Jump directly to the Content

BlogSpotting: Mark Batterson's Rules for Writing

What do preachers need to remember?

For you wordsmiths out there, Mark Batterson lists his five rules for writing. If you prepare sermons, most of these apply. Here's a summary:

1. Start bright and early, well before your "official day" begins; for afternoons, grab a cat-nap.

2. Remember you're on "holy ground" when writing. Your words could lead a reader to a "God encounter."

3. Take days off between chapters to maintain perspective.

4. Hook your readers at the start of each chapter with a strong organizing metaphor.

5. Write for intrinsic reasons, "because you can't not write."

Good suggestions. Rule #2 struck me, especially since Batterson says he does this by taking off his shoes. I like the idea of using a physical discipline to focus a cerebral process like writing. It reminds me of C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters, where the devil Screwtape comments on kneeling:

At the very least, [people] can be persuaded that the bodily position makes no difference to their prayers; for they constantly forget what you must always remember, ...
Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
What’s True About Christian Fiction
What’s True About Christian Fiction
“This Present Darkness” and other bestsellers show us the history of evangelicalism—and how it could be different.
Editor's Pick
Hard-Copy Bibles Aren’t Just Nostalgic
Hard-Copy Bibles Aren’t Just Nostalgic
As a seminary professor, I’m requiring the physical book in class. Church should do the same.