God has given us a grand vision for a changed media in America. That’s a big goal, and it’s admittedly a little abstract and intangible. Today we want to discuss the short term objective: training up writers that God has called.
God is calling people to write books and create media, and they don’t have anyone to support them. They are like sheep without a shepherd.
As a Church, we need training programs for writers, just like we need training programs for pastors, worship leaders, and prophets.
We’re guilty of some real mixed messaging when it comes to gifts and vocations. In the American church, we love to say that we serve a wonderfully diverse God who gives a myriad of gifts, but we usually only support a pretty narrow vocational model for ministers. If you’re not performing some kind of institutional pastoral role, you’re probably not getting trained or getting paid. With few exceptions, this is true across most denominations.
At some point we have to support those gifts, or it’s just empty words. Simply affirming that God is calling someone to be a writer and saying, “That’s wonderful, go write,” is shortsighted and misguided. It’s no more appropriate than telling a 22-year-old with a pastoral calling, “Great, go pastor,” without any support or training. We’re setting them up for frustration, discouragement, and big mistakes.
We are losing young people from the faith because the Church isn’t prepared to support their calling. The world, however, is welcoming them, saying, “Come to us, we’ll train you, and all of your dreams will come true.” These young writers only real option is to spend 6-7 years in a higher-ed institution having their theology shamed out of them under the tutelage of humanists and atheists.
I was talking recently to an acquaintance who is a fairly successful author in the Christian market. After some breakout success with his first few books, he went back to college at a secular school to get a master’s in creative writing because he wanted to teach at the college level. As an older student in the program, he became good friends with his advisor.
My friend told me that as his program neared completion, he went and asked his advisor, “With some Christian books on the market, what are the odds that I could get hired at a Big-10 school to teach writing?”
His advisor, an atheist, told him flatly, “None.” My friend now teaches at a well-known Christian university, as he found no opportunities in secular academics despite his very real market success in publishing. Christian teachers are generally not welcome in these programs.
But those secular programs are the only places our young called writers can get advanced trained in creative writing. To make it even worse, statistically the training doesn’t even work and 99% will never reach their goals. They will lose their religion and not even gain the thing they set out for.
If it’s a tragedy to gain the world but forfeit your soul, how much more so to forfeit your soul and gain nothing in return?
God has called us to provide a better way. If not for some grand vision of a redeemed media, we need to do this for the kid looking at college pamphlets right now, pleading with the Lord for some way to develop this yearning God has placed on his heart.
That’s why this mission matters. Even if our vision to revolutionize American media for the Kingdom never comes to fruition, it still matters for the one who is called.
It matters that they have a place to go and a program that works.
That’s why at the School of Kingdom Writers we train them to write, we train them to do the business of writing, and we develop writers spiritually. Most of our writes are young, some are old, but they all need this. They all need a place that backs up the affirmations they’ve heard from the Lord.
We’re changing the lives of our students every single day. That matters. A lot. And in turn they’re already changing the lives of hundreds and thousands with their work.
“ There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ. “ 1 Corinthians 12:12
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