How to Become a Better Writer

As I explain on the first day of my classes, one of the side effects of a journey with me as professor is that, whether one hopes for it or not, I use my courses to help improve writing skills.

In the ministry assignments to which most of the students in my classes will go, the ability to communicate clearly their thoughts will prove crucial for their own efforts of building trust, strengthening relationships, resolving conflicts, organizing and casting visionary leadership, and, most importantly, communicating the gospel message well (Col 4:4).

For those who find themselves set apart for the ministry of the Word in preaching, the ability to convey their message in written word only helps insure they will do better when speaking.

For these reasons and more, Dr. John Mark Yeats and I were delighted to be asked by the Student Life Office at Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College to convene a lunch event with students to discuss “How to Become a Better Writer.”

You can watch the video recording of that event below. Here are some of the topics we covered and questions answered:

  • Why is writing important for those seeking to serve in ministry?
  • What is your writing story? Did you always have a desire to write?
  • How do you go about writing? How has that changed over the years?
  • What authors do you like to read that write well or have shaped your writing?
  • What advice do you have for students to improve their writing?
  • Why can’t I use first person in academic writing?
  • Should students pursue publication?

For a related resource, see Dr. Jason K. Allen’s recent Preaching and Preachers conversation with Matt Smethurst on “The Pastor and Writing.”