Friends! Any of y’all interested in writing or speaking? Pray about attending next year’s She Speaks Conference, hosted by Proverbs 31 Ministries (www.proverbs31.org). I had so much fun at the most recent one on July 21st and 22nd, in Charlotte, NC, I just have to share some tidbits with you…
Whether you’ve written a book or are contemplating writing one, or have been speaking various places and think God is calling you to do more speaking, She Speaks is the conference to attend. (7/26-28 are the dates for 2018.)
Due to some perfecto peer pressure a/k/a strong suggestions from my friend, Liz, I signed up for this year’s conference. Not knowing a soul except for Liz Curtis Higgs who would be teaching two workshops and speaking for one of the Main Sessions, I prayed I’d meet some fun friends. God was gracious.
The morning of registration, I immediately met two gals, one from Wheaton, IL and one from Naples, FL. We were all three newbies. We had crazy fun connections and promptly agreed to meet up for every meal, sharing tidbits from our workshops.
The challenge of the conference was which workshop to sign up for as each one sounded better than the next. Just as an example, here are the ones I took:
“Creating Biblical Content to Engage Your Reader”
“Storytelling on the Page and the Stage”
“Creating a Message That is Powerful, Memorable, and Life Changing”
“How a Small-Time Blogger Can Actually Get a Book Contract”
“60 Things You Can Do to Become a Better Speaker”
“Study Strategies for Teaching Scripture”
The above are a glimpse of the many, many, many workshops offered, plus each attendee had the opportunity to attend Four Main Sessions over the two days with these top-notch speakers:
Pastor Chris Hodges
Chris kicked off the conference Friday morning with a powerful message from Exodus 28 and 29, called “Dress for Success.” His connection with the Proverbs 31 gals is a sweet one: One of his children is married to one of Lysa TerKeurst’s children.
Chrystal Evans Hurst is a fireball like her Dad, Tony Evans, and her sister, Priscilla Shirer. Chrystal equipped us Friday night to take care of ourselves in order to be better used by God. Her stories of biking across the Golden Gate Bridge numerous times were priceless. Some trips were more successful than others, as in “let’s not bleed to death in the process.” (A trip over the handlebars brought about that illustration.)
Sometimes we need to slow down! Rest is a form of worship!
Chrystal also gifted us with several Scriptures, my favorite being:
She closed with, “Be true to your journey, it is enough.” Amen.
Whitney Capps was a wonderful wake-up call Saturday morning after many of us had had a sleepless night due to the power going out in our area. Hotel rooms defined dark and became stuffy hot without the air conditioning.
Whitney remarked that Satan is always trying to thwart her efforts for her messages and this time was no exception… Seems a snake crawled down into one of the substations and nibbled on some high voltage equipment, causing damage enough to knock out the electricity in a huge grid most of the night. This included our hotels plus 14,000 other households. Come on, now!
Here’s the pic the local paper ran:
Good news is the conference went on as planned, coffee was at the ready, and Whitney preached a meaningful message on “Six Reasons Your Church Needs You.” Thank you, Lord.
Liz Curtis Higgs closed out the conference Saturday night with a bang, working our tear ducts overtime from laughter one minute, to moving testimonials the next. A few of my favorite quotes from her are:
“Minister to those who are in front of you. Don’t count numbers, because everyone counts to God.”
On writing, Liz encouraged us with, “If He knows every word we are going to say, surely He knows every word we’re going to write.” And I LOVE this: “You don’t have to write THE best book, you just have to write YOUR best book.”
Obviously, take-home value was at a premium.
One of many bonuses we attendees received was the opportunity to sign up for cd’s of other workshops we weren’t able to attend. Incredible resources!
Saturday afternoon I rode up the elevator with a gal who had attended this conference the previous year. She said this year’s conference was so different. I was astonished because the number of workshops and their variety causes one to wonder how you could keep changing it up?
The brainchild of Lysa TerKeurst, She Speaks ran like a top. Lysa’s beyond blessed to have such a sweet and compassionate team who somehow took all seven hundred of us under their wings!
Here are a few other workshops I also wanted to take but couldn’t squeeze into my two days:
“Writing a Bio That Gets You Hired”
“The Verses That Keep Me Up at Night: The Risks and Responsibilities of the Christian Writer”
“Creating Your Book Proposal from a Marketing Perspective”
“Guarding Your Capacity to Pace Your Race”
“Finding Soul Rest in the Midst of Busyness”
“How to Write When You Have Kids”
And there were more!
Another bonus of She Speaks was the amazing worship offered before each of the Main Sessions. Worship was led by the worship team from Elevation Church in Charlotte. (www.elevationworship.com )
They were incredible, opening the conference with my current favorite song: What a Beautiful Name. Another song they sang I learned they also wrote: O Come to the Altar. You can imagine the effect of 700+ gals singing their hearts out. The Holy Spirit filled the room to its’ brim.
One exciting discovery was learning about the “First 5” app available FOR FREE to us all. (Go to: www.first5.org ) Many gals I met were familiar with this app and were “regulars”. Its’ premise is we all need to plant our faces in Scripture the first five minutes of every day.
The First 5 teachers and writers taught different workshops. It was a blast to meet them and hear from them up close. They were most gracious in sharing their various methods, all of these gals wise beyond their years.
We attendees also had the opportunity to sign up to meet with publishers and agents. These were offered on a first-come basis.
She Speaks had about twenty-five people (publishers and agents) to choose from, of which I had to pick five, and of those five, they’d pick two. How they orchestrated all of this made my head spin. We each had fifteen minutes for our meetings which evaporated like fifteen seconds. This was an invaluable experience.
At one point in the worship, as the conference was about to close, I thought, “What if all seven hundred of us goes home, ready to be used by God for God to reach so many for the Kingdom? What if?” That’s my prayer for all of us and for any of you considering such an opportunity.
‘Til next time!