Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How To Write A Lot

The other day I was chatting with my co-elders at the church we serve together. One of them asked me how I could write so many books because it takes him a long time to write just a simple blog post. I have thought about his question for a few days and it occurs to me that I am simply following some advice that David Jeremiah offered some years ago. I was in a pastors’ conference and one of the pastors asked David Jeremiah that same question. He responded that much of what he wrote first originated in one of his sermon series or Bible studies. When he finished a Bible study or sermon series that he thought had been particularly effective, he would take a little extra time to refine it. He would then use an editor to help him polish it up and a book was born.

I thought that was good advice, so I started doing it too. Though my stuff is nowhere near the quality of David Jeremiah’s, I do think the Lord has given me insight on certain topics. All six of my books have started as a training seminar, Bible study or sermon series. Even my book of children’s puzzles came from a year-long Bible study I led for children. I figure that if I put all that work into creating outlines and notes for those presentations, then I can take a little more time and refine those notes into paragraphs and chapters. It does take extra time and pushes my thinking deeper than it would otherwise, but I see that as a good investment of my time and thinking. Far more people have read my books and my blog than have ever attended one of my training seminars or listened to one of my sermons. My writing extends my ministry many fold.

I think this style of writing is a good idea for most Bible teachers and preachers. Why work so hard on a sermon series and then just put it in a file two months later for it to sit unused. Take the time to develop it some more, especially if the Lord has given you a particular interest in some topic or issue. Take the quality of your thinking to a deeper level. Turn outlines in paragraphs and paragraphs into chapters. Then share what God has shown you with the world. Do not expect to make a lot of money or become famous. After all, there are only so many David Jeremiah’s in the world. But your ministry can be expanded through writing and God can use it to build His Kingdom. Write brothers and sisters, write!



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Dr. Terry W. Dorsett is a church planter in New England. He is a happy husband, proud father, giggling grandfather, thankful cancer survivor, and the author of numerous books aimed at helping small churches become healthier and individual Christians grow in their faith. You can find his books at:


14 comments:

  1. Thanks for this little golden nugget.

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  2. I want to thank you for writing this. I have wrote a blog that I have been writing on since 2012. At times I get stagnant, and do not write for lengths of time. This post reminded me that when i originally started writing posts that I would preach on someday. I may not ever be a preacher, but having that idea in mind helped me to start my blog. I do desire some of my postings in the future as a devotional book. Thank you.

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    1. Brother Hicks,
      I'm glad the post encouraged you. When you get your devotional book done, I hope you will share the link to it with me.

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  3. Great article on writing, Doc! You confirmed some things I've been thinking about for a while.

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  4. Terry, other members of our Christian Poets & Writers group on Facebook will surely benefit from this, so I highlighted your post on the Christian Poets & Writers blog - http://christianpoetsandwriters.blogspot.com. God bless.

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    1. Thanks Mary. And I do pray it is a blessing.

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  5. Terry, a great article. Your description of developing written material is essentially what I do as well. Even though I've had numerous friends tell me I should publish, I've used three excuses to not do so. First, I'm a "no name" in Christian circles and don't travel much in big circles. Second, "everybody and his uncle" is writing and most of what needs to be said has already been said. Finally, resources ---- time and funds. I have a passion for writing, and have been doing so off and on since the early 1970's, and weekly since 1997. There are currently 17 "manuscripts" on my computer that could be finished off . . . if I was convinced I should do it. Thanks for the post.

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    1. Bob, you should definitely keep working on this stuff and publish is. You have much to offer the Kingdom.

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  6. Find a Passion, Write what He has Poured into Your Heart and start with those Closest to You....Allow them to get the word out.

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  7. Nellie Leverette WasilewskiAugust 1, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    Wonderful advice, Terry. Thank you so much for using your time to share with us. God bless you and your work.

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