Reader Question 1
It was so nice to see your questions popping into my email box this week. This Q & A series may spur some of your own, so keep ’em coming! My email is [email protected] I’ll make this an open-ended series until we run out of questions.
Here’s the first question..
I am a new Christian Speaker and Author. I am a Christian of 5 years, who has been intentional about following God for the past 2 years. I am 45 years old.
There is no doubt in my mind that God is leading me to write and speak. He created me with natural talents for both, and He has given me many examples of His power to share with others.
My question is how to put myself out there to speak in venues other than my own church? I find it difficult to “convince” others I have a firm grounding in my faith that Jesus is Lord, God is Our Father and His Spirit lives in me. Others who hear I have had a late in life conversion experience want some tangible evidence that I am true to my word! ~Julie
I found this an interesting question. I think there are actually 2 questions embedded within the one. The one I’ll reword and handle first is–Do I need to be spiritually mature to be a speaker?
My short answer is yes. I believe spiritual maturity is very important for a speaker, and for me, one of the greatest indicators for maturity is knowing that God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways higher than our ways. When you listen to spiritually immature people express themselves, there’s usually lots of opinion and overly-high esteem for themselves. A spiritually mature person is marked by humility and a high value on scripture.
Having said all that, there’s not always a direct correlation between the number of years you’ve been a Christian and your spiritual maturity. I’ve known people who have been believers for decades who are very immature in their faith. These are people who haven’t invested in the spiritual disciplines or much self-discipline.
Conversely, I can think of two personal friends who became Christians as adults who, because of their passion and discipline, grew into maturity with shocking speed. I was personally convicted to see what God can do with a life that’s completely surrendered to Him.
Julie, if you have surrendered and matured quickly, I would say you’re qualified. Not only that, but you have a very unique platform. You have rare insight into how God works in an adult’s life not only to save but to transform. That’s powerful stuff for you to share!
Since you are young in spiritual years, this scripture immediately popped to mind when I read your question. I hope it encourages you! (Claire the wonder-intern made it especially for you!)
The second question is this– How much information is enough when we’re communicating with event planners?
I don’t mean that any speaker should hide things and certainly not that we should lie. However, we do have to decide what is important to share on marketing pieces like biosheets. Often, our life experiences can be mentioned as credentials as well as letting event planners know a little about our background. Julie, I suggest that you create a biosheet and write this information something like this…
Julie’s late-in-life connection to Jesus has allowed her the rare ability to give her audiences insight into their unchurched friends’ minds.
See how that works? What people have considered a negative isn’t hidden, yet you’ve just allowed people to view the positives that come with your experience. Speakers who are divorced, single moms, or have other challenging parts of their pasts should ask themselves this question. What did I learn in that season that could be valuable to my audience? Weave the two together and you have magic instead of a liability.
Tune in next week, for question #2!
Great advice and inspiration no matter where we are in our speaking/writing journey.
Thank you Amy!!
As I read this, I thought, “I could have written this exact letter 2 years ago!” One thing that has worked for me is I use my testimony and my faith journey in my speaking. While I always want to be biblically accurate (and ask for others to review my work in case I have misinterpreted something), I don’t try to present myself as anything but who I am. I’m honest about my journey, and I think that people really pick up on my excitement for how my life has changed for the better because I found Christ.
This year I finally wrote a book to go with my talk (thanks Amy for all the help on this at the outset – it made the writing easy!) and next month “I Found Jesus in the Stock Market” will be published. I’m excited to share my message. Julie – I will be praying for you to find the right audiences who will be very encouraged by your message!
Cassie, I’m thrilled to hear about your book! Congratulations on the fruit of your hard work! You have such a compelling story, and I know God is going to use it to help others.