Since we are in the midst of writers conference season, I continue to prepare myself for the hustle of back-to-back, 15-minute appointments with new authors who are overcome with excitement and passion for a particular topic. All the “p” words–from passion to purpose–consume the conversation.
The first question I’m going to ask is this: “How does this connect to the gospel?”
No matter what topic, genre, or buzzword the up-and-coming author in front of me is pitching, the answer to this question will determine whether I’m interested.
As Christians, anything we pitch for publishing should be centered around the gospel and its implications. Before pitching a Christian book on joy, weight or body issues, or another self-help-style project, ask yourself how the gospel impacts your area of interest.
Sitting across from an eager author, I listened while she forcefully blurted out, “I just want women to find JOY!”
“Where does joy come from?” I responded.
“What?” she asked.
I continued to inquire how she planned on defining joy, where it came from, or which passage of Scripture she was teaching through to share thoughts on joy. “Well … Philippians chapter 4. I guess.”
When I asked her if she had read the entire book of Philippians or what the overarching message of Philippians was, the bewildered and somewhat agitated look on her face gave me my answer. I tried simplifying my question. “How can we find joy?” Or, better yet, “What had to happen for us to experience joy?”
I could tell her heart was in the right place, and she certainly had evidence of a love for the Lord. But the disconnect in her answer and the uncertainty in her tone showed me she hadn’t taken the time to connect her passion for people to the transformational truth of Christ’s finished work on the cross.
Here’s what I’m saying.
The gospel is the most satisfying, freeing, and redemptive story in history. Every Scripture is either headed toward or directly resulted from Christ’s willingness to head to the cross in the place of broken sinners.
Are you writing about joy? Connect your topic to the joy only found in Jesus. Weight or body issues? Jesus himself is the source of our deepest satisfaction. Rest? Weariness? Hustle culture? Yes. Jesus’ death and resurrection speak to it all.
When you begin writing a Christian book, don’t forget that the center of this task requires you to proclaim the gospel and share with your readers how it impacts every aspect of their lives.