I’ve had several great writing experiences. Almost all of them have taught me something about the ministry and business realities of authoring.
My favorite opportunity so far has to do with EFCA Today, the official magazine (now online only) of the Evangelical Free Church of America. In particular, editor Diane McDougall has been really great to work with.
The relationship with EFCA Today started in 2013 while I was stationed in North Chicago at Navy Base Great Lakes as an instructor. I was attending Libertyville Evangelical Free Church at the time and the church was going through a name change to CrossLife. I thought, “Instant article!” And indeed I was correct. I pitched the article idea to Ms. McDougall and she liked it. That was published in 2013.
At the time, I didn’t know how to develop relationships with editors. Keeping in touch with Diane didn’t even cross my mind. Thankfully, it crossed hers. In 2015, I got an interesting email from the secretary of CrossLife. In the email, Diane was attempting to reach me.
Truth be told, I was terrified! I thought maybe something had gone wrong with the first article. Maybe someone was offended by it or had discredited my work. Much to my surprise, she was assigning me another article! What wonderful news!
I completed that article, about a lay-leader-turned-church planter, in December 2015. The article was recently published electronically, as the print edition of the magazine has been discontinued. Lay leadership is something I’m passionate about, so it was easy to get interested in the assignment.
My biggest takeaway from working with Diane has been tightening up my writing. I’ve learned not to use ten words when five will do. It might pay to write longer for fiction, but for article writing, tight and concise is the key. I hope I continue to develop this trait.
Even if I don’t work with Diane again, I will be forever in her debt for what she taught me. So far, it’s been my favorite assignment…not to mention the best paying!