By William Ballard
I was very young when the call to writing spoke to my heart and spirit. However, my ears where not very open to the voice of that call. Several of my English teachers back in high school would tell me that I had a very particular way with words, and that I should really consider a career in writing. Back then I really never gave the idea of writing as a profession much thought, and what those teachers told me ended up becoming more and more of a distant echo for many years.
You see, back then I was more interested in sports and I had the childlike desire and dream to become the first Hispanic to be in the NBA. I was more interested in fulling my ego and really thinking only of myself.
Once reality began to set in, I realized that my dreams of NBA stardom was really never going to happen. It was not what God made me for. You see, I believe that true success is less about how much money you make or how expensive your possessions are and more about being able to say that you are living your purpose and achieving your God-given destiny.
God made us to be contributors to the world around us, and not to live lives that are always take, take, take in spirit. We were made for something so much bigger than ourselves.
Back in high school I never saw writers and authors in the same way that I saw sports athletes. In other words, to be completely honest with you, I saw sports athletes as people who made more money than writers. As I said earlier, back then I was thinking more about myself and less about my contributions to the world and others around me. I had a more selfish viewpoint about writing.
But then several years later….
When I was 21 years old I heard the call of God to ministry. Now, what you got to understand is that when I was younger I never had a desire to be involved in ministry. I was happy with just sitting on the pew and being a good enough saint. It was the same kind of attitude I had about the military and law enforcement. I would always say to folks, “I would never 'serve' in the military or in law enforcement, or serve my country because my country hasn't done anything for me.” As you can see, I didn't have a very Christian like attitude back then.
But here is the irony of it all, and it's funny how God works sometimes… at 19 I joined the military because my attitude began to change and I wanted to do my part for my country. After six months in service I was medically discharged and started going to college little by little (where I wrote for the college newspaper as a staff writer, by the way). I ended up getting an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice. It was around that time when I stepped foot into an Apostolic Church and began to hear the Jesus Name message for the first time.
After attending this church for few months God started to speak and work on my heart. To be honest with you, it was as if God was working double shifts on my heart. It was during this time that those ears I mentioned earlier (the ones that weren't very open to the voices of my English teachers) began to be very open to the voice of God. I felt God speak to my heart and give me a tug and pull to the ministry. Believe me when I tell you, when I heard and felt this move on my spirit it was one of the most terrifying feelings I have ever felt. And I have been in some very terrifying situations, but nothing that I have been through comes into any comparison such as this.
And if that wasn't all...when I was filled with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues, something else happen to my heart. You see, when I was younger I really couldn't stand people, but the Holy Ghost in me began to change my attitude and heart towards people, and any hate or bitterness that I had in my heart began to transform into unwavering and unconditional love for others.
I shared this feeling and call with my Pastor and told him that I knew what I was called to do with my life, that I was put for such a time as this. However, I also said to him, “I have no idea what I am doing. I don't know anything about ministry.” He responded by saying, “Don't worry. Stick with me and I will help you.” And that was when my internship into ministry began.
I started reading the Word of God like never before. And I started reading as many books as I could about ministry, one in particular was a book entitled, “For Preachers Only” (AFF), by J.T Pugh. Mr. Pugh said these words in the introduction of that book, “The preacher (writer) who 'loses his life' in the interest of others will find it flowing back to him in warm and willing response.” That statement applies to you and me as writers as well.
I mentioned the selfish attitude and spirit that I had before the Holy Ghost and before the call of God that entered into the deepest parts of my heart...at this point I looked at writing to be an unselfish act, and a sense of unselfish interest in others welfare or well-being. I took heed to Peter's command in 1 Peter 3:8 which reads, “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.”
You see, as powerful and necessary as the preaching ministry is, there would be no preaching ministry without the ministry of writing. If it wasn't for the Prophets, Kings, and Apostles courteousness to obey the unction of the Holy Ghost and sit and write what the Spirit of God put on their hearts, where would are churches be today?
From my knowledge, there has yet to be a book written for the Apostolic Christian Writer and the ministry of writing in general. It is with this book that I attempt to speak directly to that audience. I make such an attempt because other books that deal with the subject of ministry (mainly about the preaching ministry), while instructive and invaluable, do not comprehend the need of the Apostolic Christian Writer.
To those that have heard the call to the writing ministry could eventually accumulate needed knowledge in the field over a span of several years, but with this book it condenses those years.
The information on the following pages is the result of much observation and experience within the span of 10+ years of service. Insights and wisdom that I have accumulated from fellow writing brothers and sisters of the faith, I pass on to you. If these studies are a help and blessing to anyone, my appreciative gesture goes out to everyone that makes up the Apostolic Church in its entirety.
And I do want to make one thing clear from the outset, I do not write this to be considered an authority in the subject, but as a humble servant of the Most High, and simply write in obedience to His call. With that said, I offer this work with the prayerful hope that it may be a blessing.
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About William Ballard
Freelance Writer, Copywriter, Blogger, Inbound Marketing Specialist, and Author, William Ballard, helps small businesses and entrepreneurs, like you, broadcast their message across the Internet (and offline through direct mail response marketing) and be seen as experts in their field. He has been dubbed the Expert Marketer of Writing.
William, a writer and blogger since 2007, enjoys sharing with others his experience on how to become a successful writer, blogger, and author. View more about William Ballard →