Sunday, March 28, 2021

Make Writing Your Ministry—Not Just a Career or a Hobby

Edie here. Guys I've got to tell you, we have the MOST amazing contributors here at The Write Conversation, and it just keeps getting better. Today I'm announcing our newest columnist, Dr. Craig Von Buseck. This man has had such an impact on my writing life! He has inspired me through classes I've taken from him and from the way he lives out what he teaches. I know you're going to be as blessed as I am. Give him a warm, TWC welcome (and check out his newest book, Victor! The Final Battle of Ulysses S. Grant - info at the end of the post). 

Make Writing Your Ministry—Not Just a Career or a Hobby
by Craig Von Buseck @CraigVonBuseck 

“Give me 26 lead soldiers and I will conquer the world.”

This famous quote has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin. Ironically, it has also been ascribed to Karl Marx. Both of these men succeeded in conquering the world with those 26 lead soldiers – the alphabet – for good and for evil.

The words we write have power and God can truly use them to change the world. As reformer Martin Luther said: “If you want to change the world, pick up a pen.”

I first sensed a call from God to help in changing the world during my senior year of high school. In those days, the members of my church youth group would sit in the balcony during Sunday services. I vividly remember many Sunday mornings when I could ‘see’ the biblical stories the pastor was preaching in my mind like watching a movie. 

From those experiences I came to realize that part of my calling was to tell stories so that other people could ‘see’ the same things I had seen and know this God of love. I decided to pursue further education and enrolled in the Divinity School at Regent University with the purpose of becoming a pastor. I had been influenced by several pastors who were also writers – folks like Max Lucado, Jamie Buckingham, and Chuck Swindoll. So I immediately looked for a writing course to take as an elective. Everyone told me to take Bob Slosser’s class, The Craft of Good Writing.

A problem arose in that I was a Divinity student and this class was offered in the Communication school. The faculty secretary chuckled at my request to take this course, explaining that Bob limited the enrollment to 15 and all the Com students clamored to get in. Knowing what God had put in my heart I confronted the challenge. “Please add my name to the list and let’s see what God will do,” I responded.

A week later I received the call from the perplexed faculty secretary. “I can’t explain it, but somehow you got into Dr. Slosser’s class.” 

I learned later that a class required for graduation was scheduled at the same time as Bob’s course. All the Com students who wanted to graduate that spring had to take the other class, opening the door for me to get in.

As some of my friends would say, “Look at God!”

I was truly blessed to have this opportunity. I learned that Bob Slosser had been a New York Times reporter and editor. After an encounter with God, Bob moved to Virginia where he became a leader with the Christian Broadcasting Network. Bob co-wrote Pat Robertson’s best-selling book, ‘The Secret Kingdom.’ Later, Bob would serve as president of CBN University, which would become Regent University.

Health issues forced Bob to step down as president and now he focused on training up Christian writers to change the world. As I sat in his memorable class, Bob would exhort us to make an impact with our craft. “Don’t just make writing a career or a hobby,” he implored. “Make writing your ministry.”

There it was again—the call. It was confirmed through this talented old wordsmith.

By this time, I had completed nearly a year of my Divinity coursework, but I knew I needed to also grow in my writing. I discovered that Regent offered a joint degree called Religious Journalism, where you did a little bit more than a year in each school. By entering this program I could get the further training in communication and writing I needed. 

Entering this program would mean extra schooling and tuition costs than I had originally planned. I decided to seek Bob’s advice. His answer was like a prophetic arrow to my heart.

“There are a lot of right-thinking pastors out there (meaning biblically-thinking),” he said with a gentle passion. “There are a lot of right-thinking missionaries and Bible school professors,” Bob continued. “But there are NOT a lot of right-thinking writers and communicators. If this is what you believe God is telling you to do, I want to support it however I can.”

When I tell this story in writers conferences or small groups, some people respond: “But there is so much competition. What did Bob mean by saying there are not a lot of Bible believing writers?”

I answer by explaining that it depends on how you see the pool of truly Christian writers and the number of people in the world. I have been following the statistics for more than 20 yearsand they are sobering.

The current population estimate for planet earth is nearly 7.9 billion people. According to the most recent Pew Research study, the estimated number of Christians is approximately 2.3 billion. 

That means that there are at least 5.6 billion people on earth who do not know Jesus. That number continues to skyrocket, while the number of Christians has remained nearly the same for the last decade.

If we truly want to see the world change, there isn’t any REAL competition for us as Christian writers. These population numbers make it clear that Bob’s statement to me was correct—there are NOT a lot of right-thinking writers and communicators compared to the need for those lost in darkness to see the light of Jesus. 

So make writing your ministry—and use those 26 lead soldiers to change the world.


Watch for Craig’s new book, Victor! The Final Battle of Ulysses S. Grant – Order your copy at

Victor! offers a unique narrative approach allowing readers to hear the voice of a dying General Grant as he writes his memoirs and takes readers back in time to key turning points in the War Between the States Vicksburg, The Wilderness, Cold Harbor, and ultimately, Appomattox. As Grant is constantly jarred back to the present pain, exhaustion, and sadness as he slowly dies of cancer, readers will be inspired by his courage and tenacity to persevere in adversary to achieve victory in the struggles of their own lives.

Dr. Craig von Buseck is an award winning author and the Managing Editor for Learn more at


  1. Welcome to TWC, Dr. Craig! When I told my pastor I was called to be a literary missionary, he blinked a couple of times, then gave me his blessing. However I find I need a reminder sometimes. This is a wonderful one. I'm looking forward to your encouraging and pointed posts.

  2. Welcome to The Write Conversation. I look forward to reading your posts and gaining helpful, encouraging information. Congratulations on being a part of the group.

  3. Great article, Craig. And there are those of us who have a publishing ministry! We strive to get those 26 letters out to the world.

  4. Wonderful article, Craig! I'm looking forward to more from you!

  5. I absolutely love this. I have recently upgraded myself from being a writer to having a writing ministry. This confirms that decision. Thank you. I can't wait for your next post.

  6. Such great encouragement and advice. I am looking forward to reading your book about Grant. Thanks for sharing with us!

  7. Welcome, Dr. Craig! Your post was what I needed today, as I was seeking ways to be more useful in kingdom work. Thanks, and we're looking forward to reading your book.

  8. Good to see you here Craig. I always learn great things from you. Looking forward to reading your messages.

  9. I really appreciated this encouraging story of your call to write and the opportunity out there for Christian writers. I attended your continuing workshop at Rocky Mountain Christian Writers' Conference several years ago and was very blessed by your teaching!I'll enjoy reading your posts here.

  10. I've recently discovered that also the marketing of your writing can be a ministry, which has freed up new thinking. (Aging gratefully, as I publish my second book at age 77)