Monday Motivation: How to Use Your Writing Gifts for God

Monday, May 27, 2013



For two years now I have led women's small groups through my church. These groups have been on various topics but have all basically been bible study nights that I've held on Monday evenings at my apartment.

This summer I wanted to do something different, but couldn't quite figure out what to do. Each time I'd come up with an idea I'd quickly realize why that idea wouldn't work. A friend of mine suggested I not lead a small group at all this summer since I am, you know, starting a magazine. That's kind of a big deal and will keep me plenty busy. But still, I felt called to lead.

Then one morning during my personal quiet time of bible study and prayer it came to me -- lead a small group for women writers, host it at various local coffee shops, and call it Words With Friends!

I immediately came up with the brief description to include on the online small group directory:

Do you like to write, blog, or journal? Join us this summer for fellowship, quiet time to write, and discussion on how we can use our writing gifts for God.

Still I had my doubts. This seemed too easy. Was this actually an idea from God or was this my own selfish, sneaky mind concocting a way to hang out in a coffee shop and write and call it ministry?

And as the launch date for the summer small group semester got closer, I also started to panic as I realized that I didn't really know what to tell woman who wanted to know how she could use her writing gift for God. Personally, I look to blogs like She Reads Truth and Jamie the Very Worst Missionary for inspiration, but what if blogging isn't your thing? Then what?

My prayer on Saturday had been that I'd receive some sort of inspiration for my small group at Sunday's church service. So I go to church and Steve Blair, a minister at my church, takes the stage to deliver a message that's about ...wait for it... using your gifts for God! I wanted to run laps around the sanctuary I was so excited.

To me this was confirmation that my small group idea truly was from God.

So how can we writers use our writing gifts to serve God? The answer is quite simple really. We must use our writing gifts (or any gifts) to serve people. This will look different for different writers. For me I serve others primarily with See Jane Write. For you, you it may be through a blog. Or maybe you're meant to tutor a student who needs help with composition. Or maybe you can start a creative writing program for at-risk teens or a "write to wellness" workshop for women struggling to cope with hurtful past experiences. The possibilities are endless.

My Words With Friends small group is not limited to women who are members of Church of the Highlands. If you live in Birmingham and you're free on Monday evenings from 6:30 to 8 p.m.  I'd love for you to join me. We'll meet at various local coffee shops. Meetings begin June 3. If you're interested email me at javacia@gmail.com.

Write on and keep the faith!

19 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed reading this post; I like how you discussed the importance of using writing gift to serve others in different ways. . . I am currently working with a population of adolescent males with drug addictions and criminal histories. . . . I am doing research on this population so maybe my blog could focus on my findings in that. . . Thanks for being a blessing!

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    1. Thanks for reading, Tasha. Sounds like you're doing some excellent work!

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  2. That is soooo awesome!! God is so cool like that :) Good luck and I hope the group goes well!!

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    1. Yes, God is the coolest. I will keep you guys updated on the group.

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  3. This is perfect timing for me because I've been thinking so much about SERVING God, and I am finally beginning to realize how a "silly fashion blog" can do that!

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    1. Absolutely a "silly fashion blog" can do that! If your blog is making women feel better about themselves (which it is) you are serving God. Serving God is about serving people.

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  4. I loved this post. I've struggled with the question of whether writing that's not explicitly religious/spiritual/inspirational can be used for God, given that writing is solitary, the type of writing I do most (nonfiction about me) feels inherently selfish and to get readers, a writer has to be shamelessly self-promoting. I have the added flaw of not working well with youth, so I decline those opportunities. I eventually decided that my words, what I'm trying to do with them (bring about social change) and the un- or well under-paid work that goes into them is my service, but I still often feel like it's not enough of an impact.

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    1. I believe if your words are helping people in any way you are making an impact and thus serving God. It's one thing to write about yourself because you want glory (that's not serving God and I'm pretty sure that's not why you're writing). But sharing your story can serve others because you let people know that they're not alone.

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  5. I would love to try to participate in this, Javacia! My family's schedule is as crazy as everybody else's, so I'll have to see how it works out. But I sure do hope to be able to make it.

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    1. I'm so excited you're going to try to be part of this group. See you Monday!

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  6. This is RIGHT ON TIME. Thank you for obeying the voice of God. I hope to join you. :-)

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  7. I really enjoyed reading this entry. So inspirational and so confirming that God is present, always.

    I'd like to think that I "write to wellness" because of things that I've experienced in the past. And I can only hope that I can touch someone and give them some form of hope.

    I'm going to have to try and make it to one of these meetings. While I'm not in the Birmingham area, Louisiana isn't TOO far away. (:

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    1. I'm a firm believer in the idea of writing to wellness, writing to bring about healing for yourself and others.

      I wish you could join the group. :)

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  8. I'll contribute one more idea: Participants can write in their own private journals (on a computer or in a blank book). Writing daily can strengthen both their skills as a writer and as a person of faith.

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    1. Absolutely! I will definitely encourage the women to spend the time writing in their journals too.

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    2. Thanks for your inspirational post. I live in Denver and I would love to see some writing groups like this here. Maybe I'll start my own. I don't think I'd have the guts though, but I would like to attend. 😊

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  9. Writing situation writing case studies is essential, why haven't we made time? Well, it's difficult to take the time to make a move without getting vision for this

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