Welcome back to another episode of the Ink and Impact podcast! Today we’re talking about your leadership role as a writer and the ten characteristics that define leadership as they pertain to writers and authors.

This topic came about because of Presidents’ Day, which was recognized here in the U.S. this week.

Presidents preside over or are in control of the country, and they influence lawmakers and everyday citizens. In other words, their beliefs, actions, and words make an impact on the lives of others.

But leadership isn’t reserved for Presidents. The fact is that we are all leaders.

Your Leadership Role as a Writer

Every day, people come to us with questions, seeking our advice and guidance, whether they’re our children, spouse, coworkers, neighbors, or friends.
  • As Christians, we’re to lead others by being the light of Christ, in both word and deed.
  • As writers, we’re to lead our readers into new knowledge, a place of encouragement, or welcome entertainment.
  • And as Christian writers, we’re to incorporate all of that together.
Thus, our leadership responsibilities are large.
Are we daily considering our critical roles as leaders to our readers?
Remember back in high school how some people were unexpectedly thrown into leadership positions while others campaigned to be elected as one?
The same is true in the writing world.
There’s a growing trend for what’s referred to as “thought leadership” books.  This generally refers to business owners, entrepreneurs, and online influencers who write a book to establish their status as an expert in a particular industry.
Speakers also like to write thought leadership books because it allows them to expand on what they share from the stage and sell more books by offering them at the back of the room after every presentation.
Is there anything wrong with any of that? No. As long as you have the right heart posture.
As Christian writers, I believe that we’re to put God’s glory above our own. Are we actively praising Him and publicly acknowledging how He is enabling us to write the book … or are we puffing ourselves up as stand-alone experts?
Alternatively, we might be writers who feel led to write a book but don’t want to put ourselves (or our books) out there at all. We don’t want to do any marketing because it scares us or it seems overwhelming or it simply isn’t part of our self-imposed job description. We signed up to write a book. That’s it. Job done.
Please hear me out.
Just as pride doesn’t honor God, neither does complacency.
God doesn’t call His writers to write – and therefore lead – out of fear OR a displaced sense of entitlement or pride. That means that in addition to carefully guiding your readers in the content of your book, you also need to guide them to the book in the first place AND be able to support it – and defend it, if necessary – after it’s published.
So now that we know we’re all leaders, whether we like it or not, let’s talk about how we can become GOOD leaders.

10 Qualities of a Good Leader

Dr. Jennifer Varney at Southern New Hampshire University put together a list, “10 Qualities of a Good Leader,” which she explained from a typical workplace perspective. I think her list of qualities are good ones, but I’m going to expand on them from a Biblical perspective and specifically for writers.
Dr. Varney says, “Good leaders possess self-awareness, garner credibility, focus on relationship-building, have a bias for action, exhibit humility, empower others, stay authentic, present themselves as constant and consistent, become role models and are fully present.”
So let’s break this down for Christian writers.
  1. Remember who you are in Christ (self-awareness). Stand firm in the knowledge that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 NKJV).


  2. “Work as for the Lord” (Colossians 3:23 NIV) – and don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials and book reviews! (credibility)


  3. “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3 ESV). Whether speaking with readers, fellow authors, or potential agents and publishers, consider their needs before yours. When on social media, do what my Instagram coach Ruthie Gray stresses: engage authentically. She’s constantly reminding us t’s called social media because you’re supposed to be social, not just sell your thing. (relationship building)


  4. Be a doer of the word, not just a hearer (James 1:23). I mention this all the time here on the podcast and elsewhere – if God has called you to write a book, that doesn’t mean that you simply think about writing a book, or write a draft and just let it sit on your computer unpublished, or publish it but don’t market it. Actively do the work God has called you to do. (action)


  5. “Act justly … love mercy and … walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8 NIV).  When we reflect on God’s character and all that Christ has done for us, we are immediately humbled and grateful, which should motivate us to serve others well. (humility)


  6. “Encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). When we encourage others and share knowledge with them, we help to empower them to step out in faith and do what God has called them to do. (empower others)


  7. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men” (Matthew 6:5). May we not act one way toward our audience and then act a different way at home.  Our goal should not be to write or create videos to impress man and go viral, but to point others to Christ and glorify God. (stay authentic)


  8. Regularly show up. “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25). Are we regularly sending out a newsletter? Are we consistently engaging with others on social media? Are we constantly praying for wisdom and discernment over every area of our writing? (constant and consistent)


  9. Be the example. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16) We are to represent Christ wherever we go and whatever we do. Are we allowing others to see what it’s like to love Christ through our words and actions? (role models)


  10. “Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:16).  Are we making ourselves available to our readers? Are we addressing their needs and offering them the hope of salvation, whether subtly or overtly? Are we acknowledging their questions? And most importantly, are we paying attention to what God is trying to tell us? Don’t take 1 Timothy 4:16 out of context – we’re not to lean on our own understanding. Rather, let’s be fully present to those around us and honest about our thoughts and actions. (fully present)
I know that’s a lot to take in, but I believe in providing value.
Let me conclude by encouraging you with reminder I received this morning while reading in Exodus.
Moses didn’t want to be Israel’s leader. He didn’t seek the position and he didn’t consider himself capable of the job.
But what did God do? He encouraged Moses, provided him with a helper (his brother Aaron), and outlined everything he needed to do.
God chose Moses for a reason. And God has chosen you to write that story he’s given you for a reason.
So even if you don’t feel qualified – and might even be a bit grumpy about being picked like Moses was – know that God nevertheless considers you to be the perfect person for your particular story.
And the best news? We’re not top leader. We fall under the Lord’s command.
Ultimately, all we have to do is follow God’s instructions and let Him lead.
What could be better than that?!

The Inkwell Collective

Have you signed up for the new Inkwell Collective yet?

The Inkwell Collective is a new membership community where Christian writers gather virtually to write, build their faith, establish meaningful connections, and get their book-related questions answered!

So what’s a Christian writer?

It’s anyone who is a Christian who writes. You don’t have to be writing a Bible study or devotional to join, just be a professing Christian who writes clean, God-honoring blogs and books. All genres and writing levels are welcome.

The general membership is free, and enables you to connect with fellow Christian writers. Ask questions, celebrate successes and ask for prayer 24/7. It’s like a Facebook group, but off of social media.

The paid basic membership enables you to discover the joys and benefits of writing together at one of our weekly virtual co writing sessions we have currently offered to and to participate in the live monthly Q&A sessions.

Don’t keep writing alone. Why not connect with other like minded writers?

Learn more about the Inkwell Collective. On that landing page, you will see a video tutorial so you get to see actually what it looks like inside. You can join for free to get a feel for it and see if you like it.

Come get connected with other Christian writers who don’t just support each other, but also encourage each other and grow in the Lord together.

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