Recently I’ve been reading a book called Everybody Writes. Since I write a 3500-word sermon basically every week, and lots of emails, and a Daily Photo Parable for this website twice a week, I’m always on the lookout for anything which will keep my writing clear and to the point, in the service of the Heavenly Author Himself.

Ann Handley, the book’s author, provides 74 short chapters (rarely more than two or three pages each), focused on how to be an effective marketer. And yes, I as a pastor, and you as a Christian, are marketers. Even if you aren’t a Christian, you’re marketing some kind of view of the world, and any email or tweet or Facebook post is communicating something that will divert, encourage or possibly discourage someone.

Ann’s point is to help your reader toward what will benefit them. In her case it’s a product or a service a company provides. But in my case, and maybe in your case too, it’s a clear view of a breathtakingly wonderful God to whom we have never given good options, but who has been wisely and patiently trying to win us back to Him. And He does this mainly through people who’ve discovered that He is a heavenly Parent, and longs for us to be back home with Him.