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…)Not 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.
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.
- 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. 🙂
- 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!
- 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.