Dave Meigs

David Meigs is a novelist with a background in youth outreach, specializing in ministry to at-risk youth and their families. Though his writing is enjoyed by all ages, his novels provide a unique, life-changing quality, critical for the youth of today. David and his family lives in Seabeck, Washington.

Life-Transforming Fiction

Finding Your Niche

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have
commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

                                                                                          Matthew 28:18–20 (NIV)

Within these few powerful sentences, Jesus charged His church with the Great Commission. Two thousand years later we find ourselves still working hard to carry out this enduring command. In this world of ever-changing technologies, we are seeing an acceleration of the Great Commission taking place across our planet. We live in exciting times.

Not all of us are called to travel the globe, preaching the word of God to lands yet untouched by the gospel. Praise God for those who do. Fortunately, God has plenty for the rest of us to do right where we are.

Hopefully, you have already found your own special niche in contributing to the Great Commission. Perhaps you are writing delightful, inspirational fiction that is changing the lives of your readers. Then again, you may be a pastor, an elder, or a Sunday school teacher. There are many ways to contribute to the furthering of the gospel.

As a young man I struggled with finding my place in His plan. I had so many desires for what I hoped to accomplish, and far more questions than answers. Mostly, I wanted to imitate the leaders God had used to shape my young life; but God had something else in mind. In fact, it would be accurate to say that most of my plans were contrary to the ones He had for me. Typically, God would do a work in my life, or open some door, and I would rush ahead of Him and fill in all the details. In the end, all I had to show for my efforts were heartaches and wasted time. More often than not, I spun my wheels putting ministry needs above everything else, including time spent with God.

In the mid-seventies, I participated in a summer-of-service with Youth with a Mission. Hundreds of young people gathered together in Holland for a couple of weeks of intense training, followed by an opportunity for witnessing in Amsterdam. From there we went on to Brussels, Belgium, for a Billy Graham crusade called Eurofest ’75. Hundreds came forward to accept Christ every day. It was wonderful to be a part of it. Next we traveled to England, where we participated in more street witnessing.

Our final destination was Edinburgh, Scotland, where we split into teams and stayed in homes and church basements across the city. There was an art festival near the Castle Mount, which drew thousands of tourists from all over Europe. Each day we would go out to the streets and tell people about the Christ and His love for them. Many came to the Lord that summer, but I suspect the lives that were changed the most were our own. It was a tremendous experience.

One evening in Scotland, several of us gathered for a time of fellowship. Our discussion turned to the topic of what we felt

called of God to do with our lives. One young man from England stood and shared what he thought the Lord had called him to do. “I am going to do mass evangelism,” he said. Then he explained how our time on earth was too short, and only mass evangelism could get the work done in time. Suddenly, my future ministry goals and my areas of gifting seemed dismally insignificant.

I do not know if that young man’s plans for mass evangelism turned out as he planned it, but I know my own life certainly followed more twists and turns than I ever could have imagined. Early on, I seemed to hit dead ends, or even fall flat on my face, far more than I succeeded; but in that too, God used my errors for my benefit. Somehow it took me until my thirties to discover that God is far more concerned with who we are on the inside than what we accomplish on the outside.

Discovering my own gifts and abilities resulted more from years of overcoming personal failures and struggles than ever came about from attending classes or training seminars. The same is true of my writing. The deeper God took me in my own personal healing, the greater impact my writing had in my ministry. For the first time in my life, ministry leaders began reporting back to me that with the curriculum I had written, they were receiving the best results they had ever had.

John 15:5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (NIV). No other verse in all the Bible has ever had as great of an impact on my life as this one. Jesus Himself has given us the key to true productivity for reaching this world for the kingdom of God. If we want to bear fruit in this world, it is vital that our walk with God is vibrant.

Too much of our lives are spent in chasing the urgent circumstances of life rather than on the things that are truly important. If like me the greatest desire of your heart is for God to use the novels you write to change the lives of those who read them, be careful to give special priority to cultivating a closer walk with your God. I realize that this flies in the face of secular wisdom, which says that superior writing alone wins. I would argue that if your goal is to see lives truly changed, then you need God as your partner.

How are things between you and the Master Artist? With all the writing, editing, critiquing, writers’ meetings, and the various social groups for writers that you frequent, are you still finding time for the true Master Artist who created you?

Until next month, may God richly bless you as you write for Him.