I Always Learn More than I Teach -- Devotion Writing Workshop at Steele Creek Church

I HAD SO MUCH FUN instructing and encouraging the amazing ladies at Steele Creek Church of Charlotte last Sunday. 

“Why are you here?” I asked the 12 women who attended my devotion writing workshop. 

“God has brought me through some really dark times, and I want to share the hope he’s given me with others,” one woman said. 

“I have a messages burning in my heart that I have to share. I need to know how,” said another. 

“I’ve been looking for a Bible study curriculum for an upcoming women’s retreat at my church. I haven’t been able to find just the right one, so I thought I’d write my own. I’m hoping to learn skills that will help me,” said a third. 

The responses were as varied as the lovely ladies, but they contained a common thread—the desire to write for God. To share the lessons they’d learned. To come alongside someone else so the life-lessons they’ve learned and the pain they’ve experienced doesn’t have to be wasted. 

I challenged them with Alton Gansky’s words: “When you write for God, and you really mean it… your work may never show up on the shelves at Lifeway. It may never find its way into bound print at all. But when you write for God, when you write with the heart of a servant…you may find that your words are only meant for the guy sitting next to you. If you can accept this…live with it…grasp it…then you can write for God as a ministry.” 

And then, once they had a vision for what God can do through their writing, we got to work. 

I taught them how to write a hook that would immediately capture their readers’ interest. 

And then we wrote our hooks. 
Peer review – “Would you read on?” 

I taught them how to see God everywhere, and how to turn these “sightings” into devotions people can relate to. 

And we wrote some more. Peer review – “Can you relate to this story?”

 I taught them how to tie Scripture or a scriptural principle into their simple stories to make them powerful and life-changing. 

And we shared what we’d written. Peer review – “Are you encouraged? Challenged? Convicted? Inspired?” 

And then we wrapped it up. How can we leave our readers with a challenge, not a sermon? How can we help them feel as though we are kind friends walking the faith path beside them? 

In conclusion – six of the twelve women who had crafted their stories right there in front of us concluded their tales with strains of victory – women with broken bridges, weak foundations, lost jobs, marriages, and hopes, all surrendered their stories to the Lord and invited him to use them for his glory. 

“He who has been given a trust must prove faithful,” I reminded them. “You are writers. Now write for God.” 

“Nothing is wasted in God’s economy," I reminded them. “If just one person gains insight, hope, courage, or wisdom from what you’ve learned through your experience, then God has used your pain to accomplish his good.” 

I am humbled and privileged to have been your teacher. 

Thank you, Debbie Somjak of Unfolded Hearts Ministry for catching a vision for the workshop and inviting me to come. 

Thank you, Gail Purath,  and Christian Devotions Ministry, for allowing me to share your best writing tips. Thank you, Michael, for listening to our blogging talk for hours on end and always maintaining a smile. (The ice cream at Jason's Deli helped!)

Thank you, Charlotte and Michael Manis, for opening your home and your hearts. 

May God be glorified! 

For information on how to host a writing workshop of your own, CLICK HERE.


  1. Hi Lori! Thank you for visiting my blog today!

    What a wonderful ministry! You are able to help support people as they learn how to spread the word and works of God. That is so important.
    I wish I knew all the things that you do, it must be so nice to be a professional writer.

    Good to meet you today! God bless your ministry. I hope you'll come and visit often. We can get to know each other better...that'd be nice!

  2. Great recap of your workshop, the principles and the purpose: to write for the Lord.
    Bless you, dear friend.

  3. It's amazing here how we are blessed when we serve. This sounds like a wonderful ministry and God is right in the centre. Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays. Blessings, Mel from Essential Thing Devotions.

  4. If you had a video of your workshop I would love to watch it!! Maybe that wouldn't quite cut it but I would love to learn how to write. I loved what you said (and without scrolling back to see your exact words) about writing for even just one person. Thanks.

  5. This sounds like such an uplifting workshop! I'm with Judith-video??

  6. I so resonate with your words here, Lori. I've been thinking about how God leads us through the difficult times in our lives to teach us lessons that can bless others. So many times people view these difficult times as something to escape from (and I have too on occasion), but I want to always remember that God is the Great Redeemer and wants to use that difficulty in my life to grow me and others when I'm faithful to Him. I'm just one of many of His stories of redemption and so glad you are too, my friend!

  7. Hello Lori, I would like to tell you how much I appreciated this post. First of all it was for me because God has given me writing as a tool for healing and ministry. And we in our flesh think it has to be big or the next best seller. When really it is about loving and helping but just one...
    Itis about being faithful in the little.
    Thanks so much!!
    Blessings, Roxy

  8. What a wonderful ministry. I'm sure the ladies were blessed to share and grow.

  9. Writing for God is the best reason to write. Your principles with peer reviews sounded challenging and well taught. What a blessing you must be to those who sit under your teachings.

  10. Sounds like it was so fun too, Lori! So glad you posted it! I'm looking forward to telling others about your homeschool book! love Juana