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 (Manna 48)
An Introduction to Literary Ministry
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Introduction to Literary Ministry

What is Literary Ministry?

Serving the needs of people through writing.

Serving Various Audiences and Needs

·         General public, friends, family

·         Skeptics

·         Seekers of various religions

·         Seekers from various Christian denominations

·         New believers

·         Believers of different age groups

·         Workers and ministers

Effects of Literary Ministry

The written message can be read anywhere anytime

Anyone around the world can read about the faith, even in the privacy of their own homes, at any time of the day.

The written message preaches without the preacher

Writings can reach places where the gospel has not been heard, even before a preacher goes there to preach. Writings can continue to touch lives even after the persons who wrote them are no longer present.

The Bible is the best example of literary ministry

God chose to preserve His revelation to the human race over generations in the written Word, which has been translated into hundreds of languages. Through the Bible, God has transformed the lives of countless men, women, and children over the ages. The Bible itself is a testimony to the power of preaching through writing.

Goal of Literary Ministry

Fulfill the Lord’s commission.

Preach to all creation

            “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mk 16:15)

Through articles, testimonies, and Bible study outlines, we proclaim the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ and the complete teachings of salvation.

Make disciples

            “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Mt 28:19-20)

Whether it is in the form of articles on daily Christian living, lesson-by-lesson guides on spiritual growth, Bible study references, or training materials on becoming a worker of Christ, literary ministry aims to help all believers to be faithful followers of the Lord.

Feed His sheep

            Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.” (Jn 21:16)

Through devotionals, exhortations, reflections on God’s word, and creative pieces, literary ministry provides spiritual nourishment for the soul.

Serving through Various Media

Print presentation

Flyers, magazines, booklets, books, pocket-size references, etc.

Online presentation

Web sites, email, forums, etc.

Other media

CDROM, handheld devices, etc.

Examples of Print Publications

Basic beliefs

Outreach series

Flyers that address common objections that people raise about the Christian faith

Testimonies series

Flyers that contain real life stories of how God’s great love and power brought people to know Christ personally, as well as testimonies of people whose lives God has touched and changed

Gospel series

A series of booklets, written in simple language, that provides a Bible-based explanation of the ten basic beliefs of the True Jesus Church

Inquiry Series

Books that address commonly asked questions that inquirers have about the basic beliefs

Doctrinal Series

Still in progress, books that provide a comprehensive and in-depth study of the basic beliefs of the True Jesus Church, comparing them with views of other faiths and denominations and pointing out the correct biblical interpretations

Christian living

Manna magazine

A quarterly magazine that helps the reader make the connection between biblical truths and daily life; contains articles on practical living, Bible studies, doctrinal studies, and personal testimonies

Discipleship series

Still in progress, a series of guides on being a disciple of Jesus Christ; covers a wide range of Christian living topics for various age groups and address common issues in our personal lives; and aims to make believers faithful and mature followers of Christ

Biblical reference

Bible study guides

Guides that help believers study the Bible in greater depth; shows the user how to focus on individual passages, discover God’s truths, and apply the teachings to life

Training materials

Training Guides and Outlines

To be made available online, a full spectrum of training materials compiled and written by ministers and seminar instructors for the purpose of guiding workers in various areas of sacred work

Ministry Resources

Bible reading charts

Motivates believers to read the Bible daily and helps keep track of their progress

Basic beliefs pocket reference

A handy reference for personal evangelism, listing key points and verses supporting the basic beliefs of salvation

Prayer explanation card

Given to first-time visitors to the church, a card that provides a simple explanation on how to pray

Visitors information card

Helps local churches to collect information from first-time visitors to the church for the purpose of follow-up work

Pocket calendar

Printed with the name and web site of the church, a great tool to tell others about the church

The word went out

Examples of how people came to the Lord through literary ministry:

1.      In early 1926, Deacon John Voon of SingaporeChurch sent a copy of the Holy Spirit Times to Mr. Tsen En Fook of Jesselton, North Borneo. As Mr. Tsen was preoccupied with his business he did not have time to study it but instead he sent it to a friend in Sandakan, Lee Siak Lin, with a note “A True Church has arisen.” After reading the Holy Spirit Times, Lee Siak Lin was deeply moved. Because of a fervent desire to seek the truth, he boarded a ship to Singapore and located the True Jesus Church there. After studying the truth for some time, he received water baptism on January 11, 1927. Three days later he received the Holy Spirit. Then, Elder Tan Chien Sing and Dn John Voon, together with a few others, travelled with him to Sandakan to preach the truth there. Thus, the first church in Sabah was established. Now, we have 76 churches and over 12,700 members in Sabah.

2.      A leader of a Christian group in Kenya visited London and met a brother from Ghana who happened to live in the neighborhood where this leader was staying. The brother introduced the gospel to him and gave him some church publications to read. Upon returning to Kenya, he contacted the International Assembly, which later sent ministers to preach the perfect gospel to the group he was with. Consequently, a large number of them received the message and joined the True Jesus Church. There are now over 400 True Jesus Church members in Kenya.

3.      A young man in the Philippines was a student at a theological seminary. One day, he stumbled onto a box of booklets that was covered with dust and shoved away in a corner of the seminary office. He took out one of the booklets, titled Words of Life (a set of booklets published by the True Jesus Church), and began reading. After studying the doctrines taught in the booklets, he contacted the church in Singapore. He became one of the first converts in the Philippines.

4.      In 1981, after an unfruitful missionary effort in Nigeria, a few True Jesus Church preachers were heading back home and transiting in Liberia. While waiting for their flight in Liberia, they decided to pass out all of the flyers they had on hand at the airport. One of the passersby who took a flyer read it afterwards and wrote to the church to express interest in the gospel. This opened the way for subsequent missionary trips, thereby leading to the establishment of churches in this country. As of today, there are more than 300 believers in Liberia.

Your Part in Literary Ministry

Prayer

·         Through your constant prayer, the Lord will make use of the written word to move the hearts of readers. We sow the seed and water the plant, but it is God who makes it grow.

·         Pray that God may motivate more workers to take part in literary ministry.

Writing

·         If you have the gift of writing, keep a journal and write down your inspirations and personal reflections. Take the ones that have potential, expand upon them, and email them to our editors at: content@tjc.org

·         Write and share your personal testimony of God’s grace and power and submit them to our editors. God may want to use your testimony to touch another person’s heart. You may also interview someone who has received God’s grace and help him or her put it in writing.

·         Transcribe sermons and send us the transcripts. Ideally, they are accompanied by a corresponding outline of the sermon.

·         Volunteer to translate existing content from publications or web content in another language.

·         If you have background in editing content, we would love to hear from you!

Finance

Your financial contributions will help further the ministry in many ways.

Print and mailing costs

With increased funding, we would be able to forward our publications to a larger population around the world via more promotional channels. We would be able to provide more materials to seekers who express interest in learning the gospel.

Personnel

We are currently extremely short of writers and editors who have the gift and dedication to serve in this ministry. We do not have enough people who can write feature articles, Christian living resources, Bible study guides, doctrinal studies, training materials, etc.

Also, if we want to reach a diverse audience with an increasing range of media, it means creating more types of content such as e-newsletters, commentaries on current events, innovative content for people of various age groups, etc. We will also eventually need people who will be able to provide advice and counseling in writing by email or online forums. It is our hope and prayer that we will have full-time workers who can devote themselves to all these important areas of sacred work.

In order to support more workers in the long term, we need to build up a substantial amount of fund. This is where your financial contribution plays a crucial role in the ministry.

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Author: Stephen Ku
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