Writer’s Desk with Dave and Jon Ferguson
I’m so excited to have Dave and Jon Ferguson featured on this week’s writer’s desk. Dave Ferguson is an award-winning author and lead pastor of Community Christian Church in Chicago. He also provides visionary leadership for the international church-planting movement NewThing and is chairman of the board and president of the Exponential Conference. Jon Ferguson is the cofounding pastor of Community Christian Church in Chicago, where he serves as one of its lead teaching pastors and provides leadership in new ventures. He co-launched NewThing and serves on the board of directors for the Exponential Conference.
Be sure to stick around until the end of the post for more about their most recent release, B.L.E.S.S.: 5 Everday Ways to Love Your Neighbor and Change the World, plus a chance to win a copy!
Q&A with Dave and Jon Ferguson
Do you have a writing routine? When/Where do you write?
Jon: Candidly, I write a lot like I did when I was in school. I need a deadline, so when I have a deadline, I get it done. Not early, not late, but on time! I write almost every week for the messages we give in our weekend services. That discipline has helped me consistently write in a very practical way that people can understand and apply. I usually write in my little makeshift office at home. Sometimes I will write at a cafe. Best time is in — early.
Dave: No routine, sometimes early, sometimes late, and I work harder when there’s a deadline.
When are you most productive?
Jon: I am most productive early in the morning after I’ve had 2 or 3 or . . . cups of coffee! I am also most productive after I have had some quiet reflective time with God and have spent some time in scripture.
Dave: 5:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
What do you snack on or drink while writing?
Jon: I am a coffee drinker in the morning and prefer iced tea in the afternoon. Usually not sweetened, unless I happen to be going to Chick-fil-A, then I can’t resist half sweet and half unsweetened.
Dave: Sparkling water and peanuts
How do you overcome writer’s block?
Jon: Step away and go for a run! Nothing like some cardio exercise to get the creative juices flowing.
What is your outlining process?
Jon: I have mostly written with my brother Dave, and our pattern is very similar to how we brainstorm and write our messages at Community. Once we nail down a big idea we begin to outline or put together a framework for the talk or sections/chapters we have to write. Once we have an outline, we will brainstorm ideas, stories, concepts for each section, then assign those sections for one of us to write. We then give each other a week or so to write the sections and then get back to read each other’s drafts, offer feedback, and then write a 2.0 version. We work that process until we are confident in the finished product.
Dave: Have a good Big Idea, add structure and main points, and then outline illustrations, stories, and narrative.
When/Where do you get your best ideas?
Jon: Best ideas usually come from real-life situations — trial and error, conversations with other people. So much of what we write is based on ideas or practices we have lived out in our church setting. We usually write about stuff we’ve already done or put into practice, so we naturally have stories from people who have already experienced it.
Dave: Early in the morning before I get up, late at night, and while running.
Best advice for someone who is just starting out.
Jon: Pick topics that you are passionate about and love to share and figure out a way to keep track of ideas as they come to you. I’m not great at that but wish I would have been more intentional about it when I was younger.
Dave: You can do this if you have 2 of these 3 things:
o A good Big Idea
o If you’re a good writer
o If you have a big platform
Quickfire questions: Jon’s Responses
○ What is the last thing you binge-watched: Wonder Years (forgive me)
○ Favorite book(s): Wounded Healer by Henri Nouwen, EHS by Pete Scazzero, Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by Jon Mark Comer
○ What books are currently on your nightstand: Don’t keep current books there, but I think there is a copy of Purpose-Driven Life on my nightstand right now.
○ Favorite song right now: Goodness of God by Bethel and Make Room by Community Music
○ Favorite thing to order at Starbucks (or wherever you get your coffee/tea fix!): I’m a plain-ole coffee guy for the most part. Occasionally I will get a mocha.
Quickfire questions: Dave’s Responses
o What is the last thing you binge-watched: Ted Lasso
o Favorite book(s): Man’s Search for Meaning
o What books are currently on your nightstand: Jesus and John Wayne
o Favorite song right now: old Van Morrison songs
o Favorite thing to order at Starbucks (or wherever you get your coffee/tea fix!): grande decaf iced mocha with no whip
Enter to win a copy of B.L.E.S.S*
Be sure to catch the video interview with Dave and Jon Ferguson on Wednesday, May 19th at 2:30 PM CT HERE.
More about B.L.E.S.S:
What If You Could Change the World without Changing Your Daily Routine?
When you’ve been transformed by God’s love, you can’t help but want others to experience the same grace and freedom. But how do you share it without scaring them away or offending them? For most Christians, “evangelism” is an intimidating word that suggests handing out tracts to strangers or doing other awkward things.
But what if there was a more organic, more authentic way to share your faith with your friends, neighbors, and coworkers?
Dave and Jon Ferguson have found five simple, straightforward practices that will allow any believer to do just that. And by consistently living them out, you can affect not just individual lives but your entire neighborhood and community—one person at a time.