Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Ministry of Christian Fiction

The Ministry of Christian Fiction

When I first considered writing as a career it never occurred to me that my writing would also become a ministry.  As a person who’d always enjoyed reading for enjoyment I began writing stories that I also enjoyed reading. The characters were funny, exciting, and sometimes evil. Yet their stories served only one purpose, and that was to entertain. 
However, as I grew as a writer, I also grew as a Christian. God helped me to realize that along with my gift for storytelling he’d also given me another gift, the ability to minister through writing.
If you asked the average Christian to discuss the different ministries in their lives or their churches they would have a multitude of answers. There is the singles ministry, music ministry, web ministry, children’s ministry, young adult ministry, ladies ministry, and many more. There are almost as many ministries as there are members to be a part of them. For this reason I was a bit apprehensive when God asked me to be a part of a ministry I wasn’t familiar with.
Ministering to people is nothing new to me. I began singing at the age of four and I’ve been told that I have an anointed voice. When I sing, I believe that I minister. God uses my voice and the words of the songs to minister to the hearts of those who hear me. Sometimes I listen to music and the words help to encourage and get me through a difficult situation. Music ministry is something, I understood and enjoyed.
However, when I sat down to read fiction, I did not have ministry in mind. If I wanted to be ministered to I’d choose a non-fiction title such as “The Prayer of Jabez” by Bruce Wilkinson, or “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. In my thoughts, these were the types of books written with ministry in mind. I am not a theologian. I have not been to seminary and I felt there was no way that I could write something that would minister to someone.
But, God’s plan is not our plan.  In order to prepare me God began to speak to me through the ministry of other author’s. The first Christian fiction novel that I read was “Temptation” by Victoria Christopher Murry. I’m sure a book of hers was the first Christian fiction for many as she started a genre without even realizing what she was doing. I read her book because it was entertaining, without being filthy. I still did not understand the full purpose or power that Christian fiction held.

Then I picked up another novel by Victoria entitled “Joy”. I was going through a bad period in my life, and without realizing it or expecting it, I was ministered to through the pages of a fiction novel. “Joy” is a book, with fictional characters. However I realized while reading it that God could also handle what I was going through.


 “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalms 30:5)” This single scripture was the theme of this novel and I found the ministry I needed within its pages. It is still my favorite novel and sometimes when I feel down, I read excerpts from it to gain insight and strength.


Years later when God began to nudge me towards writing Christian fiction, I remembered this book and this feeling. I realized that the same way “Joy” spoke to me that the books I wrote could speak to others as well.


Christian fiction is a new ministry, one that some are not familiar with. There are those who do not read for pleasure, and may feel that Christian fiction only serves that purpose. There are people who feel that a Christian’s time should not be wasted being entertained, when he or she could be working for the kingdom. And still others feel Christian fiction is for the lost, and not the saved.


Some say Christian fiction is too preachy, yet I beg to differ. Christian fiction is just like any other fiction in that it has a plot, exciting characters, and an exciting storyline. I’ve read Christian fiction novels that held my attention more so than any secular novel.  Yet when I was done, I walked away with more than entertainment. I walked away with a message in my heart. A seed was planted and sown that could grow.


That is the definition of ministry. So as I continue to minister through my stories, I will continue to strive to entertain my readers. I want them to care about the characters and feel what they feel. I want them to become involved in the plot lines and feel excitement. But my ultimate goal, will be to minister through the pages of Christian fiction.

About the Author

Zaria Garrison is an award-winning author of Christian fiction who is committed to writing and publishing literature that ministers as well as entertains. 

Her ministry goal is to promote literacy in the Christian community, by helping Christians to hear the gospel within the pages of literature.

Zaria also offers insight and encouragement to aspiring authors through workshops, and writing classes that allow each participant to discover the craft of writing and how it can be used to effectively minister to youth, women, and all members of the community.

Her first Christian fiction novel Prodigal will be released by Urban Christian publishing, a division of Kensington, October 27, 2009.  She is also co-owner and staff writing of EKG Literary Magazine, which caters to all members of the literary community.

You can find her online at or                                                                                      

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