Trainee Baptist Minister's new book Introduces Children to Romans
A trainee Baptist minister has pooled his creative writing talent, experiences as a Christian and the help of a friend to pen an evangelistic children's story based on the book of Romans.
The Roman Road is Matt Wright's first book, a fictional story with a different Scripture verse in each chapter. It tells the adventures of 12-year-old Sam and another boy called Maximus, who Sam meets after he starts reading the Bible he received for his birthday.
The story draws from the book of Romans, which explains the fallen state of humanity, what Jesus has done for us and how we can respond.
'I've always liked those verses and was excited to think how they could be turned into a story,' says Matt, 28, the minister in training at Lister Hill Baptist Church, Leeds. Inspiration came from a variety of sources.
The two main characters are actually based on two teenagers from a youth group he used to run in Leeds, close friends who went on an exciting faith journey together.
Then there is Matt's own faith journey - making a commitment when young but drifting away from the church. The Roman Road is aimed at 9 - 11 year olds.
'The sole purpose of it is to share Jesus with young readers who need to know him', explains Matt.
'I made an initial commitment to Jesus when I was really young but didn't really understand it and didn't last long as a Christian.'I was 22 when I finally understood what he'd done for me after a long time away from church and I guess I'm hoping that young readers of the book will 'get' what Jesus has done for them, and that the book will help them know him from a young age.'
There is also his education. Matt studied English Language with creative writing at university, but had taken a break from writing after graduating.
'Writing had become a bit of a chore, but when God gave me the idea for The Roman Road something within me told me that I had to finish it, and try and get it published.'
Along the way he met graphic designer, Claire Zillwood, when he and wife Rachel were helping a Swaythling Baptist church in Southampton set up a Messy Church back in 2010. Claire was one of the helpers - and went on to illustrate The Roman Road.
'When I told her I was writing a story and what is was about she was really interested. She was literally a Godsend!'
Matt studied Mission and Evangelism at Cliff College and although he has a Methodist background he became a Baptist by conviction a few years ago when employed as a church-based youth worker.
He is currently studying at Northern Baptist Learning Community. 'Evangelism is my biggest passion and seeing lives transformed when people receive Jesus is my greatest joy,' says Matt.
'I hope The Roman Road is read by as many people as possible, that they may know what Jesus has done for them and my prayer is that God will use this to welcome young people into His family.'
The Roman Road is available from Moorleys, Amazon and Matt's blog allthewrightwords.wordpress.com/