Vonda here: After seeing your incredible response to Part 1 of author, speaker, and threat to society, James Watkins‘ keynote at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, I’m even more excited to share Part 2 today! Before you read today’s post, you may want to check out āYour āWriteā Role,ā Part 1 first. This four-part Parting Words Fridays will be unlike anything youāve ever seen here, or probably anywhere else for that matter!
So pull up a chair, put on your creative-thinking-and-real-life-application-hat, and hear Jimās heart for Christian writers and speakers, Part 2, taken from 1 Corinthians 12, as paraphrased by the New Living Amplified Paraphrased King James Watkins Version for Writers.
Your “Write” Role, Part 2
By James Watkins
2. You have an interdependent role in Christian writing
When I was directing another Christian writers conference on the east coast, one of the faculty came and sat down beside me.
āIām working on my novellas about women of the Bible. I was wondering if I could bounce some ideas off you?ā
āUh, excuse me?ā
āI respect you and would like your opinion.ā
āUh, well, I guess . . .ā
That woman was our keynote speaker, Francine Rivers! Francine Redeeming Love Rivers!
I met her just recently at Mount Hermon where she was there as a conferee! āI can always learn something new.ā And she asked me to pray for the work of turning that book into a major, A-list film!
Thatās the beauty when Christian publishing works as the Body of Christ.
The King James Version translates 1 Corinthians 3:16-17:
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
That verse has been used as a Louisville slugger against anything the person swinging it believes harms the body. But the King James translators failed to take into consideration that Greek has two separate words for āyouā: you singular and you plural. If youāre from the south, you already know that. You is singular. āYāallā is plural.
The New Living Translation acknowledges that Paul is using āyāall.ā
Donāt you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For Godās temple is holy, and you are that temple (1 Corinthians 12:25-27).
That verse is not talking about the human body at all! Yāall’s the Temple or Body of Christ.
So Paul is not telling us to take care of our own bodies because theyāre the Temple of the Holy Spirit. We should take care of our bodies, but thatās not the point heās making here. Youāre important all right, but youāre interdependent! Yāall’s a part of the Body of Christ, and yāall need to take care of each other!
Gone are the days of Emily Dickinson when you could be a recluse, never leave the house and still be a best-selling author.
Publishing is a relationship between you and your readers. Thatās why building your ātribeā with social networking is so important.
Itās a relationship between you and your agent in planning your writing career and choosing the projects that best fit your ābrand.ā
And itās a relationship between you and your publisher. Editors are not cold and heartless peopleāthose would be the marketing minions. No! Even marketers are a part of this writing body.
We all need to work like a body. But the absolute worse place to watch that play out is in church. For instance, hereās how a body would act if it acted like some churches.
Youāre putting up paneling with those microscopic finishing nails and you hit your thumb. You roll your eyes, shake your head in disgust and scold, āYou did it again! How many sermons have you heard about āfleeing even the appearance of hammersā? Or that āthe love of hammers is the root of all evilā? And you were nearly through the twelfth step of H.A. And now, youāve gone and got yourself hammered! Iām sorry, but you brought it on yourself and Iām tired of your excuses.
Is that how your body works? Hereās how mine works:
You scream: words of loving compassion
You stick your thumb in your mouth: Warm, protective comfort
And you dance! The whole body involved in ministering to the suffering part.
So, hereās another passage from the New Living Amplified Paraphrased King James Watkins Version for Writers:
Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by passive verbs, you who are members of the writersā group should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path of action verbs. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself using adverbs to prop up weak verbs. Gently critique and enthusiastically encourage one another, as we follow The Word and the Author of Our Faith (Galatians 6:1-2).
And why do you do that? Because he or she is a part of the same body you are a part of! So treat that āthumbā like your thumbābecause it is! We are interdependent, so when one suffers, we all suffer.
In the same way, when one is honored, weāre all honored.
Secular celebrities do a much better job of sharing the honor than most Christians. On the red carpet, they proudly announce who designed their gown. And when they win an award they thank their agents, managers, spouses, and the Academy, and on and on . . . until the music ushers them off stage.
So when Jerry Jenkins sells another million books, Iām honored too, as his friend and spiritual brother. And when my friend gets her 36th rejection for her series Jesus Calling from the Purpose-Driven Shack, I hurt with her.
Well, before we get too depressed thinking about rejection, letās keep moving . . .
Now in the ministry of writing, God has appointed novelists, letter writers, those who have the gift of poetry, local church reporters, best-selling authors, devotional writers, those who write their legislators, and those with the gift of writing advertising copy.
Are all novelists? Do all write letters to the editor? Do all have the gift of poetry? Are all local church reporters? Are all best-selling authors? Are all devotional writers? Do all write their legislators? Do all have the gift of writing advertising copy? No! But eagerly desire the greater gift of writing with love.
You have an important role in Christian writing.
You have an interdependent role in Christian writing and . . .
Vonda again: Thank you, Jim! Friends, be sure to return next Friday for Part 3 of James Watkins’ Your Write Role. You’ll be glad you did…and so will the rest of your Body.
Copyright Ā© 2015 James N. Watkins
Bio: Jim wears more hats than his Aunt Luella!
*Associate acquisitions editor for Wesleyan Publishing House
*Conference speaker throughout the U.S. and overseas
*Director of programming for St. Davids Writersā Conference
*Editorial advisor for ACW Press
You can reach Jim through his site at www.HopeAndHumor.org or www.JamesWatkins.com.
Thank you for Tweeting…Sharing is sweet!
Another hilariousābut realāwritersā take on 1 Cor 12 – Part 2 by @JamesWatkinsCom via @VondaSkelton #amwriting (Click to Tweet)
I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your heart,
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