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From Novel to Ministry in a Few "Easy" Steps


by Jen AlLee

When I wrote my novel, The Pastor's Wife, I had one main goal: deliver an engaging, entertaining story. But as it turns out, God had a little more in mind than that. (Amazing how His vision is always so much bigger than my own!)

I love hearing from readers. And a lot of the readers who contacted me about The Pastor's Wife felt a personal connection to the story. You see, they were married to pastors themselves, or they were daughters of pastors. Thankfully, they saw the book as an honest portrayal of what it's like to live under the microscope of ministry.

As time went by, I kept thinking about these women. I wanted to reach out to them, to support and encourage them. And then the proverbial light went on... I could start a new blog (because that's what writers do when we see a need... we write about it). Only I didn't want to be the one doing all the writing. I spent a bunch of years as a church secretary which gives me a unique perspective on pastoral families, but I've never been married to a pastor. So even though I could contribute to the blog, I couldn't be the main voice. No, the main voice needed to be these women who live their lives on the front line of ministry.

And so, The Pastor's Wife Speaks was born. It's only two and a half weeks old, a virtual baby in the blog-o-sphere, but it's off to a great start. I've been thrilled at the way women are reaching out to each other, offering support, asking questions, relating. In response to a heart-felt post about what to do when your own church doesn't meet the needs of your children, one women emailed me directly and said, "I had no idea anybody else felt this way. I thought I was the only one." And that, right there, is the heart of the blog.

I invite you all to come over spend some time with us (http://thepastorswifespeaks.blogspot.com/). If you're part of a pastoral family, you'll find other women who understand what you're feeling. And if you're not, you'll get a better insight on what your own pastor's wife copes with. In honor of the launch, there's a book giveaway on Saturday. All you have to do to enter is comment on a post or follow the blog. And in September we'll be discussing our very first book club selection: Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan. It's going to be good!

Many thanks to my Inkwell sisters for giving me the opportunity to share this with you today. I leave you with these words from the apostle Paul:

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.
Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy
Philippians 1:3-4 (NLT)

Comments

  1. Our God is pretty smart, huh?

    And He will bless this blog. My first reaction would have been, no I don't need more things to juggle! but you saw it as an opportunity to minister.

    Spread the word, everyone. You all know a pastor's wife.

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  2. The site has already ministered to me, Jen and I'm so glad you followed God's leading to start it.

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  3. This reminds me of the first session of the writing class I taught this summer. We defined Christian writing "any writing inspired by the Holy Spirit with the goal of advancing God's kingdom on earth."

    Once you see writing as speaking forth a message God has laid on your heart, all sorts of ministry can spring out of that. I'm sure that also explains why so many writers end up in speaking ministries.

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  4. Deb, I have a confession to make... "I don't need one more thing to juggle" WAS one of my first thoughts! But then I moved on to other thoughts. It is a lot of work, but it's very satisfying too.

    Lisa, I'm so glad the blog has blessed you. I know I've been ministered to in some pretty unexpected ways. God sure knows what He's doing!

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  5. Dina, you are so right. And it's that aspect of Holy Spirit inspiration that adds one more layer to Christian fiction. Because even though writing is a business, for us it's also a ministry. Even if an author says they only want to write clean, entertaining fiction, that can still minister to people.

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  6. I'll be checking it out...great idea. Blessings as you move forward.

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  7. The Pastor's Wife Speaks is filling a gap, Jen! Thank you for your obedience to the Spirit's leading!

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  8. Thanks, Jen. The Pastor's Wife Speaks has already ministered to me and every time I've visited, I think how much I needed it. We pastor's wives (and our families)have some unique needs and I appreciate your response to God's call. May the Lord bless this ministry!

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  9. Hey Jen, you're a brave soul for taking this on, but it seems to be filling a hole in the blogosphere.

    I'll be passing the URL on to others.

    Praying it brings comfort and knowledge to those who need it.

    Anita Mae.

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  10. Jan and Anita, thanks so much! I appreciate your prayer support and letting your friends know about the blog.

    Niki and Susie, you ladies are the reason the blog works. You rock! For those who don't know, Niki was my first guest blogger at The Pastor's Wife Speaks. And next week there's going to be a really sweet story from Susie.

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