Sunday, November 25, 2012

The (Other) Value of Church as a Writer

By Darren Kehrer

I’m sure there are many of us that do not have full time writing careers. I know I am one of them. My “other life” is one that is submerged in the retail world. As you might imagine, this time of year is even more stressful than the other months of the year.

But even in non-holiday months, my life (and I’ll bet yours) is complex and just plain busy. Everything and everyone is trying to throw a wager in for our time. Each day is full of distractions. Trying to balance my “day job” with my writing time becomes more difficult as the “business of life” progresses like the hands of a clock.

As a writer, my mind is constantly sketching plots, characters, and story ideas onto the iPad screen in my mind. To be blunt: there’s just a lot of stuff going on in my mind. At times, all that clutter can actually hinder my writing efforts....

Then comes Sunday and, of course, Church. 

As Christians, the value of Church would seem to be a “no brainer.”
    • Education
    • Spiritual guidance
    • Fellowship with like minded people
    • A chance to give back financially
    • Praise and worship musically

Recently, however, I have discovered an often overlooked value of attending Church as a writer: the stillness and peace my mind experiences while at Church. 

While all the other “stuff” we experience at Church serves to give our minds a distraction from the daily grind (from both our day job and our writing), I find that being at Church forces me to, as my wife says, sit still and be in one place at one time with a complete focus on what’s in front of me. It forces me to relax and thus relieve tension and stress. It’s like a breathing exercise for your mind. 

If you’re lucky, you might occasionally notice a little note in your mind, one that was logged as an idea for a story you just gleaned from listening to the sermon.

I have found that, after attending Church, my muse seems to flow again after being bottled up by stress and the frustration of daily life. The next time you're at Church, relax, breathe, and let the muse out of the bottle.


  1. Great blog, Darren. It reminds me of hearing Matthew Sleeth at the Indy Christian Writer's Conference earlier this month, and his book 24/6, dealing with the need for a Sabbath. (Wish you could have come -- I got a free copy of that book there, and haven't had a chance to yet because Becky beat me to the punch!)


  2. Church just "forces" me to sit, relax, and be still (and know He is God).

  3. Yes, it's good to have a true day of rest, edification, and fellowship. I have to confess, though: More often than I can count, a Sunday sermon has sparked an idea to include in an article or story. I try to be discreet while jotting them on a scrap of paper apart from my sermon notes!

  4. Great post, and I agree with Jeff and Rick. So many times I have had to make a note while sitting in church. We make Sunday a day of rest, which means I don't usually write. Then, I'm ready again, invigorated, on Monday morning.

  5. Superb blog for all of us, Darren -- thanks! And my ditto to all the above comments. . . :-)