14 September, 2021

David Faust Marks 25 Years of Weekly Column Writing

by | 28 July, 2021 | 11 comments

By Jim Nieman

Today is David Faust’s 25th anniversary of writing a weekly column focusing on God’s Word and Christian faith.

On this date—July 28, 1996—Faust’s first column appeared in the pages of The Lookout magazine. Since then, a quarter-century has passed and Faust has continued to write a column every week . . . approximately 1,300 in all (that’s one column for every word of this article).

“In a way, what I do isn’t unusual,” Faust says. “Many other preachers and Bible teachers produce Scripture-based lessons week after week, year after year. . . . Putting together my weekly column is a lot like writing a letter to my friends or preparing a sermon for my congregation.”

Faust, 67, began writing the column when he became editor of The Lookout magazine. A few years later, in 1999, Faust left to become senior minister of East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, but incoming Lookout editor Shawn McMullen asked him to continue writing. Over time, Faust’s column transitioned from being “The Editor’s Desk” to becoming a complementary piece—“the Application”—for the weekly Bible lesson, but it has never ceased to be a labor of love.

“Writing has never been my primary vocation,” Faust says, “but I view it as an extension of my ministry—and I’m grateful that my wife, Candy, and my employers over the years have encouraged me to keep writing. For me, writing is a ministry tool, a God-given assignment, an enjoyable hobby, and a bit of hard work all rolled into one. If I didn’t do it . . . I would probably feel some sort of withdrawal.”

‘A NORMAL PART OF MY LIFE’
Faust has developed a methodology for writing his columns.

“The weekly deadlines are unrelenting, but I’m so accustomed to the process that it’s just a normal part of my life,” Faust says. “I grew up on a dairy farm. Dad used to say, ‘No matter what else is happening, the cows have to be milked.’ That’s what writing has been like for me.”

DAVID FAUST

And so, no matter his mood, no matter his role or position (editor, educator, or minister), and no matter his circumstance (working, vacationing, or recovering from illness), he has written the column.

“Writing weekly is a bigger challenge than it may appear at first glance,” says Mark A. Taylor, retired editor of Christian Standard and former publisher of Standard Publishing. Taylor is who hired Faust as editor.

“Newspapers recruit substitute columnists for the weeks their regulars are on vacation. But we’ve never done that with Dave,” Taylor says. “Week after week after week he has produced copy to challenge and encourage and teach. He does it for Christ. He does it for you, his readers who discover insights into God’s Word and God’s will every time you turn to another column he’s written.”

“The discipline has been good for me,” says Faust, “because it compels me to examine my life experiences through the lens of Scripture. Hopefully, readers connect when I describe how Scripture relates to the ups and downs of leading a church, sending kids off to college, celebrating the birth of a grandchild, dealing with a loved one’s disability, or grieving the death of a parent.”

Faust has experienced all those things. He and his wife have three children and several grandchildren. In addition to writing the column and serving as a senior minister and church planter, Faust taught at Cincinnati Christian University and later served as president of that institution from 2002 to 2014. He also was president of the North American Christian Convention in 2006. For the past seven years he has worked as senior associate minister with East 91st, and for the last five years he also has been helping with Connection Pointe Christian Church in Brownsburg, Ind.

SOURCES OF INSPIRATION
“In my own Bible reading, I constantly watch for interesting phrases and application angles.”

He once saw a sign on a truck that said, “Final Mile,” which inspired a column about preparing to die. Another time, a church leader mentioned his congregation’s “stakeholders,” and Faust thought he said his church had “stay colders.” The result was an article about spiritual apathy.

“Over the years I have scribbled article ideas on restaurant napkins, church bulletins, airplane boarding passes, gas station receipts—even on the palm of my hand.”

Faust typically writes the columns on Friday mornings.

“Often, I go to bed on Thursday night telling the Lord, ‘I have no idea what to write about this week!’ Many times, though, I wake up on Friday morning with an idea, and by noon I have written a first draft, which I rewrite several times over the weekend. I try to send the finished manuscript to the editor by midday Monday, and then on Thursday night the whole process starts all over again.”

The resulting columns are clear, concise, and edifying, offering insights into God’s Word and helping increase the readers’ appreciation for it. The columns are accessible to people no matter where they are on their faith journey.

“David has been graced with a God-given gift of making normal circumstances, nature, and experiences applicable to the Scripture text being studied,” says Ron Macy, shepherd/leader of the Seekers class at Christ’s Church in Mason, Ohio, where Faust served as an interim minister many years ago. Macy says Faust’s well-crafted columns are filled with ideas to stimulate the reader. Faust’s column is a key reason his class uses the The Lookout-branded curriculum.

CHALLENGING . . . BUT ENCOURAGING
“I’m privileged to be the first to read his column each week,” says Christian Standard editor Michael C. Mack. “My comments back to him are usually something like ‘excellent as usual.’”

“Dave’s applications never fail to help participants do more than just read and listen to God’s Word, but to ‘do what it says,’” says Mack, quoting James 1:22. “Countless people have received God’s blessing because of Dave.”

“I don’t mind challenging people, but I try to maintain an encouraging tone,” Faust says. “I never want my readers to be bored, confused, or discouraged because of what I have written.

“Before preaching a sermon or writing an article, I usually ask, ‘If I were on the receiving end of this message, would it grab and hold my attention? How does this biblical truth apply to me, and why does it matter?’”

TRYING TO STAY AHEAD
During his years as editor, Faust worked with “one of my heroes of the faith, Orrin Root . . . a godly, studious man” who was a column writer for The Lookout.

