Last weekend, I spoke for a retreat that was one of my top five favorite events in which I’ve ever participated. From beginning to end, it was a powerful, life-transforming time.
It has become a joke with my Proverbs 31 sisters that “I wish I had women crying at the altar” at my events. We have speakers like that on our team–women with a stirring testimony and the gift of evangelism. I’m not that speaker.
I’ve mostly made peace with that fact. Just like I want you to embrace the speaker you’re created to be rather than than the speaker you wish you were, I try to extend that grace to myself too. I’m more of a teacher than an evangelist, so tears aren’t the normal response to my messages.
This event was different, though. From the opening notes of the worship team, the presence of God was evident, filling the room. And there were tears. Copious tears–even after the first session that never inspires tears.
What was happening?
By the end of the weekend, the women were actually begging me to let them stop crying. That made me laugh! (A little sick–I know.)
I know it wasn’t me, though. I didn’t rewrite the messages to be more emotional. I didn’t add stories to manipulate feelings. I didn’t work to evoke tears.
God was powerfully at work in hearts that came to the event open to Him, and it was all because of the event planners. They implemented 2 keys that created an event where the power of God was unleashed.
Key #1– Strong Vision
Before I even had the first call with the event planners, Karen and Sheryl, they sent me a copy of their vision statement for the event. It was clear and detailed. The bottom line was that they wanted a retreat where every woman who attended would personally hear the voice of God.
I don’t think I’ve ever had event planners be so intentional about their vision.
When we talked, they carefully questioned me about my messages, selected several topics, and took them back to the team to pray over before choosing. It was important to them that my messages facilitate their desired outcome. During the course of the weekend, it was obvious that every moment was planned with the end in mind. The planning team put together a weekend with both teaching and silence so that women could hear from God.
Come back for Part 2 next week when I’ll share the second key along with how we as speakers can help less experienced event planners to use these two keys to create events that change people’s lives.