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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Gifts (of the Spirit or service) (11/22/07)

TITLE: Five For One
By Kristen Hester


Five friends were gathered for their Saturday morning ritual of visiting over a cup of coffee at Starbucks. It was chilly outside and the warm coffee house was a refreshing break from their college studies. Today, however, one member of the fivesome was not relaxed. Actually, he was quite perturbed. "There are people in this town who donít know Jesus," stated Evan Evangelist with passion. "Itís a tragedy," he continued. "They must be told about Jesus."

Evanís friends agreed. "Yes," said Helen Helper quietly, "They need to know." She looked shyly around the room. Her face turned red at the thought of speaking to a stranger, but the thought of approaching someone about Jesus caused sweat balls to form on her upper lip.

"But who?" asked Terry Teacher as she adjusted her glasses and picked at her apple muffin.

"And how? Do you have a plan?" inquired Adam Administrator. He pulled out his blackberry and began making notes.

Pauline Prayer said nothing. She just bowed her head and started praying.

Evan was confused by his friendsí questions. "No, I donít have a plan. I donít need a plan. I just tell them. This isnít rocket science." Evan glanced apologetically at Pauline, who was majoring in aerospace engineering. "No offense."

Pauline smiled sweetly. "None taken."

"I saw a lot of people on the corner of Main Street and M.L.K. Iím going there to tell people about Jesus."

"Right Now?" Terry asked.

"Without a plan?" Adam wanted to know.

"All alone?" asked Helen.

"Youíre welcome to join me, but no one is getting saved while we sit here sipping lattes." The burley Evan pushed up his sleeves, grabbed his Bible and headed toward the door, leaving his four friends sitting at the table with their mouths hanging open.

"Well, Iíll be..." said Helen as she stared at the closed door.

"He needs a plan," said Adam, mostly to himself.

"The people who accept Christ will need to be taught," thought Terry.

"Please join me in prayer," said Pauline as she reached out for the hands of the friends on either side of her.

An hour later Evan returned.

"How did it go?" his friends eagerly asked.

"Excellent! Oh, sure, I got my share of rejection, but I met some people who are interested in hearing more about Jesus."

"Thatís wonderful," said Helen.

"Did you get their names and phone numbers so you can stay in touch with them?" asked Adam.

Evan patted his pockets at the question. "Iíve got it somewhere." Finally he found a small scrap of paper with barely legible names and numbers scribbled across it.

Adam shook his head as he took the torn paper from Evan and started entering the information into his blackberry.

Over the next weeks Evan continued telling people about Jesus wherever he went. Hardly a day went by that he didnít hand Adam a piece of paper or a napkin with a name and phone number on it. One day over coffee Terry presented the group with an idea. "Iíd like to lead a Bible study and invite the people on Evanís list."

"What a wonderful idea," said Evan.

Terry got the list from Adam. Adam made arrangements for a classroom and designed fliers to advertise the Bible study. Helen made copies of the fliers and distributed them to different college hang-outs. Terry prepared her lesson. Pauline prayed and fasted as the date of the Bible study approached.

The first meeting the friends were thrilled by the crowd that joined them in the classroom. There were so many people, their werenít enough seats. Helen ran out of the room to find more chairs. Adam made a list of things that needed to be done before the next class. Evan was excited to see many of his new friends. Seeing the crowed made him even more eager to tell others about Jesus.

Terry presented a beautiful lesson. The group took notes, asked questions and had a wonderful time learning about Christ. As the crowd mingled after the meeting a young co-ed told Terry how much she enjoyed her lesson.

"You are a gifted teacher. This has been a wonderful evening."

Terry glanced around the room at her friends. Helen was cleaning up. Adam was punching information into his blackberry. Pauline was in the corner praying with someone. Evan was sharing the gospel with a young man. "Thank you, but this was a group effort."