“When I visited him in the hospital a few days before he died at age 98, Mr. Root spoke from his bed and told me, ‘Don’t worry, Dave, I won’t miss my deadline!’ He had written his columns four months ahead, so after he died, we continued to publish his work until a new lesson writer [Sam Stone] could take over.

“Altogether, Mr. Root wrote his weekly column for 54 consecutive years, and that’s a record I doubt anyone will ever match. After 25 years, I’m not even halfway there!”

Call it a coincidence, if you like, but would you care to guess how far ahead David Faust is in his column writing?

To help celebrate David Faust’s 25th anniversary, starting tomorrow and over the next six days, July 29–Aug. 3, we will be sharing some of his favorite columns, a new favorite posted each day. Of course, we also post a new “Application” column by Faust each Monday to complement The Lookout “Bible Study” prepared by Mark Scott and “Discovery” questions prepared by Michael C. Mack. All of these features are located in the “+The Lookout” section of ChristianStandard.com.

Jim Nieman serves as managing editor of Christian Standard.

<a href="https://christianstandard.com/author/admin/" target="_self">Christian Standard</a>

Christian Standard

Contact us at cs@christianstandardmedia.com

11 Comments

  1. Gene Barron

    Hey Dave, congratulations. I’ve told you before that I think you are great writer and love reading your stuff. Blessings.

  2. Ross Pepper

    David, when I see your name attached to an article I have never missed picking it up and reading what you have to say. And the read is always a blessing. Thank you for using the gift, for making the most of it, for your diligence and hard work in completing what you start. The harvest of your work has enriched all who have read your work, I am confident. May God give you many more.

  3. Candy Faust

    I may be a little biased (because I’m your wife!) but I love your writing.

    God has gifted you with a wonderful ability to communicate. Your articles are always interesting, inspiring, and challenging. You help readers understand God’s Word more clearly, and you have a unique way of helping people apply God’s truths to everyday life. Congratulations on 25 years of writing! Keep up the good work!

  4. Karen Faust

    Many of Dave’s columns have been about the family farm and family events. One year for Christmas my oldest son (Dave’s nephew) collected all the columns that Dave had written about the family and the farm and gave them to his grandparents (Dave’s parents) for Christmas. It was a blessing for both the giver and the recipients.

  5. Victor Knowles

    I stand amazed at the ability of Dave to consistently hit a home run with every article. Nobody does that in baseball, but he does so every time he steps up to the plate to write. Hats off to the GOAT (greatest of all time) in hitting walk-off winning home runs week after week after week. He has proven that the pen is mightier than the Louisville Slugger.

  6. Mark Jones

    Dave, Gail and I are finishing up a second of your Weekly Devotions books that we read together in the mornings. Thanks so much for your insight, wisdom, and grace. I appreciate you so much!

  7. Danielle Piper

    Thank you, Dave, for your heart for people and for using your gift of Biblical exegesis to encourage us all to be our best selves. Miss you both and still speak of the excellent Bible studies under which my faith blossomed. Congrats and thank you!

  8. Tom Claibourne

    David, I echo all the wonderful compliments in the article, and in the reader comments. God has gifted you abundantly with the ability to communicate God’s truth in a clear, interesting, challenging, and applicable way, whether you are writing, preaching or teaching. Thank you for using and developing that gift faithfully. I can’t imagine doing what you have done on a weekly basis! I especially appreciated Victor’s baseball analogy since my son and I will always remember watching a pinch-hit, walk-off home run from behind home plate in Cincinnati alongside you and Victor. We all hope you will continue regularly in the “line-up”, and if you ever do retire (say it ain’t so!), will even pinch-hit some long after that. Another “high five” to you, just like we did that night in Cincinnati.

  9. Anne Robinson Hughes

    Thank you to Standard Publishing , editors of Christian Standard, The Lookout, and all others who continue to print magazines, lessons and books. The written word can go to many millions more and be just as strong and effective as other means. Much appreciation also to those writers who study, ponder, write and re-write to put their messages into the editors’ hands. It’s a whole team effort that spreads the Word of God to many corners of the world.

  10. Rob Tuttle

    I have learned which writers I have singled out over the years. [Those] that have a gift to draw me into the realities and practical application of the Scriptures. I am one who collects his writings.

  11. Adrian Smith

    Hello Pastor Faust:

    Your teachings and writing are very compelling and thought provoking. Your teachings remind me that God is always with me and He is always working everything out for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Thanks for your encouragement to write and preach God’s Word. I am grieving the loss and upgrade of my mother from labor to refreshment in Heaven. Though I know that physical death is a part of life and she is still yet alive in the presence of God, it is still hard not having her with me and my children. I believe God was using her though to prepare me because when she was not feeling particularly well she kept saying to me, “Son, stay with God!” Let Him lead you in the paths He has prepared for you.”

    My grandmother would always say as well, “I’m not going to be here always! Keep holding on to God’s unchanging hand. I find comfort in remembering those words and in what my mom and grandparents taught me about the LORD. He will never leave nor forsake His children. I thank God for you and your wife Candy as I can tell that she is a wife of noble character. God Bless and keep you and may God’s grace shine upon you.

    Grace & Peace
    Adrian Smith

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest News

CCCB and SLCC in Merger Discussions

Central Christian College of the Bible and St. Louis Christian College are investigating “the possible benefits of a merger or similar formal arrangement between the two institutions,” according to announcements at the Missouri colleges’ websites.

A Loving Sacrifice: Pastor Donates Kidney to Church Member

Pastor Jack Coultas, of Park Grove Christian Church in Deepwater, Mo., encourages people to “love dangerously”—just as Jesus did. It’s a self-sacrificing message Coultas can preach boldly because he was able to live it out. Early last year, Coultas donated one of his kidneys to a church member.

Follow Us