I am reflecting on how we share the message of the love God has for us, in public forums and everyday magazines. Writing here is one thing; a small circle often of the like-minded. Writing for a more general audience throws up different kinds of questions.
When I first began to write for All Things Local, which has a circulation of 9000 homes, I wrote in a way that was described by one correspondent who wrote personal letters in response, as a bit 'cool.' It can grate, he said, the trendy language, but he also explained that writing in my column was prompting faith explorations for him.
At our first Alpha, we had one person joining us who said she was here because of the magazine and my column. Other than that, I have been given feedback from time-to-time from people in church.
Someone from an evangelical church once said that they wanted to share with me another person's disappointment that I had written one article, which when scanned back, had not mentioned the name Jesus anywhere. I was writing on the psalms and the human need to rant and share.
In response to my latest entry there have been the most positive responses, but those were from church circles and I have not heard more widely.
Each time the magazine falls through my own front-door, I imagine the owners of those other 9000 doors, those who will flick past my section annoyed, those who will imagine all sorts of things about the church because of it, those who will be a bit curious, others simply apathetic, those who bin it and those who throw it into the magazine pile with little intention of reading it.
I wonder if there is any resource or hub for sharing best practice for how we write in this kind of forum.
Are there any tips people could share with me from their experience?
Here are some of mine.
- Use everyday language, imagine having a conversation with a friend
- No moralising here, God's response to us and less our response to God
- Keep it upbeat and positive
- Invitation rather than persuasion every time
I would be interested in your views.
You can read my latest article here under Church and Community (p 83 of 96). Do feel free to give me some feedback.