Pastors and ministers looking for ways to expand their ministry reach through the written word now have a place to learn the craft at the popular Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.

The May 20-24, 2012, conference at LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center has added a workshop track for pastors and ministers, which will be led by Alton Gansky, director of the annual event. Gansky, a full-time writer, served as a pastor for 22 years and has authored 40 books.

The 25-year-old conference is one of the largest Christian writing conferences in the country and allows experienced and novice writers the opportunity to interact with editors, agents and writers in addition to attending workshops, classes and practicums in a wide array of creative disciplines.

The conference covers most areas of writing including novels, nonfiction books, screenplays, visual media, devotions, freelance, children’s material, magazine articles and Internet content.

The new workshop track for ministers will teach how to make greater use of sermons and Bible studies by giving material new life in print form, Gansky said.

“A great deal of mental and spiritual energy goes into a sermon or teaching series,” Gansky said. “Through the written word, that work can reach beyond the front door of the church and into the world.”

Gansky will teach a four-part continuing class:
1. How writing can expand your influence.
2. How to turn sermons and Bible studies into articles.
3. How to turn sermons and Bible studies into books.
4. Mastering the craft — what every minister needs to know about the craft of writing.

“Writing has always been part of God’s plan to spread the gospel,” Gansky said. “The apostle Paul was a writer. God used Paul to write half of the books in the New Testament. Writing remains a powerful and enduring way of touching lives and changing the world.”

The Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference is a collaboration between LifeWay Conference Centers and Camps and Gansky Communications.

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