them by the Holy Spirit to write down the authoritative Word of God.
Today Christian writers write from the inspired words of God, but their words are only helpful as long as they accord with biblical truth. Christians are to be Bereans (Acts 17:11), exercise discernment (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22), and to make every effort to make sure they present themselves as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15). Christian writers following in the great line of Christian writers from the Apostles to great theologians of our day write with great care and precision to help people from the Word of God. They may write articles that give a “fresh” perspective, but truthfully there are no new interpretations. Fresh doesn’t mean novel; it means Christian writers are to seek to help people see biblical truth in fresh ways but faithful ways from the Word of God. In this way, they follow the long line of godly thinkers and theologians who taught from the Word of God to help people grow in the grace of God.
Words Reveal Our Hearts
In Luke 6:45 Jesus says something profound. He says, “the good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Now Jesus often says similar things to what he says here in the Gospels, but it’s significant what He says here. The good person he says will produce good treasure, whereas, the evil person will produce evil. What do we see in our world? We have all sorts of writers producing content. Where does that content come from? It comes from our hearts.
What’s significant in the Hebrew worldview is that the heart is the seat of knowledge. In the Western world, we read verses like this and think intellect is where our knowledge comes from. In the Hebrew worldview, it was the opposite. The seat of knowledge is the heart, not the intellect like in the Western world. This is why verses like Proverbs 4:23 say to guard our hearts with all due diligence because the seat of knowledge is found in our hearts.
The evil person (the unregenerate person) produces evil. It’s not hard to see this from pornography to other sorts of mediums where we see people writing evil content all the time. We also see false teachers writing to deceive people away from biblical truth all the time.
As Christians, we have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit. That is the Lord Jesus has sovereignly removed our heart of stone and replaced it with a new heart, with new desires, and new affections by the Lord Jesus. This means no longer will Christians write what is evil, nor will they cheat the writing process. Christians who want to write will read and study their Bibles for the purpose of having something to bring to readers from the Word of God and to share how the Lord is at work in their lives.
This is what Jesus is getting at in Luke 6:45 when he says the good person produces good, whereas, the evil person produces evil. This is because of what Jesus says at the end of this verse, “out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” If we wish to write faithfully, we must first treasure God’s word in our hearts so that our writing will flow out of that abundance.
Excellence in Writing Is the Expectation, Not the Exception
As Christians, we are taught in the Scriptures to do all we do for the glory of God (Colossians 3:17). Whether we are serving as a pastor, an academic theologian, author, podcaster, or some other role, we are to do all we do for the glory of God and to point people to the Lord Jesus. The expectation in service to Christ is excellence for the glory of God.
Serve Others with Your Gift of Writing
Over the years I’ve been fortunate to have lots of people to tell me, “You need to be writing.” I’m always very thankful to hear this, and it encourages me greatly. But you might not hear that as a writer so how do you know if you should write? Ask yourself, “Do I have a burden to write?” Also ask yourself, “What is my motivation to write: is it for self or is it for the glory of Christ?”
Whether you write daily or weekly or even monthly, aim for excellence in your writing. Aim to serve others with your writing. Don’t just try to relay information to your readers. Grab your reader by the arm and take them with you and don’t let them go till the end. Then do the same again. Aim for the heart of your reader. Help them to see your heart and why you write for the glory of Christ.
As you begin writing things may not go as well as you want. Please keep writing. Over the years I’ve received a lot of amazing feedback about my writing, but let me be honest with you, I started very poorly as a writer. I had good ideas but couldn’t write them down in an intelligible manner. That may be you today reading this so let me encourage you now to start writing and don’t give up. People need your words and your work. They need to see Christ being formed in you as you read and study the Word of God and live your Christian life in the context of the local church with others.
Grow in Grace. Grow in Your Craft. Read Lots!
If you want to be a good writer, you are going to need to read a lot. You are also going to need to fall in love with reading if you’re going to have something worth writing. You are of course going to need to read your Bible and do life with other Christians in the local church, but you are also going to need to read all sorts of Christian theology to have something to say that is biblically and theologically sound.
You should also get feedback from experienced and seasoned writers and editors. Even now, I’m regularly edited by my wife who has helped me so much in my writing. I also send my articles for Theology for Life Magazine to pastor friends to ensure not only for theological orthodoxy but also to make sure my tone and the way I’m writing what I am comes across in the right way. Grow in grace. Grow in your craft and begin by reading lots of good Christian books, classic literature, and good writing books.
Wherever you are at today in your writing journey, begin! Start with a few thoughts or a few sentences and go from there. Soon you’ll be writing longer articles but start small for now.
I wrote for my previous church’s newsletter in Southern Idaho from 2014-2018. It was the most helpful thing for me because I had 350-450 words to convey one main idea to people in my local church. I encourage you to start writing 500 words or less and posting it online for feedback whether for a publication or on your blog and then ask your friends to read it and listen to the feedback you receive so you can improve.
As you do this, you’ll not only grow in your craft, but you’ll also grow in the grace of God. Christian writing isn’t only for an audience of the Lord God, it’s aim is to help people know the God of the Bible and to grow in the grace of God, which requires the Christian community of faith. So, let’s get to work and get to writing, Christian friends sharing from the Word of God and in community with the people of God to help them and others as Christians have now for 2,000 years helping people grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus through the written word from the Word of God.
Dave Jenkins is happily married to Sarah Jenkins. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, and is the Host for the Equipping You in Grace Podcast. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Parler, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.