Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Writing vs. Service

This past week on the ACFW e-loop, the question was asked, "How do you balance church service and your writing?"
There were many replies. But one really hit my eye. Ane Mulligan said her pastor told folks to subscribe to the 1-1-1 formula for church involvement/service.
1 Worship Service Attendence.
1 Bible Study Attendence.
1 Service position.
Each week, attend one worship service, one Bible study, and serve in one ministry.
That sounds simple. I could do that. I AM doing that (Though my Bible study meets every other week. Does Sunday School count as a Bible study? Our current class sure seems to, since we're picking apart the book of Romans, one bite at a time.) Writing time mostly takes place during the week, with the occasional Saturday thrown in. I don't write on Sundays. I'm finding the current balance to be not too bad. I don't feel nearly as stretched-thin as I did at this time last year, but my ministry has changed from caring for a terminally ill family member to being more involved in church, nursery, women's ministries, Bible study, etc.
Question: How do you balance your church service and your writing? What do you think of the 1-1-1 formula? (Really curious to see what Pastor Kevin thinks of this, since I didn't get a chance to discuss it with him on Sunday, though I meant to.)


  1. I like this. We have a small group, go to church, and I volunteer with jr. high ministry every Wed. night.

  2. Hmm, I never thought about having to balance it. Church def. comes first, but I haven't actually ever been part of a bible study before. I used to do small groups but stopped for a few reasons that I can't get into on the blogosphere. LOL
    I only serve once a month in the nursery, though I'm on-call for when they need help...
    It's funny. My problem is balancing church "stuff" with kid "stuff". LOL

  3. I honestly think it depends on the season of your life. I look at my writing as the ministry God's called me to at this point. So while I volunteer in my children's SS's whenever they need a sub, I don't help on a consistent basis anymore. Instead I use the time on Sunday mornings to have an extended prayer time on my own before corporate worship. That's what I need to fill my tank more than a group study.

  4. What a great way to look at it! I guess I'm following this rule and never realized it.

  5. Erica, I always love the subtle call outs to me in your posts (thunk! "What was that? A kick in the head?").

    I do appreciate the sense of balance this brings to one's approach. If I added anything it would either be to say, "Add one more – what are you doing outside the church to reach out to others with the love of Christ?" It might not need be an extra "1" however; it could be part of the service portion.

    While waxing eloquent (something which I'm really good at... the waxing; the eloquent? Eh, not so much) on this might be good, you've stimulated my thoughts for a future post on my blog!! :)

    Also, just make sure, from this point onward all future blogposts are run by me before posting.

    Just kidding. Please know that I'm kidding!

  6. Balance is so elusive! Right now I'm not {ducking}, but there was a time when I spent 10-15+ hours per week. It was some good discussion on the loop, wasn't it ? I love when those crop up :D

  7. LOL, Kevin, you'd go crazy having to screen my blog posts! Though I am interested in to read the post you come up with on the subject.

  8. God comes first. I don't really 'serve' in the church, I'm basically on the receiving end. Hopefully when my kids are grown I'll have time for that. I used to work with the children, but I have so enjoyed listening to the pastor with my husband. It's hard to trade that special time for anything.

  9. Something to think about. We left our church a few months ago because we visited another one and the pastor's message really spoke to us. We've been going to it ever since. It's different. Not the traditional type church we're used to. We meet in a movie theater and there's a very loud band, not a choir, but the pastor's sermon never fails to bring tears to my eyes. He's passionate about The Word. We're not involved yet but we both feel this is where God wants us right now. Your blogpost hits the spot-gives me something to think about and discuss with dh. Thanks, Erica. You touch a lot of hearts with your posts.

  10. There are times when I struggle with the juggling act with church responsibilities and writing. I would love to use my writing more for church related things. I like the 1-1-1 formula thought. When you are involved in leadership sometimes it turns out to be more like 2-2-2!