Don’t Give Up: How To Use Your Gifts for God’s Glory in Various Mediums with Carey Green
Have you had people tell you that you should write a book, but you don’t know where to begin – or if you even want to? Have you written a book, but feel that you could use your gifts in other ways to spread your message even further? Have you thought about creating a podcast, but you don’t have any idea what to talk about?
Whatever may be holding you back from taking that next step, this week’s Publishing Secrets guest, Carey Green, is here to offer perspective and encouragement. From fantasy fiction to podcasting to teaching materials, Carey has followed God’s leading to use his gift of teaching in a wide variety of ways. Let Carey’s story inspire you to keep moving forward, take action, and use your gifts for good.
In this episode, you’ll also hear:
- How Carey went from hating anything to do with developing good writing skills to enjoying the process of writing fantasy fiction
- What Carey would do differently if he could go back and write his first books again
- How you can use your gifts to spread the message God has given you in many more ways than just publishing a book
- A very special offer to get FREE access to Carey’s course that takes you from idea to polished, published podcast in 14 modules
- Carey’s advice for the author who has a message but doesn’t know what steps to take next
Be sure to read all the way to the end for that FREE course access and other important links!
“You should write a book.” If you are a person with a lot of life experience or knowledge to share, chances are at some point you have heard these words. In fact, it’s a pretty common suggestion. We’re often told that everyone has a book in them, and you may even feel called to use your gifts in writing to further the Kingdom of God. But what if you’re not sure it’s something you want to do or feel ready for?
If that’s you, you’re not alone. Carey Green had to navigate this exact same terrain, and now he’s able to help others find their way through it. In his own words, “It’s always good to have someone in your corner who can help you keep your spirits up and your focus clear.” So if you’re feeling that you might be called to share your story with the world, but you aren’t sure exactly how to use your gifts to do so, Carey has some words just for you.
Journey to Writing Fantasy Fiction
Although Carey was drawn to writing as a teenager, at the same time, he didn’t think it was the right path for him. “I had a desire to express myself in writing, but I wasn’t really any good at it,” he recalls. “I just knew that it was going to take a lot of time to get that developed. And I wasn’t even sure it’s something I should be doing.”
With a self-proclaimed hatred for anything to do with developing good writing skills – grammar, sentence diagramming, etc. – Carey didn’t dwell on the idea of pursuing writing seriously until years later after he became a pastor. That was when he put out his first published works in the form of curriculum: trainings, Sunday School lessons, and the like.
Around that same time, he found himself telling stories to his children to entertain them on long car rides. With their encouragement, he eventually started writing those stories down in book form – and as he did, the children’s tales about a young dragon slayer transformed into something more.
“My goal in writing the books was, if I’m going to write these, I want to help people think through the issues that make up life from a biblical perspective,” Carey explains, “and honestly address the challenges that we face. So the series of three books that I wrote in the end, has all kinds of issues. Grief, miscarriage, post traumatic stress syndrome, loss of a friend – all kinds of issues that we face on a daily basis happen in the lives of these characters. And the role of faith in how to handle those things is front and center.”
Although Carey never set out to become an author, he says it became obvious over time that this was what he was supposed to do. The first step was receiving encouragement from his wife and children, and then he found himself genuinely falling in love with the craft.
What started out as a challenge to see if he could actually do it turned into something he enjoyed learning and practicing. And that led him to realize this was his calling: “Through the process of doing it in self education, it just became obvious: Yeah, you have skills that can be used in this way, so you should pursue it.”
Writing from Experience
Looking back, it’s almost as though Carey’s background of teaching and discipling was a training ground of sorts for his success as an author. Although his books are fiction, he’s able to draw on experience – both his own and that of people close to him – and write with a sense of reality. Carey strongly believes that it’s important for the audience to feel that the author is teaching from real, lived experiences – not just pontificating.
“There’s power in a good story, particularly in the fact that something about it enables your defenses as a reader to drop,” Carey says. “Because when you relate with a character, and someone in the story speaks into their life with truth from the scripture, or with a valuable piece of wisdom that they didn’t see before, that speaks to you, because you’re in the character’s shoes. It drops your defenses and enables you to humbly receive things better than if you have a nonfiction book in front of you.”
Carey views fiction as a tool, a way to communicate spiritual truths that people might otherwise have difficulty accepting. And he’s right – stories have a way of making an emotional connection that facts alone simply can’t do.
