SHARING JESUS WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL LED

As I’ve been saying in recent blogs, every leader, every believer, has a 24/7 calling to share Jesus with others. When we don’t talk with others about Him—which is more frequent than we’d like to admit—we often blame it on not feeling led. Let’s press into this concept of “feeling led.”

Of course, being led by the Spirit is biblical. Romans 8:14 says, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.” We rightly strive to follow the Spirit’s leading and live in concert with our Father’s will. But I wonder if we wrongly categorize our gospel-sharing reluctance as “not feeling led.”

Two Times I Blamed My Reluctance On “Not Feeling Led”

  • I felt a tinge of excitement as I drove to the grocery store. I’d had a meaningful encounter with a cashier the week before, and hoped for another opportunity. As I wheeled my groceries into an open check-out line, I sized up the young cashier. Hmmm… he looks shy, I thought to myself. He probably wouldn’t be open to talking. And sadly, that was it. That was as far as I went in my thoughts. And my prayers. I just stood there, zoned out because of my own assumptions. I’m not condemning myself; just admitting that I had decided I wasn’t led, when actually I wasn’t willing.

 

  • Same thing at McDonald’s the following week. I took my Bible along for some mid-day inspiration during lunch. Two tables away, an elderly man sat nursing a cup of coffee. It seemed like he’d been there all day. Taking in the comings and goings of the busy people. Looking lonely. I thought of him several times throughout my short stay. I imagined what I might say to him. I prayed about what I might say. But I walked out, giving him a pleasant smile and a hello. Ugh. I think he could’ve used much more than that. But, I didn’t “feel led.”

 

I heard a speaker say, in a tongue-in-cheek, yet convicting way: “If you need to feel led before you talk to someone about Jesus, just put a lead sinker from a fishing line in your pocket. That way, when you’re deciding whether or not to approach them, you can reach into your pocket and feel lead! And then go ahead and talk with the person!”

 

God Already Expressed His Will

GO into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mk. 16:15).

DECLARE His glory among the nations, His wonders among all people (Ps. 96:3).

MAKE DISCIPLES of all the nations (Mt. 28:19).

Yes, we want to be led by the Spirit. And yes, we want to obey the scriptural mandates to share the gospel. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to stand before the Father and say, “I know You said, ‘Go, declare, and make disciples,’ but 99% of the time I just didn’t feel led. So I didn’t.”

“Father, stir our hearts, give us Your passion for the gospel and Your compassion for people. We pray with Paul that you would give us words as we open our mouths to boldly proclaim the mystery of the gospel as we should. Based on what You’ve already said, Father, we do feel led to share Your gospel with others.”

 

 

Has there been a recent time that you didn’t “feel led” to reach out, but could have? Or you did anyway? Feel free to share your experience in the Comment Section below.

 

 

CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE

I know, I know. Christmas, plus year-end responsibilities, equals one of the busiest seasons for Christian leaders. I don’t want to add to your stress, but I do want to add to your joy. And add light to those living in darkness. Let me explain.

On the Monday before Thanksgiving, during the Body of Christ time at our ministry, the staffer in charge encouraged us to think of ways we could extend Thanksgiving blessings to people we didn’t know. Ideas flew around the room, and God laid a few on my heart. Here’s how it played out through the week:

TUESDAY NIGHT I was running errands after a long day at work, and I needed something at the vitamin store. I’d been reaching out to the greeter there, but didn’t feel up to a conversation. When I told God, “I got nothin’,” He reminded me that He had everything. I pulled into the parking lot, half hoping the man wouldn’t be working. But he was. I greeted him by name and went on with my shopping—praying about what to say. After paying for my items, I told him I’d been praying for him and shared a verse with Him. He opened up, and we talked for an hour about his beliefs and mine. We were worlds apart, but face to face in a cordial conversation. He said, “You’re the first person who’s ever taken the time to listen to what I believe.”

THANKSGIVING DAY, between church and a family gathering, my husband and I stopped for gas. I went into the convenience store carrying a hand-made card with a verse and a five dollar bill tucked inside. As I paid for my protein bar, I said to the cashier, “I appreciate you working on Thanksgiving and wanted to give you this card.” His face lit up and he said, “Thank you so much!” He stretched out his hand to shake mine, and kept saying, “Thank you so much.” I asked his name and told him that God loves him and sees his hard work. The nameless, faceless young man was “Collin,” a precious human being who came to life when he experienced a touch of God’s love.

LATER THAT DAY we stopped at a restaurant where I meet monthly with a group of women to pray for our husbands and their small businesses. We often have the same waitress, who cheerfully tolerates our extended stays. The last time we were there, I told her why we meet, and she said, “I knew you ladies were up to something. That’s so cool!” The restaurant was mobbed on Thanksgiving Day, but before long I spotted her wielding an armload of plates. She greeted me with her typical, “Hey, sweetheart!” I gave her a card with some cash, a verse, and a few simple words – “This is a small token of our appreciation… but God’s love for you is no small thing…” She beamed and said, “You’ve made my day. Thank you!”

