Full-Time Ministry: It Takes Senses

[stextbox id=”custom”]This is a guest post by Shannon Milholland. You can read her Bio at the end of this article. If you’re interested in becoming a contributing writer for Godly Writers, please see our guidelines for doing so.[/stextbox]

Perched on the edge of chair, the words from one of my favorite Christian speaker’s lips dripped into the soil of my heart like water after a drought. I was so thankful for this pause from my busy life as a speaker and writer to garner wisdom from a godly woman of faith. The morning session closed with a brief word from the host church’s Director of Women’s Ministries.

As she bounded to the stage, I could tell something big was getting ready to happen. She announced several names to take the stage with her. My excitement increased. She invited the audience to pray with her over the co-occupants on the platform as they entered “full-time ministry.” Her words slapped me.

Aren’t all Christ-followers in full-time ministry? Jesus isn’t an intermittent tenant. He’s taken up permanent residence.

We gather here at Godly Writers because there’s a tug on our hearts to use this God-given gift of stringing words together for His glory and other’s good. Some of us work a desk job. Others chase toddlers and change diapers. Few of us enjoy the liberty of “full-time” author. Wherever and however we write, I don’t want to be part-time as a writer. Do you?

Regardless of time constraints, I want to be full-time faithful to my calling. When my fingers can’t stroke the keyboard, I write through my other senses.

Sight

See with the eyes of a writer. View your circumstances, life events and surrounding through the lens of application. Be aware of God’s involvement in your life. Be alert – you might be viewing your next chapter or article right now.

Sound

Listen with the ears of a writer. Hear constructive feedback and allow it improve your craft. Let the beauty of phrase dance in your heart before it falls from your hands. Keep your ears as the watchmen for relevant words that will penetrate your readers’ hearts.

Smell

Whiff with the nose of a writer. Breathe in your subject. Sift the day’s headlines for the scent of your topics. Allow the aroma of prose to fill your lungs with inspiration.

Taste

Eat with the mouth of a writer. Chew on ideas and let them stew in your soul. Devour related resources. Swallow great ideas as they come so you’re ready to regurgitate them when the time comes.

Want to join me in full-time ministry? It takes senses.

QUESTION: Which of your writing senses is most underdeveloped? How could you nourish it today?

* Image credit: Shane Cappelle (Creation Swap)
  • Great article, Shannon, and an interesting spin on writing with our senses. Sometimes I feel like my writing is too cerebral and not enough emotion. At other times it feels just the opposite.

    Writing for the glory of God and the benefit of others is a full-time ministry that uses all our senses. After all, we’re to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, body, soul, strength, and our neighbors as ourselves. Good stuff!

    • I once published a guest post for someone on a writing blog who included recipes in her books. It made me think about how that was a great way to connect the sense of taste to our reader.

      Whether we include recipes or not, we can all “taste and see that the Lord is good.” 🙂

  • Hoi Shannon! This is a really good article and I am so happy with it. Thank you. What you don’t know is that I am author of children’s books. What you write this time is important for me. Useful. Though we live so far apart, the base things of the Christian life are the same all over the world. Jesus is not a traveler but a full-time inhabitant of our lives. In our hearts. Kind regards. And … sorry for my poor englisch

    • 1) Your English is fabulous
      2) You’re right I didn’t know you wrote Children’s books. Very cool!

  • Amy

    Evenin’ Shannon, I enjoyed this post immensely!  God has created us with 5 senses for a reason… to GLORIFY Him!  I’m learning to pay attention to each part of me… He brings out the creative juices in me.  ~ Blessings sister, Amy

    • To be attentive to the Lord’s leading is a wonderful passion. Keep it up, Amy!

  • Heidi Kreider

    Amen, Sister!  I think we quickly categorize our lives and leave “ministry” up to those who do it “full-time.”  I want to be one of those who falls on my face at the Throne because I’ve given everything I had to ministry.  I want my life to be full-time ministry.  Thanks for the reminder!

  • As a pastor’s wife I agree. I’ve told people before I’m in full time ministry regardless of what my husband’s calling is. I would serve full time no matter what because it’s a life I’m living not a job I’m doing. I appreciate how you apply that truth to writing Shannon. I need to hone that attitude, being a full time writer, and those skills more regularly.

    • Beck, you are one of the most full-time Christians I’ve ever known!

  • Teri Johnson

    Shannon…You. Write. Beautifully. LOVE the insight here…I’ve been struggling so much with finding the TIME to be the writer God has called me to be. I feel my senses are exploding with words…but my days are filled with MUCH, which leaves me tired and exhausted and wanting to rest…and not write. I’m praying about my schedule and see God showing me how carve out time to do this “thing” that so desperately tugs at my heart — write…

    Thank you sweet friend!

    Keeping it Personal,
    Teri Johnson

    • I’m with you, Teri. Finding the time is certainly a challenge. I’ve been thinking about getting up earlier and using my time in the evenings more wisely.  We’ll see…

      What’s even more challenging is that I want to start on my 2nd book, and so finding time to write AND blog is like pulling hair out. Ouch!

      I’ve been thinking about challenging myself to write no less than 500 “blog” words per day and 500 “book” words per day. That might be the way to go.

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