Thursday, September 29, 2016

Two Keys to a Powerful Event Part 2


In last week’s post I talked about a retreat that I led a couple of weeks ago in Lake Tahoe. (Not a bad place to suffer for Jesus. Check out my back drop…)img_1902img_1903Not so hard to bring women into communion with God in a place like this, right?! But I digress…

The event planners’ vision was Key #1 to making this a fabulous event, and today I want to share the second essential element.

Key #2–Prayer

The planning team had a group of about 10 women who started praying almost 9 months prior to the event. They had a prayer plan that included praying weekly together for common themes like unity for the planning team, common vision for the planning team, the retreat center, the details, the speaker, the hearts of the women who were coming….

I spent time with many of the women on the prayer team, and they were clearly prayer warriors, women who had cultivated the discipline and joy of prayer in their lives for years.

The whole team truly ascribed to this belief– “Prayer isn’t just the preparation for the work. Prayer is the work.”

I have to tell you, as a do-er rather than a be-er, I’ve had to be won around to believing this truth, but this event strengthened my conviction of the crucial nature of prayer even more.

As speakers, how can we encourage event planners to embrace these 2 keys– vision & prayer?

Well, it’s tricky. We want to be respectful of their authority and position while gently guiding them to create events with real substance, so I’ve been thinking about ways I can weave these keys into my interactions with event planners. Here are some ways I want to plant the seeds for vision and prayer in the future.

  1. Ask thought-provoking questions. I always start the conversation with an event planner by saying, “Tell me about your vision for this event. What are the outcomes God has put on your heart?” More often than not, she flounders a little at this question. The question itself is food for thought, though. From now on, I plan to follow up by telling planners about this event and suggesting that they write a vision statement for the event with their team that they can send to me. It’s true that their clarity of vision will help me as a speaker, but it will help them too. 🙂
  2. Be the model of prayer. In the past, I’ve asked for attendees names so that I can pray close to the event. Now, I’m going to ask them for prayer requests in the first conversation. Again, I can recount what I saw at the Tahoe event as an example of why I’m more determined to pray. Hopefully, it will be contagious!
  3. Offer extra resources. On my “For Event Planners” page (If you don’t have one, take a look at mine and add one to your website today. Seriously. Best, most time-saving idea I’ve ever implemented!) I have an article about increasing attendance. I’m going to look for some others that I can add that emphasize vision and prayer to make a whole section of excellent articles for event planners. Bonus for them and a way for me to softly influence their event.

Now I’d love to hear from you! What keys have you seen implemented to create great events? How have you been able to gently guide event planners to be intentional about their event?


PS. I’m sure most of you are like me and hate the whole ministry and money tangle. Just wanted to share an article by Jon Acuff that I read today that is SO HELPFUL and provides a script for those awkward moments when it’s time to talk about your speaker fee. Click here to read it.

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Do You Want Hands On Experience


Note: The application process for this internship is closed. If you’re interested, we’ll be looking for a new set of interns in 8-12 months. We’ll announce it here, so please apply next time. 🙂

I’ve gotten the best training from working with women in the trenches in every professional area of my life. When I was teaching, I learned much more from other mentor teachers than I ever learned in a college class. In ministry, I’ve learned the most by working alongside other women in ministry with more experience than I have.

That’s why I’m particularly excited to offer hands-on training to other women in ministry! Are you called to speak and write? Cheri Gregory and I are seeking interns to help us with our new Grit ‘n’ Grace podcast. It’s growing, and we’re quickly seeing that we can’t do it all ourselves.

internsHere’s what’s NOT required:

  • Prior experience or knowledge of podcasting.
  • Living near us. Work will be done remotely. (Cheri and I actually live on opposite coasts. Yeah for technology!)

Here’s what IS required:

  • A deep love for Jesus and His people.
  • Reliability.
  • Work ethic.

For more information about the podcast itself, .

Please email Cheri at  for all the details about the internships and application information, but you’ll receive top-notch training for speakers and writers in return for hours worked. I hope that I’ll be able to connect with some of you!

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Gift of a Voice


I’m home! I’m home! Or at least my body is here, but part of my heart permanently resides in INDIA. Yes, many of you guessed correctly. Kathy Scott is the winner from Facebook, and Aimee Kidd is the winner from Instagram. Congratulations to the winners of a beautiful silk scarf!

My brain is pretty mushy from all the travel, so today is going to be short and sweet. I can’t miss the opportunity to remind you, though… As American women, we’re blessed to have a voice. Respect. Standing in our communities. Rights. For most women in other parts of the world, that’s not their reality.

I had the chance to visit Mission India literacy projects last week, and I can confidently tell you that they’re changing the world for myriads of women. Becoming literate is restoring their voice. As Kamala, the founder and developer of these programs said, “First they gain self-esteem. Then they gain confidence. Finally, they gain self-respect.”

Those are the essential keys to a woman’s voice– knowing who she is as God’s creation. Standing in the value that’s embedded in her.

2016-04-25 17.33.54The women in the picture are gaining the voice we so often take for granted. (And check out the little boy in the front! That kid is going places!!) I’m so proud of their leaders, their teachers, and the women themselves for the hard work it’s taking to create change– a change that will be passed on to the next generation in the picture.

You might be wondering how you can be part of a woman in India gaining a voice. And I’m DYING to tell you! Hang in there until August when Proverbs 31 Ministries will give you opportunities to make an impact half way around the world right from your hometown.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Where in the World is Amy Carroll?

If you want to know… to go like my Facebook page and make a guess. It’s a little mystery with a prize attached! (Make sure to find the update with the picture clues. :))

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