Have you ever had the privilege of working on a project where you saw the hand of God behind the scenes? Sus and a team of Cru staff labored for months to host the first-ever Cru writers’ conference. Leading up to the Called to Write conference on March 8th, we experienced many spiritual battles resisting our efforts. Despite these, God’s role in bringing all the various details together was so evident and He was glorified.
Responses to Called to Write
More than two dozen Cru staff worked behind the scenes to pull everything together: to give three talks, to present at a dozen workshops, and more. Fifty-seven staff attended (even from out-of-state) for a full day with other staff interested in writing as a ministry. We designed the conference to encourage them and to help them learn skills to take their writing to the next level. We gave them a place to connect with other writers and with writing opportunities within Cru. Everyone was enthusiastic about the event.
Mick, the graphic artist and photographer on our team, told us March 8th was his best-ever day on Cru staff! He said: “On the day of the conference, responsibility, conversation, variety, creativity, inspiration, and completion in equal parts made this day truly satisfying. What a wonderful gift in my 27th year on staff.”
One of our main speakers was Judy Douglass, wife of the president of Cru. She told us the conference “exceeded her expectations” and then wrote us an email the next day:
“Everyone enjoyed it, learned so much, met new people, was inspired to write, gained new insights into who God made them and ways He might use them.
“It was comfortable and relaxed but basically on time. A good schedule. There was a great balance of teaching/instruction and reflecting on the writing life.
“Thank you so much for your hard work, creativity, follow-through–and obviously prayer and dependence on God. Get some rest, and enjoy the thanks you will be receiving.”
The Impact of Called to Write
Sus has been working closely with Cru bloggers since 2009. About twenty bloggers attended the conference. Sus presented two specialized workshops: on photo editing skills and on design features for blogs to help these staff bloggers be found in the vast digital ocean of the Internet.
Another 29 conferees write for various ministries within Cru, such as the JESUS Film, and our ministries to women, to students and to professors. The workshops that appealed to them included, for example, how to gather material and how to focus on the main idea in their writing.
Creative and effective writing on the Internet is a powerful way to motivate readers to consider the claims of Christ or to be involved in evangelism, discipleship, and ministry.
After Called to Write
Our conference team is already preparing monthly training and critiquing events for the writers to continue to connect and grow. These will likely be smaller groups at our headquarters here in Orlando. We also hope to have speaker and workshop videos from the conference available soon to share with all Cru staff on Sus’ blog, eQuipping for eMinistry. At minimum, we’re considering doing a writers’ conference every odd year in the spring. We’ll continue the BAM event for writers every even year in the summer.
Thank you to many of you who prayed for Sus and the team as we put this conference together. We praise God for His blessing and guidance. It was a privilege to motivate and equip these influencers for the cause of Christ.
Thank you for coming alongside us to help our Cru staff members minister everyday around the world to those who are without Christ. You share in the blessing of working with these godly Cru missionary staff and in rejoicing over what God is doing in people’s hearts and lives through Cru’s writers. We have the message that people are longing to hear in this troubled world.
NOTE: If you’re interested, Mick shared 18 photos from the conference in this Flickr album.