In my early years as a Christian, I came across a book by Alan Redpath. It rocked my world and helped frame my future. It was a simple book with a simple method. As a pastor, he wrote about the bible book of Nehemiah, teaching and preaching it in printed form. In each chapter he took the next scripture from Nehemiah and broke it down for the modern reader. I was spellbound.
That book, and others like it from a bygone era, is why I write. To be able to write books like that one, books which expound the biblical text and distill it into modern applications, you must have two skills. First, you must be able to exposit the Bible. Second, you must be able to write.
For the first skill, God gives the gifts of His Spirit, and He also provides years of training and experience. I’ve been working on improving my ability to teach and explain the Bible for over twenty years now, and it would be an honor to grow in it for forty more. But all the practice, all the study, all the preparation, all the preaching, and all the teaching serves to build up one’s expositional skill.
For the second skill, there is the repetition of writing. Penning articles, blogs, and books — repeatedly — is a way to find your voice. Practice makes perfect, as they say. Or in this case, practice makes you better than before, for perfection will never come. And it certainly won’t come by waiting for moments of inspiration. No, you’ve got to write, write again, and write some more if you want to grow in this skill.
I am trying to grow in both because I believe the word of God is worthy of communication. Years ago I sensed the still, small voice of God: “I’ve called you to teach My word.” Writing is one way to accomplish that mission.
But, why, you might wonder, have I written about this today? Simple. I am praying for an army of other expositors and pastor-teachers who have given their lives to the study and communication of God’s word to rise up and write. We need you. The church is filled with bloggers and authors who are standing on their experiences or feelings or hurts or interests. Often, they produce good work, writing designed well for the medium of the internet. But every author, even pastor-authors who are handling Scripture, have their bents and interests, their passion points they tend to communicate about. I would like to see more bloggers and authors who are standing more exclusively on the Bible, men and women who know how to take a passage or verse, explain it, and apply it correctly to people’s lives. None of us will do the work perfectly, but my prayer is for more of us to arise give people God’s words.
Perhaps you have the two skills I’ve mentioned. I am praying for you. Perhaps God is nudging you in the direction of writing. I would encourage you to get after it. Start small and allow the fire to build. Remember, it is His word which will not return void (Isaiah 55:11), so, perhaps, you should write about it.