Do you get stuck when writing to your ministry partners? Are you wanting a new format? Maybe it has been awhile since you wrote, and you are not sure where to start.
Here is how the Apostle Paul wrote his letters:
Opening. Since there were no envelopes in Paul’s time, the name of the author and the person for whom the letter was intended were included in the letter itself. Paul also identifies any co-senders in the opening. These were usually fellow Christian missionaries. Paul greets his readers with “grace and peace,” combining both the Greek (“grace”) and Hebrew (“peace”) forms.
Thanksgiving. In Hellenistic-style letters, the opening was usually followed by a prayer. Paul follows this format, usually stating the main theme of the letter. He may pray for their well-being for the future and praise them for their growth in faith since he last visited with them. Paul does not include the thanksgiving in two of his letters, Galatians, and Timothy.
Body. The body, or main part of Paul’s letters, is divided into two main sections. The first covers the doctrinal teachings Paul wishes expressed. In the second part, Paul offers encouragement for Christian living based on the teachings. The general principles in the Christian living sections are still used today as the basis for Christian morality.
Conclusion. The final words in Paul’s letters usually include some personal news about him or greetings to specific people in the community. Sometimes Paul includes a note that the conclusion was written “in my own hand,” indicating that the rest of the letter was dictated to a scribe. He would write the conclusion in his own hand and sign his name to assure the letter’s legitimacy.