August 17, 2016 – Monday
Hebrews 13:16(b) (MSG) God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship—a different kind of “sacrifice”—that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets.
We are running out of devotions for The Christian Public Servant. We ask for a different kind of sacrifice – your pledge to write one devotional per month. If you have been blessed by these workplace devotionals, then you might be led to bless others.
Bad grammar? We edit!! Bad or unfocused writing? We re-write!!
Can’t think of a workplace or volunteer experience? Of course you can! Nothing ever happens in your workplace or career? Oh, come on now!
Below is the information from our “tip-sheet” on how to write a devotion for The Christian Public Servant. Please pray, consider, and pray some more.
We are nearly out of devotionals, and we ask for a different kind of sacrifice – your commitment to write a devotional – your “tithing” of one per month.
Questions? Please contact any of the editors listed below. And please send any one of us your devotionals!
And thank you for all you do in His name!
Father, if it is Your will, let volunteers write devotionals. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Kevin Cooney firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Dudley email@example.com
Jonathan Lantz firstname.lastname@example.org
Shelia Malone email@example.com
Christopher Meconnahey firstname.lastname@example.org
Tammy Peavy email@example.com
Stephen Pincus firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Slack email@example.com
Greg Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Valerie Steele-Clearman email@example.com
Here is the tip-sheet: 10 tips
(1) PRAY — before you start writing. Follow the Holy Spirit. The task has nothing to do with your ego. It has everything to do with glorifying God.
- Use the READING/REFLECTION/PRAYER format
- Be CONCISE. The entire devotional should be less than 1 page. It should be designed for a quick read. Write as if it will be read at a traffic (red) light on the way to work. No tangents. No redundancies.
- Keep it SIMPLE. Simple words – not complex ideas with complex words. ONLY ONE simple moral/scriptural/Christian point. Everything should be focused on the one point you want to make.
- Keep in CONVERSATIONAL. Don’t worry about grammar. Write as if you are talking.
- Keep it INTIMATE and PERSONAL. Write as if you are talking to a good friend over a cup of coffee. Write about yourself or an experience that you’ve been through, or write about a friend and an experience he/she has been through.
- Remember, you are NOT writing a Sunday school lesson or a sermon or a lecture
- You can “change the actors to protect the innocent or your job.” If it is about you, you can say “a friend called me last night…”
- You can write it as a PARABLE. Keep in mind, Jesus taught best through parables. And, while I do not doubt the infallibility of scripture, parables are STORIES written to keep the attention of the audience. The details of a parable might change, depending on the audience, but the MORAL conclusion is always the same.
- Your conclusions should be workplace or career or public service relevant. If you are a teacher/budget analyst/student/nurse — whatever – make it relevant to the workplace in general. You can write about your private/family life, but your conclusions should be relevant to the workplace. Make the connection to what should be learned and taken to work.
- And PLEASE – NO POLITICS and NO IDEOLOGY. Jesus was (is) neither a liberal nor a conservative. Practicing Christians are (can be) either liberal or conservative in their view of the political world.
(3) Section on SCRIPTURE
- Use ONLY biblical scripture. No other literature.
- Use scripture relevant to the point you are making. Use only parts of scripture that are most relevant.
- You can use any Bible version you want (e.g., NIV, KJ, etc.), but state which version you are using. (If you don’t, I will have to choose a version if I cannot figure out your version.)
- Use few scriptures. Never use more than 3 scriptures. 1 is better than 2. Have a really good reason for >1.
(4) Section on REFLECTION
- Do not add other scriptures/readings into the REFLECTION. Keep the REFLECTION focused only on the scripture used in the READING section.
- One paragraph: tell a workplace or worker story
- Another paragraph: link it to scripture
- Final paragraph: link it to what the reader should take to work that day.
(5) Section on PRAYER – Keep it focused on the REFLECTION & keep it short.
- State your NAME as how you want it. Degrees are OK to list.
- State your official title or what you do
- State your agency
- State your city/ state (province)/ and nation.
(7) PRAY before you send it in.
(8) ATTENTION: FIRST-TIME authors:
- Make sure we have your email address. We will need it to send you a Contributor’s Agreement if you want it to be included in the next edition of the book version, The Christ Worker: Devotions for Job and Career (Emeth Press, 2017)
- Send in a picture of you (for the book version). Either a picture of you doing what you do in the workplace or a shoulder/head shot picture.
(9) HAVE FUN GLORIFYING GOD!!!!!!! J It will take some thought and work, but glorifying God should always be fulfilling and fun!!!
(10) FINALLY (whew!)
Remember, we edit your work. We do so for three reasons: (a) to protect you from embarrassment, (b) to protect the reader from boredom, and (3) to give a “common voice” to the devotionals. We edit about four hours on each devotional. We might change your words, rearrange your sentences, rewrite parts, delete parts (especially where you are redundant or tangential to the ONE point you are making). We may even add sentences or paragraphs to enhance it.
Yes, we know, the Holy Spirit is guiding you in writing the devotional. But the Holy Spirit is also guiding us in the editing (or rewriting) of the devotional. And remember, it is STILL your work! It is STILL what the Holy Spirit placed in your heart. Our job is to make sure YOUR WORK helps the Holy Spirit reach the reader.
So let’s both you and us glorify God and let not our egos get in the way! 🙂