Many pastors I know have a love-hate relationship with reading and writing. We love reading and we hate that we can’t read more. For the most part, that’s across the board: though there are exceptions, most pastors love reading soul-invigorating, heart-stirring, theological-reflection-inspiring books.
Writing, on the other hand, creates a little more of a divide. While some pastors seem to find all kinds of time to write (some even blog everyday, and write books on top of that!), other pastors can’t seem to scratch out the time, and others just don’t want to.
Lately I have been reflecting on the pros and cons of writing in the life of a pastor as I try to discern whether or not God is calling me to do more of it. Because I haven’t been convicted of my need to write I hardly ever make any time for it. And yet, I always seem to sense a unique blessing in my spiritual life and a help to my pastoral ministry when I devote more time to writing.
But is that just feeling-level hoogly? Am I just putting too much weight in sentiment and what I feel when I write? Is my writing what will really benefit the people of Grace Fellowship Church the most? Those are tough questions. That’s why I’m so thankful that in the most recent edition of Themelios Peter Schemm Jr. has taken the time to write-out some very convincing reasons why pastors should write.
In his very helpful article, Schemm answers at least three questions that I think every pastor would do well to think through for himself:
1. Why would I write when I’m no Augustine or Luther or Calvin or Lewis? Will anyone care?
Surely this is one of the first things I have to work through in my heart. I’m no Sproul or Piper or Challies. Why write when it’s unlikely I’ll get published and even more unlikely that anyone will read what I write, even if I did get published? Schemm answers in two ways:
I am not suggesting that every pastor ought to publish journal articles and books. I am suggesting that pastors write. Writing is a spiritual discipline that holds promise for all pastors. This should not, I think, be said of publishing.