Lately, Holy Spirit has taken me down a road of re-disovering community. Last week, that road lead me to Carol Kent's Speak Up conference. It's a Christian conference for men and women who are speakers, writers or both. The story on how I ended up there was a "magical Jesus moment" (thank you, Cindy Bultema) and I knew this week was going to hold BIG things.
There's something special about connecting with others who are in the same season or space in their life. I was apprehensive walking into a conference alone, unsure of my place or what to expect ... but God answered my prayers for community, connection and resources on how to actually do this speaking and writing thing.
One of the best reasons to attend a speaker/writer conference is because you get the chance to be with "your people". People who understand what it looks like to balance traveling to speak and kiddos hearts at home or the vulnerability of the writing process. Once I could wave bye-bye to the competitiveness of the whole thing.. it became easy to settle into a position of cheering others on and commiserating in the hard. There was a moment where all the writers divided into groups and we sat around a big table. We were going to read what we wrote .. like OUT LOUD.
I picked the intro of my book to read but have never done something like this before. It's vulnerability on an all new level. As the words started spilling out, fear began to creep in. I survived and the encouragement I received that night, gave me confidence throughout the weekend.
Trust me, if you want to be a speaker/writer ... go find your people. The friendships I formed at the conference, are still in my world today! There's something special about community.
There were these God moments during worship where you could feel it. You know, those hair raising, soul pulling moments of total surrender and power. It was a great weekend to unwind, refocus and connect with God to figure out this whole ministry game plan moving forward.
This is totally an obvious one. I have a binder with 109 pages of resources, from How to Teach the Bible With Clarity to Using the Radio to Build Your Brand. There were a TON of materials to equip me as I walk out these God-given dreams. I just emailed Carol Kent a little note and ended with this "Thank you for leading leaders, procrastinating scaredy cats, and dreamers. You and your team have given us all a safe place to land, grow and strengthen our craft ... while nourishing our spirits. Thank you for speaking truth, confidence, wisdom and life over us all at the conference."
Thank you Carol Kent + team for creating a place for writers and speakers to grow in their faith and knowledge. I walked in alone ... and left with a sisterhood.
Image from 31 Day Create