Even as ministry leaders, our 24/7 calling is to plant seeds of the gospel and make disciples. Engaging with people brings joy unspeakable into our lives, and the light of God’s truth into theirs.

So, during December—during this month of celebrating the birth of Jesus that has brought light and love and salvation and divine, eternal relationship into our lives—let’s share Him! Let’s share His love and truth! Let’s pray about ways to reach out of our comfort zones and into the lives of others. Jesus did it for us—He left the comfort of heaven to love on us. Let’s leave our comfort zones and love on others.

This new Christmas song, The Call of Christmas, by Zach Williams captures it well.

 

What are ways you plan to reach out to others this Christmas? Feel free to share your ideas in the Comment Section below.

 

Seeing And Speaking

Jesus, the greatest leader of all time, saw the individuals in the crowds around Him and was moved to compassionate action. As Christian leaders, we consciously engage with the people in our ministry world. But do we do the same with the people in our everyday world?

Last week I shared that God’s been leading me to interact with people when I’m out and about. As I’ve processed this with Him, He’s given me vision to see individual people with His eyes. He’s given me increased compassion, boldness to initiate conversations, and fresh insights to pass along.

It’s almost never been easy, it’s been awkward, and it’s also been ridiculously fulfilling. Best of all, people are being touched by God’s love.

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone into God’s Love Zone

  • I’m taking incremental steps with the greeter at a local vitamin store. On one occasion, I paused to say, “I just wanted you to know how much God loves you.” On another, I asked his name, and asked if there was anything he’d like prayer for. He responded, “You can do what you want, but I don’t believe in that stuff.” He might not believe now, but I’m praying he will. And I frequent that store.

 

  • A woman at Burger King had her head in her hands as she sat waiting for her food. I saw her on my way in, and was about to leave with my take-out meal when I noticed her again. I approached her and asked if there was anything I could pray for her about. There was. She was undergoing medical tests and was worried about the results. I prayed. Her husband joined us with a tray of food and a curious look on his face. I explained why I was there, and he shared that they’re believers. As it turned out, we had mutual friends through the ministry where I serve, and we had a great time of fellowship.

 

  • The man at the antique store in Washington D.C. wasn’t so receptive. As I paid for my small key, he explained that it was actually an old-fashioned lamp switch. I said, “Oh, so we can go from darkness to light—the same thing that Jesus does for us.” He said, “I’m an atheist.” To which I replied, “Well, even so, I’d love to pray for you, what’s your name?” He told me, shaking his head as I smiled at him and took my small parcel. It’s on my keychain—a tangible reminder to pray for him.

 

  • The cashier at the grocery store was having a hard day. Her scanner was broken and the produce scale was acting up. I began talking with her, and she added many more woes to her list of complaints. I sensed God’s heart for her, and as she handed me my receipt, I said, “As we’ve been talking, I felt God wanted you to know that you’re a jewel to Him.” Surprised, she said, “A jewel?” I said, “Yes, a jewel. You know, a gemstone. Not a rhinestone, which is a cheap imitation. He views you as a very precious jewel with great value.” God’s words hit her heart. Her face flushed. She said a soft, “Thank you,” with a sound of amazement in her voice.

 

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Matt. 9:36, ESV)

See with God’s eyes. Feel with His compassion. Speak with His love and words. The call to be like our Good Shepherd extends beyond the sheepfold of our own ministry; sheep without a shepherd are waiting.

 

How have you been prompted to reach out to people you encounter outside your ministry circle? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

YOUR 24/7 CALLING

Most Christian leaders give the lion’s share of their time and energy to their primary ministry calling. This is understandable given the weightiness of leadership responsibilities. But is there an even more comprehensive call to fulfill?

Over the past 14 months, I’ve been convicted of God’s overarching calling on my life to make disciples. I could argue that I’m facilitating that through my leadership at our “gospel-sharing” ministry—and to an extent that’s true. But on a very personal level, we’re each called to make disciples.

Here’s what I’ve become aware of within myself as I’ve pondered these things with the Lord.

My Confessions

  • I can tend to view my leadership calling as my main calling. So, at the end of a workday, I’m “off,” so to speak. After all, I’ve just given my heart and soul to that day’s advancement of the ministry.
  • While I see the people around me after work—at stores, gas stations, and community events—I don’t always see them like Jesus did. Jesus saw people as sheep without a shepherd. He felt compassion for them and ministered to them.
  • When I’m out and about, I’m either busy or burdened. I’m in a rush to finish my errands and get to the next thing on my list. The needy person behind me in line would not typically be on my list. If I’m not busy, I’m processing through an important issue in my life, and not sensing the importance of the person right in front of me.

