If you are interested in starting a GBD Writing Group, we are here to help! You can start one at your local church, community or online venue. Coordinating a Christian devotional writing group is a great way to gain editing and writing experiencing, while also encouraging fellowship and discipleship among the writers.
Don’t let feelings of fear or inadequacy stop you. The Granola Bar Devotional Ministry would not be here today unless large steps of faith were taken!
Although every coordinator will have to cultivate her/his group’s design to fit the needs of the writers, we have a basic blueprint that can be followed.
Let the writing begin!
Starting a GBD Writing Group
1) Ask around for would-be writers. It’s best if you keep the group small (5-15 members). The original GBD Writing Group started with only a handful of writers. Ask friends, send out emails, tell church leaders and post on Facebook.
2) Set a time and place. Homes are the best place to meet. You can meet at your home or a host home. Meet once a month for about two hours. You can change homes every month. Try to offer refreshments. Writing always creates a hunger for snacks!
3) Print out the handouts provided on this page. Also, scroll through the “Devo Blog” and print out a few devotionals for your writers to read and discuss. Make sure to have Bibles and Bible concordances to look up verses for the devotionals. Also, it would be good to have a grammar reference, pencils, erasers, whiteout and extra sheets of paper.
4) At the first meeting, talk about your heart for starting the group and the passion of the Granola Bar Devotional Ministry: “Publish His glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things He does” (Psalm 96:3). Try to have a laptop available so that you can go over the GBD website and the published devotionals.
5) Explain to your group that all the members will be editing and providing feedback for each person’s devotional. No one is expected to be a perfect grammarian. The devotionals will go through one last round of edits by our Devo Editing Team when they are submitted on the “Contribute Devo” page.
6) Read the “Devo Summary” and “Devo Guidelines” handouts to your group. Explain that writing online is different than writing for print. You will have a vast array of writing proficiencies and writing styles in your group, so maintain a learning atmosphere and a flexible attitude.
7) Start writing! Pass out the “Devo Write” worksheet attached below and let the brainstorming begin. Encourage your writers to be real with their words and honest with their struggles of faith.
8) Some writers will express themselves easily, while others will have difficulty being vulnerable. Motivate your writers with the knowledge that they are leaving a written legacy of faith for others.
9) Set a time and place to meet again. Ask the writers to type their devotionals and bring them to the next meeting. Let them know that they will be exchanging their work for peer proofing. Give them your contact information, so they can communicate with you if they have questions or concerns.
10) At the next meeting, print and pass out the “Devo Proof” worksheet attached below. After the devotionals have been peer proofed and the verse and Bible translation verified, you can offer your edits if you choose. The writers can make their changes to the final draft and submit their devotionals to your for approval. Then they may share their devotionals on social media platforms and/or print them out for hard copies to pass them out!