Monday, February 1, 2021

Are We Writers about Our Father’s Business?

By Kristen Hogrefe Parnell @khogrefeparnell

What are we about this year? I don’t mean about five foot, six inches tall or about forever twenty-one years of age.

I mean, what are you doing. What am I doing? And how?

This question comes from Luke chapter two. You probably remember the story. After celebrating the Passover at Jerusalem, Jesus’ family begins the long trek home with a caravan of other travelers. Because the company was so large, Mary and Joseph assumed Jesus was there, somewhere.

News flash, He wasn’t, and when His parents realized their oversight, they hustled back to Jerusalem to search for Him. At long last, they found Jesus in the temple. 

Imagine with me Mary and Joseph’s agitation. Their faces are probably red. They haven’t slept in three days. They’re out of coffee, and tempers are running short. Naturally, when they find Him, they’re both relieved and agitated.

Jesus’ response reveals that He understood His purpose better than they did. “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49b NKJV).

His question begs us to consider: Are we about our Father’s business as well? 

How can writers go about God’s business?

I had to sit on this question, because I wasn’t sure at first how to answer it. How can I—how can you—as a writer be doing God’s work God’s way?

A search through Scripture offered some answers.

1. Keep learning and growing in our craft. In 2 Timothy 2:15, Paul exhorts his son in the faith Timothy to be “diligent” and not “be ashamed” of his work (NKJV). Even though we may have natural gifts, we must practice and grow in our craft to be good representatives of the work God has given us. 

2. Take every project to God in prayer. Do you pray about the projects you undertake? I tend to get excited about new projects and want to go gung-ho, but I’m learning that even if the project seems like a very good thing, I need to seek God’s counsel first. Sometimes, He guides me by offering a sense of peace or inspiration to move forward. Sometimes, He speaks through my husband, such as, “You already have X, Y, and Z on your plate. Is it wise to add this right now?” Regardless of how God speaks, I must be willing to listen.

3. Give our best. As Colossians 3:23 says, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (NKJV). Whether we become a NYT best-selling author or not, we should offer only our best work. What that looks like will be different for each of us and may change as we grow as writers. 

4. Remember our reason why. I like how the New International Version explains this idea in I Peter 3:15. “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have …” The hope that we have in Christ alone should shine through our projects, whether we write fiction or non-fiction for Christian or general markets. Our words are our witness to His grace in our lives.

How can you be about your Father’s business in your current project?


Kristen Hogrefe Parnell is an award-winning author and life-long learner. An educator and mentor at heart, she teaches English online and is an inspirational speaker for schools, churches, and podcasts. Her young adult dystopian novels, The Revisionary and The Reactionary, both won the Selah for speculative fiction, and she is working on several new projects, including a romantic suspense novel. Kristen and her husband live in Florida and enjoy sharing their lake home with family and friends. She blogs at where she challenges readers to find faith in life’s everyday adventures.


  1. I agree! As Christians, we should seek to glorify God in all aspects of our lives: spiritual, work, social, etc. We should pray about all our writing endeavors (or any other work endeavors) and provide our best so as to glorify our Father and be pleasing unto Him. Great blog!

    1. Thanks, Kayla! Yes, how very much I want to know He is pleased with my writing. Blessings to you!

  2. Thanks for the reminder, Kristen - and Monday's are a very good day to check in with the Lord too! :)

  3. This is so good, Kristen. I especially like your reminder to pray and seek God's counsel. I am so quick to jump into new projects, and just because I write for the Christian market doesn't mean I need to say yes to everything. Great advice!

    1. So true! I can definitely relate to that struggle but am learning to save my "best yes" for the right projects. May you have discernment and direction in which projects to undertake.