This blog is maintained on behalf of the Amy Foundation for the purpose of tracking the best Christian journalism we find on the Web. Our posts regularly identify those news articles or opinions in the mainstream media that represent good faith-based writing and example them for other Christian journalists.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

solid, non-qualifying article in the Indianapolis Start

Here is a solid, non-qualifying Amy Writing Award article, written by Tom Enrich for the Indianapolis Star, entitled, “Transformation is necessary to better ourselves, communities” (1/12/08).

Enrich writes:
In the Church Wellness Project (, we talk about three aspects of membership development: recruitment, retention and transformation.

The first two can be clearly, if inelegantly, stated as bringing new members in the front door and keeping them from going out the back door.

Both need to be in balance. It does no good to focus so much on new members that existing members feel abandoned and unloved. Nor can we be so solicitous of existing members that newcomers feel unwelcome and invisible.

It is the third activity -- transformation -- that is difficult to pursue and measure.

The point of Christian community could be stated, variously, as new life, repentance, winning the victory over self, seeking forgiveness, learning to love, becoming God's agent in justice, making a positive difference with one's life, accepting God's better ways of living, or allowing God's reign to commence in one's life.
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Tom does a good job introducing and pursing an important topic— the need for transformational change in ourselves and our churches. Unfortunately, he doesn’t use a passage of scripture to assert his claim, such as:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2, TNIV)
We are not just promoting the inclusion of scripture so that an article qualifies for the Amy Writing Awards. No, including scripture ratchets up the authority of Enrich’s argument, from that of a well-meaning local pastor to an all-knowing, all-caring God.

I will write Tom Enrich and encourage him to keep sharing his transformational message and support it with God’s word.

Keep up the good work, Tom!

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