Ugh. We've all been there – sitting in a sanctuary at church or reading a blog post from a Christian writer and it's everything we can do to not roll our eyes. Okay, maybe we do roll our eyes. Or at least that's my first reaction when I hear someone talking at me rather than talking to and relating with me.
Perhaps my eye-roll response is immature, but it comes from a deeper place that isn't. If you have a low tolerance for preachy writing like I do, it's probably because you recognize and believe that the gospel deserves more than over explanations, simplistic conclusions, or instructions laced with should, and ought and Christianese.
So how do we, as hope*writers, write about faith without sounding preachy? Let's dive in to it in this short video guide.
1. You are not the hero.
Whether subtle or blatant, this one is a sure-fire way to sound preachy to a reader or a listener.
2. Choose your pronouns carefully.
Small words can have a big impact. Choose them with care!
3. Resist the urge to over-explain.
I would say more here, but I'm afraid of doing that thing I hate.
When you write about faith, the truth is there will probably always be someone who says you sound preachy just for mentioning the word “God” or “faith” or “the Bible.” As hope*writers, we probably can't escape that stereotype completely.
But when we focus on writing with our reader in mind, it helps to remember we are not the hero and we don't have all the answers. Our readers are clever, intuitive, and want, more than anything, to relate with our human experience as we all walk with our friend Jesus on the difficult, beautiful, frustrating path of faith.
I hope this has been helpful. We would love to hear your ideas in the comments!