No Author Is Perfect
Carey’s experience telling stories to his children gave him confidence that he had a natural storytelling ability. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t have a lot to learn when it came to writing books. As he explains, “we don’t write like we talk. And you can’t write like you talk and expect it to be readable.”
Transitioning from telling stories to his kids to writing a book meant learning to first be self-critical and cut out whatever wasn’t serving the story, and then to accept constructive feedback from beta readers. “You have to just learn, hey, I don’t see things objectively all the time,” Carey says. “I’ve got to be able to receive the input of others to make the story better, because that really is the goal – for the story to be the very best it can be, so that it affects other people, not just me.”
In hindsight, Carey says one thing he would do differently given the chance would be to hire a professional editor sooner rather than later. In addition to self-editing and having beta readers act as editors, he did all of the formatting and other similar tasks himself. As a result, the first editions of his books were laden with grammatical errors and probably cost him much more time and frustration than the money he saved was worth.
That’s an important reminder: just because you can do everything yourself doesn’t necessarily mean you should. While you can certainly learn those skills – and learn to do them well – sometimes there’s a better way you can use your gifts and your time that could make a bigger impact. Yes, you can save money by doing it all yourself, but saving yourself time and frustration by delegating has value, too.
While it hasn’t been easy, Carey says the process has all been worth it. He’s received encouraging feedback from many people, letting him know they enjoyed the books and can relate with his characters. But he’s even more touched by those comments letting him know his books had a positive impact on them spiritually or helped them overcome difficulties in their lives.
“Those are the things I live for,” Carey says. “As a teacher, I want to see life change happening in people. So to know that happened through my fiction, that’s just very satisfying to me, and very encouraging.” As Carey has learned, the end goal is not necessarily to sell tons of books – though of course that’s something we all hope for! – but the most important thing is getting your God-given message into the hands of people who need it, so their lives can be changed for the better.
Transitioning to Podcasting
Writing isn’t Carey’s only creative pursuit. With a background in radio during high school and college, Carey says it was a “no-brainer” for him to explore podcasting when the time came. As he experimented with his own podcast, he decided to combine that with his love of teaching and started a business to help people with common podcast pain points such as editing, show notes, and so on.
Then, in late 2017, Carey had the idea to start a new podcast to help people with a struggle he’d experienced himself: spending consistent, daily time with God. This podcast, The Morning Mindset Podcast, is a short-form daily devotional, meant to help people “reset their mindset from that fleshly natural mindset we typically wake up with, back to a godly mindset that’s conforming to the image of Christ more and more as we go through through life.”
The first episode went live on January 1, 2018. Despite not publicizing the podcast, by the end of that first day, there were about 40 downloads. And by the end of the month, that number grew to 300.
From there, Carey describes the growth as mind-blowing: “By the end of that first year, it was clear this hit a need, because the numbers just took off. And they’ve exceeded my expectations far beyond what I thought, and they continue to grow. And from it, we’ve developed a worldwide community who listen to morning mindset daily and who are supporting a nonprofit that we’ve developed out of the morning mindset. And it’s just really blown my mind what God has done with this.”
Carey says he takes his role as a teacher – no matter what medium he’s using at the moment – very seriously. Although he’s found the podcast carries less pressure than pastoring, it has also helped hold himself accountable, both to be consistent and to be a person of integrity. “I’m not teaching out of a vacuum,” he explains. “I’m rather teaching out of a maturity that’s coming from my own time in the Word, and so it’s been a benefit to me just as much as to the audience.”
It’s Not About the Podcast
Now that Carey’s podcast has been going for a few years and has seen such massive growth, he’s reached a point where his podcasting and writing skills may be coming together in the form of supplemental materials. He’s still gathering feedback from his audience, but hopes to put out further resources that will help his listeners grow in their faith.
“My vision, long-term, is not really about the podcast,” Carey explains. “It’s about God’s Kingdom advancing on the earth. And I want to see the church come to a place of repentance, and a place of humility, and a place of seeking God’s power and strength to move forward in this dark world, so that the light overcomes the darkness.”
Through the podcast, Carey is already seeing opportunities to impact the world far beyond the limits of his physical reach. Podcasts can reach a global audience, and Carey’s is constantly expanding into new countries and looking for ways to let people know he cares about their real-life struggles and experiences.
For example, having noticed that the podcast has hundreds of listeners from both Russia and Ukraine, he makes a conscious effort to speak directly to those listeners through his podcast, to encourage and pray for them.
