by, Alton Gansky
There may be a book in your file cabinet. Maybe a dozen books just waiting to see the light of day.
A pastor friend told me of the most important thing he learned in seminary. He was seated in class when the professor made a simple statement: “Gentlemen, if you want to expand your ministry, then write.” There wasn’t much of a response from the students, but those words set off fireworks in my friend’s brain. As they should in the minds of every pastor who wishes to take the God given message to thousands of people outside the walls of the local church.
Think of this: Publishing experts tell us that two-and-half people read every book purchased. A good book gets passed around to friends and family. Church members share books. This means that a minister who writes a book and sells just 5000 copies (considered low sales in the industry) will touch the minds and hearts of 15,000 people. That’s equivalent to preaching in a mega church. And readers spend more time with the ideas in a book than they do with what they’ve heard in a sermon.
On my book shelves are powerful books written before I was born (and I’m not all that young). Nonfiction books often have a very long life, ministering long after the author has passed on to glory. Go ahead. Look at your bookshelf. Any old tomes there?
Before turning to full time writing, I was a pastor. For 22 years I spent much of my time pulling together Bible Studies, writing sermons, and creating devotions for church newsletters. It was time consuming. And while I enjoyed the study and preaching, I was always bothered by the knowledge that after the sermon was over, my notes would go into a file drawer, and probably not be seen again. That struck me as bad stewardship. Surely there was more life in those creations than 30 minutes on a Sunday morning.
During the upcoming Florida Christian Writers Conference, I’ll be teaching ministers how to expand their ministry through the writing of meaningful books. In Spoken Word; Written Word. Expanding Your Ministry, I will be sharing with you everything you need to spread your influence with the world. We will discuss the enduring power of the written word, writing opportunities for pastors, how to write a memorable nonfiction book, how to select ideas, the basics of nonfiction writing, making time to write in a busy ministry schedule, and how to convert sermons and Bible studies into books.
Come join me at the Florida Christian Writers Conference this February and I’ll show you how to make the hard work of ministry live on for years to come.
(If you know a pastor who would greatly benefit from this track, please share this post with him or her! Pastors receive a $100 discount for the Pastors Track if registered by October 31.)
Leave a comment: Do you know a local pastors whose sermons should be in a book to read for years to come?
Alton L. Gansky is the author of 24 novels, 4 novellas, 1 screenplay, and 11 nonfiction works, as well as principal writer of 9 novels and 2 nonfiction books. He holds a BA and MA in biblical studies and was granted a Litt.D. He lives in central California with his wife.
Florida Christian Writers