Writing is a ministry. Surely the Apostle Paul has taught us this truth. It is a form of ministry peculiarly suited to this period of cultural development. For who can predict where a printed word will go? The Christian writer can reach many who will be reached by no other kind of minister.

The writing ministry lacks the exhilaration of public preaching services. There is no choir of voices in the composing room, no lovely Christian symbolism on a typewriter keyboard, no stained glass windows in the editorial offices. There is no beaming parade of well-scrubbed parishioners ready to file by at five o’clock and say, “My, that was a fine editorial!” Writing is lonely work, hidden work, often unappreciated work. It is easier to feel that one is an ambassador of Christ when standing in a pulpit preaching or when counseling in the dead of night with a couple threatening to abandon their marriage than when one sits at a desk alone, searching for the right word, rebuilding a paragraph, or brooding prayerfully over the state of the world. But writing is a ministry, and a highly important one too.

It is a ministry which has many exciting possibilities, many potential growing-points. It always calls for more than we have—more thought, more reading, more prayer, more literary craftsmanship.

“Who is sufficient for these things?” asks the form for ordination. And the answer, plainly, is no one. So the form goes on, “Let us therefore call upon the Name of the Lord in prayer.”

The Christian writer is a teacher, an analyst, a prophet, a comforter, an angry conscience. He needs to be caught up into the presence of God and remain there until something of a divine perspective anoints his spirit and suffuses his work. Format, advertising, circulation, ...

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