3 Ways to become a retreat speaker

This morning I finish speaking at a great weekend retreat.

Honestly, I have spoke on hundreds of retreats, camps and conferences over the last 17 years and I am so humbled God still gives me these opportunities.

I may have given close to a thousand, if not 1500 messages over the years. That’s just crazy to think about! So often I ask, ‘Why me God?’

I really never thought that I would have all these opportunities, but God had other plans I guess.

My first time every as a retreat speaker was in 1996 and I definitely caught the bug to be a retreat speaker way back then.

Pretty frequently I receive emails and messages from people asking me how I got started and how they can get asked to be a retreat speaker. And, I get quite asking me about communication stuff. Honestly, it’s really fun! I love, LOVE, talking about preaching, speaking and teaching! And, it’s at the point that I’ve thought about starting a coaching group. Well see!

But, if you’ve ever asked God to give you opportunities to speak and teach at retreats and conferences, here is a bit of advice for you.

3 Ways to become a retreat speaker

1. Be faithful where you are. Stop trying to leave your place, wherever that is. If God has given you people to teach every week at your youth ministry or church, teach them. Stop thinking about doing it at a retreat or a conference.

I’ll be crazy honest with you, it is awesome being the ‘speaker’! But, it’s also crazy scary and it’s a HUGE responsibility! The first 5 or 6 years of speaking, I didn’t respect the responsibility like I should have. I really wanted to speak and so I tried way too hard and when I did get asked, I was always thinking of the next place.

That’s just wrong! It wasn’t until I was asked to speak at a very large student ministry conference that the weight of the responsibility hit me. I was back stage, about to go in front of a few thousand students and leaders and it was like God dropped a bucked of bricks on me. The weight and privilege of teaching God’s word hit me and I was just crazy humbled.

I know I tried too hard back then. I just wanted people to like my speaking. Again, just wrong.

Stop dreaming of speaking other places and just be faithful where you are.

2. Stop pimping yourself. I know we live in the world where we’re suppose to build platforms, but I think there is a difference between what kind of platform you build.

So often, we’re trying to build our own kingdom. We try to increase our blog presence, our Facebook friends and Twitter followers. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, we just have to be careful  to not let the lore of building our kingdom overcome what we should be playing a part in…building God’s Kingdom.

Again, stop trying so hard.

3. Get around other speakers. This was probably the biggest help for my speaking, outside of actually speaking. I spent a lot of time sitting down with people who were at the place I wanted to be. I brought a legal pad and I just asked questions and took tons of notes.

If you can’t sit face to face, watch them. Take notes. And read everything you can on speaking.

This year I’ll speak less than I have in the last 5 years and I’m great with that! Why? Because I have the AMAZING Privilege of speaking at Thrive Community Church on Sunday’s!

If you ever want to talk speaking, let me know! I would love to help!

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One thought on “3 Ways to become a retreat speaker

  1. I teach a Sunday School class and also a Wednesday night pre-youth class. I love it. I have been asked to speak at a women’s Bible Study and I am about to have a retreat myself called Coffee Break. I want to become a speaker, that more people will ask me to speak. After reading your blog, I realize I am speaking, God will open the doors for me when I am the one who needs to speak. Until then I will be the one to listen.
    By the way I am an Administrative Assistant for the Guadalupe Baptist Association. My retreat will be on office procedures.

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