Carey’s story speaks to the power of podcasting to reach people wherever they are – and to the speed at which this platform can communicate your message to people in other countries. It’s truly amazing to think about the vehicles that God has given us for ministry now that allow us to literally take the gospel around the globe. There are so many creative ways you can use your gifts for God’s glory.
As Carey says, “I think this is part of what Scripture talks about: ‘redeeming the time.’ We’re to take the things that come about because of our culture and our technology and all that, and we’re to use them for God’s sake.”
How To Start a Podcast: FREE Course Offer
As Carey’s story proves, you can use your gifts that God has given you to share your message through a wide variety of mediums. While a book is one vehicle, it’s important that we be open to leveraging other platforms or media that can reach people in ways a book may not be able to.
Carey’s business is all about helping people do exactly that – transition into the medium of podcasting as a means of getting their God-given message out into the world. Not only does the company offer services such as production, editing, etc., but they’ve also created a course to walk people through the process of creating a podcast. The course begins at the foundational level of understanding what a podcast really is, and by the end, anyone who has completed all the videos and worksheets and taken all of the action steps will have a polished podcast up and running.
But here’s the best part: Carey has graciously offered this course FREE to Publishing Secrets listeners. Simply click this link, and you’ll get direct access to the course – no need to pay a cent or even provide an email address!
This is an amazing opportunity to expand your reach and develop your skills – if you take action. It’s very easy to sign up for something and then not follow through, so remember that there could be people who are literally waiting on you to take action so that your message can positively impact them. Let that be your motivation to not only access the course and start reading, but to take the time to actually do the work and launch your very own podcast.
However, what if you like the idea of starting your own podcast, but you’re hesitating to click that link because you don’t know what to talk about? If that’s the case, Carey’s advice is to start with the subject matter of your book, but also to understand that you don’t have to be a total expert on that topic – that’s what podcast guests are for.
For example, if your book is about your own journey through grief, invite others who have gone through grief or professionals who help people process grief. “You don’t have to be an expert in the subject to publish a podcast about it,” Carey says. “You just need to be well-versed enough in the topic to know how to ask the right questions.”
The possibilities are endless. You could also write vignettes or stories related to your book’s topic and read them – or even read your book, chapter by chapter, and have your podcast act as an audio version of your book.
You don’t have to have all the answers to get started. Ultimately, we’re trying to help people solve problems. Sometimes, you may be able to use your gifts to be part of that solution, but sometimes all you have to do is bring together the right resources and the right people who can help solve the problem.
God Can and Will Use Your Gifts for His Purposes
We’re all at different points in the journey of taking the idea God has given us and getting that message out into the world. Whether you’re still just getting started or you’ve published one book and have no clue where or how you should use your gifts next, Carey offers some words of encouragement.
No matter how you interact with other people – be it through your writing, face-to-face conversations, raising children, or anything else – Carey urges you not to give up on the belief that God can and will use you.
We know from the book of Ephesians that God has created us to do good works. In Carey’s experience, those good works can look very different from day to day: sometimes it’s writing, sometimes podcasting, sometimes a conversation with a loved one or a colleague.
“All these things are good works God planned in advance for me to do,” Carey concludes. “And if my day includes writing, that’s part of those good works. If my day includes recording a podcast, that’s part of those good works. I just need to be confident that God’s the one who put together the plan, and I need to take action on the plan He’s put before me. And as I do, he’s faithful to do the work. And so I would just say, ‘Do not grow weary in doing good, because in due season, you will reap a harvest if you don’t give up.’”
Carey Green became an author as he served local churches in the role of Pastor, creating curriculum, trainings, and Bible studies for the people he led. During that time his children encouraged him to put into print “Dragon Slayer” stories he told them when they were younger. He started the process and many years later, the three-book series of The Dragon Slayer Chronicles is the result.
In his writing Carey desires to use the challenges and struggles of his characters to speak to the experiences of readers, guiding them to consider the truths of scripture and the reality of God as the foundational aspects of life in this world.
Carey also hosts a daily devotional podcast for Christians called The Morning Mindset. Since its beginning episode, January 1, 2018, the podcast has grown to a point he didn’t even imagine — over 115,000 downloads every day. From the podcast he and his wife have started a non-profit that helps Christ-followers worldwide give and receive to help others in the church.
Get FREE access to the step-by-step podcasting course: https://podcastfasttrack.com/course-access
The Dragon Slayer Chronicles website: https://DragonSlayerBook.com
Carey Green website: https://CareyGreen.com