Copy Matters: Who Should Do Your Writing?

Copy Matters: Who Should Do Your Writing?

March 15, 2012 by

This is part four in our Copy Matters series.

Who should be doing all this writing at your church?

Here’s a tip: It shouldn’t be your pastor.

Hopefully you’re beyond making your pastor do everything, and if so, then the next step is often to find someone who can write and send everything to them. But that’s not always the best idea. It’s a good way to burn out a writer and it’s an even better way to end up with tepid writing.

Here’s a another tip: Passion trumps skill.

I’d rather read an update from an extremely passionate volunteer who can’t write than a thoroughly skilled writer who is bored to tears. That passion will show in the writing and make up for whatever skills the so-so writer lacks. But all the skill in the world can’t make up for a disinterested writer.

Here’s a final tip: Do both.

Get your passionate volunteer to write up their story and pour their enthusiasm and energy into it. Then have your skilled writer work with that draft. They’ll have a lot better material to work with and it will feed off that energy, effectively combining both passion and skill. You’ll avoid overworking your writer, you’ll be engaging your volunteer and you’ll end up with better writing. Everybody wins.


Getting Started: Copy Matters - "Bad writing tries too hard to impress."

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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7 Responses to “Copy Matters: Who Should Do Your Writing?”

  • Brian Jones
    March 15, 2012

    I love the idea of getting volunteers to do this! Why didn’t I think of that??? Thanks for this series.

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  • Jamey Halfast
    March 15, 2012

    So… Kevin – Are you supplying the passion or the skill? Just kidding! I see both in your stuff. Thanks!

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    • Kevin D. Hendricks
      March 15, 2012

      Ha, thanks Jamey.

      Seriously though, sometimes as a writer it’s hard to get excited about every single thing. I’m just not that passionate about the grounds crew at church. ;-) In those cases it really helps to find that volunteer who is passionate.

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  • Jesse Giglio
    March 16, 2012

    Living this right now…writing values statements for our church but some of the leads can’t quite let go and allow them to be good :)

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  • Steven Fogg
    March 16, 2012

    We have a volunteer that does all of our writing. They rock!

    Another tip I would ad is ‘keep it grounded’ so often I seen the writing get too lofty. Often the more theological, the more lofty. The challenge for every writer is to keep the thought relevant and connected to a person’s life.

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  • Erin Williams
    March 18, 2012

    Good thoughts, Kevin, and I agree ~ I wish I could be passionate about everything our church does, but I’m not. I love to edit volunteers’ work, though, and give them a chance to provide meaningful content for the church. Plus, people really love to read what their friends and family members write, and having a skilled writer/editor cleans it up just enough to make the writing flow well and have the “punch” it needs to make an impact. It’s a win-win.

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  • Meredith Gould, PhD
    March 21, 2012

    Oh thank GOD and bless you for having #1 one be: Not your pastor. Best advice, ever…unless your pastor was a working writer in an earlier incarnation. Even then, seems like seminary education trashes one’s ability to write stuff anyone wants to — or can — read. Yes, I’m a crank about this!

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