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This article has been read 1273 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 11/29/07
EXCELLENT! A perfect picture of how the body of Christ is gifted to complete His mission here on earth.
Pam Carlson-Hetland11/29/07
Marvelous illustration of how it's all supposed to work together. Interesting all the way through, sure kept my attention. Great story, great writing!
Janice Cartwright11/30/07
Personifying the gifts was an excellent and creative approach to this topic. Having been under a pastor strong on evangelism I had to chuckle at Evan's and Adam's heavy leanings. Sort of like my kids music teachers in school who felt basically theirs was the only class that counted. :)
william price12/03/07
You nailed the topic straight on. Entertaining and excellently presented; as always. God bless.
Laury Hubrich 12/03/07
This was superb! You covered lots of ground in few words!
Betty Castleberry12/03/07
I like your characters and could picture them all.
This was a fun read. Well done.
Dee Yoder 12/03/07
Well, your entry gave me a very clear picture of how the body of Christ should work; everyone using and sharing their gifts to further the Kingdom! This story is really good and entertaining, as well.
LauraLee Shaw12/03/07
Very fun and creative with excellent pace and flow. Great job! :)
Holly Westefeld12/03/07
Don't sell yourself short. I liked your direct, yet novel approach.
Beth LaBuff 12/04/07
Great entry! Love the characters! This was fun to read.
James Dixon12/04/07
That looks like how it should be done
Yvonne Blake 12/04/07
An allegory! This was an interesting way to show how a church combines the different gifts and works together. Well done!
Temple Miller12/04/07
Beautiful depiction of the Body of Christ at work. I loved it.
Patty Wysong12/04/07
Ok, this one 'takes the cake'!! I LOVED it--each personality was right on, the names matched (the allitteration greatly helped keeping them all straight!) and the way they interacted was smooth and seamless. This is my favorite this week. Hugs!
Shelley Ledfors 12/04/07
What a terrific illustration of how each gift works together! Loved it.
Joanne Sher 12/04/07
Creative and thought-provoking (and not silly). I love how they acted EXACTLY as they "should" for their gift. Good stuff.
Jan Ackerson 12/04/07
Cute! My favorite guy is Adam, because he's just like me: the thought of going into ANYTHING without a plan gives me great anxiety.
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/04/07
I enjoyed your story and liked how you showed, not only the necessity of using ones gift, but also the importance of combining it with others in the body.
Gerald Shuler 12/04/07
I really like the fact that this piece gets read all the way through before the reader realizes it was so deep. I loved it.
LaNaye Perkins12/05/07
This was brilliant. You made the charactors so real. Well done.
Sharon Henderson12/05/07
I agree! Wonderful! I encourage you to accept that fact that you have a wonderful gift in your writing.
Joy Faire Stewart12/05/07
Excellent job of showing how each of us are given talents and they work together. The title is perfect.
Sara Harricharan 12/05/07
I may be echoing others before me, but "Cute" doesn't do this nifty piece justice! It's absolutely adorable! I love the nameplay and especially the end "It was a group effort" Great job with the different characterization.
Pat Guy 12/05/07
Kristen, how do you expect me to use a Red Pen on this one! I'm going to have to squint my eyes and go back and look closer ... okay, here's a start ... it almost seemed as though their responses to Evan were presented as the wrong thing to do. It kind of reminded me of the "Not I" said the pig" story.

Here's an example, 'Pauline Prayer said nothing. She just bowed her head and started praying.' The word 'just' implicates something negative to me.

This story is pure genius as is and I have no clue how you could go back to do subtle tweaks and still maintain the "Whole body working together" message.

This whole story is masterfully put together. A pleasure to read.

LaNaye Perkins12/05/07
Okay, I went back over this and I am having trouble finding anything I didn't like about it. I think the only thing I might change would be how the group interacted in the beginning. It seemed a little stiff (maybe?). I even hesitate to say that much. It could be that I am just not used to communicating in this fashion. I am a farm gal after all, and haven't lived in any city for decades. lol :)
william price12/05/07
To start with, I stand by my earlier comments. But, I am a picky writer and can be a lil picky when asked to pick:)
Overall, the entry seemed a lil rushed, like it didn't command or hold your entire attention. Your opening was somewhat weak, didn't hook me, was a lil confusing and didn't flow with your usual ease. After the opening it would have been hard to keep reading if I didn't know who the author was. I knew it would turn into a creative gem, which it did. You also get high points for having a creative concept.
But most importantly, your story needed to have been entered this week. It had an important message. And the overall collection of work this week, would not have been complete without it. You're one of my favs and I always look forward to your entries. I wish I could write as smoothly as you do, but I have to work with what I have.
Great job, Kristen. God bless.
Lynda Lee Schab 12/06/07
Oh, I LOVE this! One of your best, Kristen. So wonderfully creative and unique. A true masterpiece. A well-deserved placing - you're on a roll, girl!
Sheri Gordon12/06/07
Congratulations on your EC. This is my favorite line:

"'Without a plan?' Adam wanted to know."

I think that's what stops me many times. I'm so busy trying to make the plan, that I miss the opportunity.

I really like the way you show how each of us have different gifts, and they all work together to further God's kingdom. Great job.
Peter Stone12/06/07
Hi Kristen
Congrats on your EC win! And as you asked for them, here's some 'red pen' comments. I found this article to contain an excellent and important message that the gifts function best when combined through group efforts. They compliment one another. However, I found that the characters' names broke the story's flow. It was evident what their gifts were by the actions they were performing, they did not need their gift to be part of their name as well. Loved the conclusion.
c clemons12/08/07
Good job! Just had time to read a few entries today. I agree with ALL of the previous commenters except everyone keeps saying "gifts". Your piece described service not gifts and I think that was exactly what you were trying to say. The challenge was spiritual gifts or service, I took it to mean either/or. You have a gift to write you are called to a service, n'est ce pas? You could live most of your life and not know you were called to a service. But you pretty much know early on if you have a gift for singing, writing etc. But I like you and I know you are going to be blessed in the gift God gave you. :)