Word of the Week

A Pastor and a Writer?

There's a truth about myself that I'm coming to believe little by little each day. I am a writer.  I think like a writer. And even though I need to permanently hire an editor (anyone want the job?), there are rhythms about my life which always go back to my need to write.

Recently while on vacation, I began to make a list of the things that would bring me most joy, that were essential to my being every day. (A practice I highly recommend). One of the non negotiables on the list was writing. I must write in some form or another every day.  There's no getting around this. It is who I am.

Though of course, I haven't actually followed through with the "everyday" pace quite yet, it is something that I am working towards with great hopes for what this kind of discipline will mean in my life.

One of the greatest inspirational statements about writing came when I recently read Stanley Haurwas' theological memoir, Hannah's Child. As Haurwas continued to write and wondered about what purpose it served, he said writing was a way to make friends they he didn't know he had. And such has and I hope will continue to be the case for me.

The thing is for me and writing is that I think about it all the time. I go to bed with ideas of blogs or articles to start. I wake up with ideas. I think of ideas when I'm in my car. I feel clogged up if I haven't written in a long time. It is just something I must do.

Last fall, I was one of the presenters at the DC Baptist Convention's annual meeting. The topic was social networking and the church. Since I was the only panelist with a blog, I was charged with explaining about its usefulness in pastoral ministry. It was funny to explain the meaning of a blog to folks mostly in their 60s and 70s, many of whom had a fear of the Internet altogether. Yet, for those who got why a blog could be useful-- knowing that it gives an instant connection between the pastor and the congregation-- were still puzzled why I did such a thing.

"How do you have the time to keep up such a practice? Doesn't that take up too much time?" This I was asked over and over again. Yet, my response was simple, "It's something that I love and would do anyway."

If your "thing" isn't writing, it is something else  . . . something that drives your creativity, something that makes you happy when you do it, something that you really want to get better at so that your craft can be shared with a larger audience.

I believe we all function in as the best people God has made us to be when we live into those talents that stir in us great joy. I claim for today that writing is one of such things for me. What about you? Start a list. Who knows where it might lead you too?