Blogger: Rachel Kent
Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
“Jesus came and told his disciples, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'” Matthew 28: 18-20 (NLT)
As Christians, those verses are familiar to us; we know them as The Great Commission. Most Christian authors write books to either “make disciples of all nations” or to “teach them to obey all of the commands” God has taught us. These are wonderful goals and purposes for writing. You’re using your God-given talents to do the work of our Lord. It’s so easy, however, to lose sight of that in the business of publishing.
This applies to Christian publishers and agents, too. Greed can get to us all.
Here are some questions to ponder:“Am I getting a high enough advance?”
“How can I market the book well so I can sell a lot of copies?”
“Is my Facebook/Twitter following big enough?”
These are legitimate questions, but the motivations behind them are what make all of the difference. If you are seeking an advance so that you can use it to help support your family while you do the writing work, then that’s great! It’s like any job. You’re receiving a paycheck and putting some of it back into serving God–using the rest to provide for your family. It’s when you start getting greedy and focusing on the money that your motivations are off.
If you are hoping your book sells lots of copies so that you can have a big payday, you need to make sure your motivations are aligned with what God would want.
If you are working to attract as many Facebook or Twitter followers as you can so that you can market your book to them only for financial gain, without thinking about the good you can do for these people by sharing God’s message with them through your presence on Facebook and your book, then you need to work on realigning yourself with the original reason you decided to write a book for the Christian marketplace.
If you focus on the ministry, God will bless your efforts.
The money-motivations are something we’re all going to struggle with at times, but we need to keep our eyes focused on the ultimate goal of this life and that’s to spread the Gospel message.
How do you remind yourself of your original motives for writing? What can you do today to build or refocus your ministry?