Saturday, May 14, 2011

Please Pass the Niche (Does Your Writing Ministry Have One?)

For good or for questionable, we live out our World View. What we enjoy doing, how we live our lives, raise our children, treat our spouse, and attend our jobs, ventures, or dreams all point to what we believe and hold to as our center.

For those of us who are Christian writers seeking to walk with God and asking Him, "What do You want me to do today", it means that we, like Christian plumbers, Christian musicians, or Christian businessmen view our work as both an occupation and a ministry.

So what's yours about?

Last week, the editor, publisher, and publisher's assistant of Living Stones News, a Midwestern Christian newspaper, made the trek to Chicago for the Evangelical Press Association's annual convention. MaryBeth Frost, LSN's publisher's assistant said, "We thought we were going to be the mutts at the dog show." But, contrary to her and the rest of the staff's modest opinion of their upstart paper, LSN took home some pretty prestigious awards (listed at the end of the post).

I'm honored to serve as a staff writer for this entirely volunteer-run paper. LSN is published out of Duluth Minnesota, reaching Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, and worldwide on the web.

Not only have I been privileged to minister through writing for the paper, but God has blessed me by stretching my journalistic skills in about a gazillion directions. And somehow, in the process of me trying to write to minister to readers, He turns it around to minister to me!

According to Rick Lubbers, senior editor for LSN, bumping shoulders with other media professionals at the convention impressed him with just how wide a range of ministry is represented by writing.

It is eye-opening to think about. Writers find ministry in a host of styles and venues:

  • Broadcasting
  • Journalism
  • Devotional
  • Fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Bible Study
  • How-To
  • Sunday School Curriculum
  • Speaking material
  • Poetry
  • Movies & Screenplays
  • Niches in many of the above categories that further reach specific audiences including pastors, teachers, women's groups, parents, homeschoolers, business groups, men's groups, outdoor enthusiasts, support groups, children, teens, young adults, married, unmarried, and the list goes on.

The LSN staff were able to have a look at many other well-published Christian newspapers from around the country, but in our board meeting following the event, we were happy to realize that we'd stuck true to our own niche -- telling the life-changing stories of everyday people who'd come to know Jesus Christ, and are now living to demonstrate His presence in their lives.

Congratulations, Living Stones News! Job well-done.

Let's continue to raise the bar.

"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 3:14


  • Overall Excellence: Living Stones News (Second Place[tie])
  • Best General Article (long) “Faithlessons learned while captive in a closet” - Corinne Scott, December 2010 (First Place )
  • Best Personality Feature: “’Blank Check’ yields Heavenly returns” - Kent Wigg, March 2010 (First Place)
  • General Article (short):“Make a joyful noise - Rick Lubbers (Third Place )
  • Best Column: Holy Goose Bumps - Corinne Scott (First Place [tie])
  • Best Candid Photo: Pirate Jack Sparrow impersonator visits young boy with leukemia in hospital - Paul Walsh (First Place)
All the above are available for reading & viewing online at Living Stones News (dot) com.

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