What I Did Instead of the ACFW Conference

Written By: Timothy Fish Published: 9/23/2007

I would imagine that as I write this in the comfort of my own home, many of the attendees of the 2007 ACFW Conference are leaving the meeting place in Addison. Some may be sitting at DFW or Love Field as they wait for a plane. Those near the area may be on the roads. Based on how excited many of the attendees seemed to be during the days leading up to the event, I would imagine that it is something of a bitter sweet end for many of the mostly women attendees who are headed back to their kids, their husbands, their cats (as one writer indicated).

I did not attend the ACFW Conference. Perhaps someday I will, but this weekend I attended a seminar of a different type. Even now, I am in the process of transferring video that I shot at this seminar to DVD. Unlike the ending of the ACFW Conference, the ending of this seminar is not bitter sweet, rather it is sweet indeed. The reason is that with this seminar, the end of it is only the beginning.

The seminar that I attended took place on the other side of the Metroplex from the ACFW Conference. Fewer people attended this seminar. About thirty people showed up for this seminar and while I was able to sell a few books as a result of this seminar, that was not the reason I attended. Unlike the ACFW Conference which has a stated purpose of helping writers become better writers and to get their manuscripts into the hands of the decision makers in the publishing industry, the seminar I attended had the stated purpose of helping our church to more effectively carry out our mission through the use of the Sunday school.

Donít get me wrong. I enjoy writing. I would like to be a better writer. I would like to meet other writers. I would like to meet agents and editors who are interested in my work. I believe that writing God honoring fiction can be a way of serving the Lord. All of that is true, but my passion is toward my church. Given a choice between doing something that will help to advance my writing career and something that will help our church to do what God would have us to do, the church is going to win out every time, even when a writing conference is no more than an hour away.

I am excited! I think our church can do more than just be a chair in a spiritual game of musical chairs. I want our church to grow because we are reaching people for Christ instead of because people have gotten tired of their old church. I think the seminar that I attended this weekend is the beginning of our church doing more of that than we have in the past!