Sus Helps with the Tell a Better Story Conference

The room buzzed with conversations. Eighty-three writers gathered for our second writers’ conference, Tell a Better Story. When Leslie rose to teach, everyone quieted, focusing on her words.

Why Stories?

The best way to connect with another person is by sharing what God is doing in our minds and hearts. We learned from our instructor how to recognize the story God is writing in our lives.

She taught us writing techniques to share our story with others, bringing glory to God.

Leslie Leyland Fields

Our speaker was Lesley Leyland Fields, instructor, speaker, and author.

One exercise I appreciated was when Leslie asked us to meditate on Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. These are the familiar verses about God appointing “a time for every purpose under heaven.” For me, God whispered of forgiveness, of trusting Him as our children “left the nest,” and of letting go of my concerns. We unlocked many stories from this passage.

(If you’re interested, much of the content for the conference is in Leslie’s book coming in April, Your Story Matters: Finding, Writing, and Living the Truth of Your Life.)

The Impact of Tell a Better Story

For years, I’ve been working with others to host annual writers’ events for our Cru staff. In January, we offered the Tell a Better Story conference to Cru staff and to other Christian writers.

One author wrote:

The event was life-changing. I not only learned valuable tips for making my writing more compelling but also learned from Leslie how to delve even further beneath the surface. Of course, the chance to see writing friends and make new friends brought me joy!

It was a privilege to motivate and equip these influencers for the cause of Christ. Thank you for praying for the team and for me as we put this conference together. We praise God for His blessing and guidance.

Judy Douglass introduces her friend, Leslie Leyland Fields.

Judy Douglass, the wife of Cru’s president, sponsored the conference. She wrote this thank you to the committee and all the volunteers:

The conference was a total success. People loved it. Now many of our staff–and guests–will be better equipped to tell their own stories and the stories of what God is doing around the world. Your good work will contribute to the spread of the gospel.

Thank you for being available, for joyful spirits, for doing what needed to be done. Be rewarded with the assurance that God did a good work through you–and I trust in you as well.

I‘ve been working under Judy since 2009. She has always encouraged me in my blogging and in helping our staff have more of an impact online. She wrote a specific and encouraging thank you to me “for continuing vision and tireless efforts to engage more and invite more writers.”

I enjoyed my role as the emcee.

This year we opened the conference to other Christian writers. Eight guests joined us. Two missionaries from Wycliffe and Pioneers attended. Published authors and starting-out writers came from Orlando and from Connecticut, Michigan, Washington, Alaska, and elsewhere. I’m gathering feedback from our attendees so we have fresh ideas for the next conference in two years.

What’s Next?

God’s role in bringing all the various details, and people, together was so evident and He was glorified. The Lord spoke to me through the conference that He has called me to equip and to promote Cru’s writers even more. I’m excited about the many ideas I have to give them greater visibility for their ministries.

Writers motivate readers to consider the claims of Christ. They encourage them to grow in evangelism and discipleship. Creative and effective writing are powerful. We have the message people are longing to hear in this troubled world.

Sharing God’s story to the world,


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