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3 Keys to Writing Bible Studies that Sell
Friday, April 29, 2016
Andy Lee

 

by, Andy Lee

 

I realize that some people like their salsa really hot while others prefer it mild. Some of us love coffee, while others drink hot tea. One size does not always fit all, and that includes our preferances in Bible studies.

There are people who like to fill in the blanks while others prefer essay type answers. Actually, publishers prefer one or the other also. If a publisher likes your idea and writing, they will work with you on this—I’ve learned this the hard way running back to the drawing board several times for a pub board. But you don’t have to do it the hard way.

Before you pitch to an editor, find out the style of studies the publisher prefers.

How do you do that? Read the Bible studies they have published just as you read and study magazines to know the personality or voice of the publication. Notice the different series that the publisher markets. If a series is written by multiple authors, format your study to this series and pitch it as a study specific to that line.

Here are three key elements that make a Bible study sellable and enjoyable for the consumer.

  • Relatability

I recently read a study that had a lot of good scripture and the questions were fine, but the only time the author allowed me to get a sneak peek of her life and heart was in the introduction. I loved the introduction, but that was the only place I met her. The rest of the study was sterile. Do you think I wanted to finish it? (The answer is no.) Sprinkling yourself throughout the study brings it to life because your heart-beat is inside. We are made for relationship. Be relatable in your writing.

 

  • Connect the Old Testament with the New Testament.

The nature of God and His plan for redemption starts in Genesis and culminates in Revelation. What is planted in the OT is revealed in the NT. When studying the Word of God, the entire counsel of the Word must be considered. This gives depth to the Bible study.

 

  • Time/culture sensitive.

We live in a fast paced culture. We’re sprinters, not marathoners. Our time is limited but so is our attention span. I really hate to say this, but I believe that soon the days of the long Beth Moore/ BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) type studies will be gone. Don’t get me wrong. I know people still use them (and I’m thrilled they do), but we can’t ignore the fact that the baby boomer generation is shrinking and the millennial generation is taking over. They wear cool glasses. They are minimalist and are BUSY. They like to be entertained, and they like technology. Keep this in mind when writing your study. If your study must be long, break it up in bite size portions. You can’t pour new wine into old winskins. 

Knowing the publisher and their products is valuable. How can your study compliment what they do? But equally and more importantly is the knowledge of your audience—who you hope to impact.

Gather a Beta group made up of your target audience and get their feedback. It will be invaluable to knowing how to write and sell your Bible study. 

 

Join the conversation: What type of Bible study do you like to do? Short, face-paced, fill in the blank or longer ones with essay questions?

 

 

Andy Lee is is a wife, mom, recovering people pleaser, speaker, and author of two books, A Mary Like Me: Flawed Yet Called (Leafwood) andThe Book of Ruth: A 31-Day Journey to Hope and Promise (AMG). Her blog, Finding Purpose Beyond Today (wordsbyandylee.com), encourages thousands of viewers each month, and her morning Periscope broadcast, Bite of Bread, inspires those who join her as she digs into a Bible verse for the day. To invite Andy to speak at an event, or to find out more about her ministry visit wordsbyandylee.com.