Writing

CTPastors Has a Small Church Section – And They Want to Hear From You!

Do you have some creative, practical, encouraging ideas about small church ministry? If you can write about them in a clear, concise manner, CTPastors might want to publish an article from you.

For the first time ever, ChristianityToday.com has a section entirely devoted to small church ministry! And they’re looking for great content from pastors like you.

If you’re interested, here are some ideas about how to get started.

5 Steps to Take After You’ve Said Something Stupid In Public

Every time I preach there’s a chance I’ll say something stupid.

Sometimes my mistakes are harmless, like when I quoted God at the burning bush telling Moses, “Take off your feet, you’re standing on holy ground.”

Other times people get hurt. Sometimes the very people I’m trying to help.

Now that I’m blogging three times a week, I have gone from one chance of making a public mistake every week to four chances. Add radio and podcast interviews, and my conference speaking schedule to that, and I can have up to eight or nine chances in some weeks.

That happened last week. In my most recent post, Check the Mirror, Pastor – After Five Years, Your Church Looks Like You,

This got me thinking about what we can learn when we’re criticized for saying or writing something that turns out to be incorrect, even hurtful.

10 Principles that Have Helped Me Overcome Writer’s Block

Writer’s block has always been The Enemy That Wouldn’t Die for me. Late nights, hair-tearing and Shakespearean pronouncements of doom have accompanied every word I wrote. Whether it was for sermons, blog posts, term papers, whatever.

Writing was always hard. Until it wasn’t.

Four years ago when I started writing what would eventually become The Grasshopper Myth, I realized I’d never survive writing an entire book if I didn’t find a better process for putting my thoughts into words.

So I experimented until I discovered several ideas that work for me. Now I use them for everything I write, including sermons and blog posts. Some were quirks that work only for me. Writing is like that. We all have our own system.

But these 10 aren’t quirks, they’re universal principles. So universal that even the ones I thought I came up with I’ve found in other places since then. Maybe they’ll work for you, too.

Want to Write Something Great? Write Something Lousy First

Writing one sermon is hard. Writing two is easier. The same goes for blog posts, articles, books… you name it.

You just have to follow this simple rule: Write a bad one first, then write a good one after that.

This discovery has been one of my most helpful tools in becoming a better writer. Here’s why.

The bad one is easier to write. Then the good one becomes easier to write after you’ve written the bad one. After all, you’ve already done the hard part. You’ve started. And by the time the bad one is done, the good one is halfway written already.

I follow this rule for all my writing. I start by getting everything on the page in one big mess. Then I start writing the good one out of the mess because it’s easier to fix a bad sermon than it is to start with a blank page or screen.

Here’s how I do it.