5 Ways to Engage in Your 24/7 Calling

  • Be loved. You know God loves you, but do you know it on a personal, experiential, and current level (Eph. 3:19)? Press into the Word and ask God to help you know Him and His love in a fresh, deep way.
  • See people. Ask God to open your eyes to the people around you, and to see them like He does—like invaluable sheep, made in His image, who don’t yet know Him.
  • Be loving. Talk with God about how He wants you to express love to the person in front of you—whether through an action, a smile, a word of encouragement, an offer of prayer, or a conversation about Jesus.
  • Be bold. Even Paul prayed for boldness. The enemy covers us with a sheath of fear or awkwardness or rationalization for why we shouldn’t reach out to others. Pray for boldness to break through this barrier and step out!
  • Shine. Jesus is the light of the world, and He says we are the light of the world. Light shines, and we can shine with the beauty of the love and truth of Jesus. Wherever you go, you can shine so that others see and encounter Jesus in you.

“You are the light of the world.

Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works

and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Matt. 5:14a & 16, ESV

 

Leaders’ lives are full. Their ministry responsibilities spread beyond a typical workweek. But a leader who lives in the fullness of God’s love readily shines that love to others inside and outside of their ministry.

 

What are the pitfalls you encounter in sharing Jesus’ love with people outside your ministry, and how is God helping you overcome them? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

HOW TO ESTABLISH MINISTRY CULTURE

If mission is king, culture is queen. A vital mission without an honoring culture will eventually wilt. But a life-giving culture enables the mission to flourish. Let’s learn how.

Twenty years ago God began imprinting His culture on our hearts. He did it by pointing out how weary we’d become from running “fast and furious” to accomplish our mission. And then He reminded us of things we already knew, but weren’t intentionally and actively doing.

  • He reminded us that He Himself was more important than our mission, and that honoring Him was the premier aspect of our mission.
  • He reminded us that He viewed us as children, not commodities, and that He wanted us to value each other as brothers and sisters.
  • He reminded us how wise He was and how well He knew how to run the ministry, and that He wanted us to talk with Him about it.

Two decades later, honoring God, cultivating genuine relationships, and discerning God’s will are hallmarks of our culture—visible in and throughout any given day.

Jesus values organizational culture as well. Take a look at the behaviors He spikes out for His closest associates just before He goes to the cross (paraphrased from the book of John).

5 Aspects of Jesus’ Ministry Culture

  1. “Abide in Me.” (15:4)
  2. “Keep My commandments.” (15:10)
  3. “Love one another, as I have loved you.” (15:12)
  4. “Listen to the Spirit of Truth.” (16:13)
  5. “Be one, so the world believes in Me.” (17:23)

5 Steps to Establish Your Ministry Culture

  1. Reflect. Take some time to consider the values and beliefs that drive your ministry behavior. If you realize they’re weak or perhaps vague, ask God to bring clarity and reveal His heart for your culture. Spend time on this. It’s vital to your mission and to the people you’re serving with.
  2. Identify. Begin putting pen to paper, jotting down values that describe how you’d like to corporately engage with God, honor employees, help them to honor each other and your clients, how you’ll make and communicate decisions, etc.
  3. Share your heart. Talk with your board and key associates. Express your desire to develop a life-honoring culture, and explain what you’ve identified so far. Invite their input. Continue to form this initial understanding of your ministry culture, and then share it with your full staff.
  4. Enter in. Invite your staff to take very practical steps in each of the key areas you’ve identified. Again, take your time, allowing God to shape your hearts, your behavior, and the culture over time. Think in terms of months and years instead of days and weeks.
  5. Uphold it. As your culture becomes established, keep it in the forefront through verbal and written communication. Give fresh examples of how staffers can engage in it, allow time for it within department meetings, and ensure that everyone is included. Give new staffers time to acclimate; yet with the understanding that engagement in ministry culture is essential to employment.

Just like the air we breathe, it’s easy to take ministry culture for granted. But without it, a ministry will suffocate. That’s why developing a healthy culture is so important. A thriving Christian ministry culture is one in which individuals freely engage with their Father and each other in honoring, life-giving relationships.

 

What is one way that your ministry culture honors God? Honors others? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MINISTRY CULTURE?

Next to mission, a godly culture is essential for ministry effectiveness. Absent a healthy culture, mission suffers. So what exactly is ministry culture, and how do you identify yours?

Early on in our ministry, our staff was relatively small. We had an unusually strong rapport—personalities, giftings, and skillsets jived well. We enjoyed each other. We took an annual jaunt to the beach. I thought to myself, “There will never be a better group of employees at this ministry.”

But I was wrong.

Along the way, God taught us about His culture for ministries—really, His universal culture for the body of Christ. And we’ve grown in staff rapport and ministry effectiveness ever since. I’ve learned that, contrary to the “honeymoon” culture I experienced with that small group of staffers—strong ministry cultures don’t just happen.

3 Pitfalls of a Weakly-Defined Culture

  1. Hit or Miss. If you don’t define your culture, your staffers will. And it will ebb and flow according to the comings and goings of staff along the way.
  2. Osmosis Myth. Your staff may pick up on your values and commitment-level. But most of them won’t carry it out to the extent that you do. A healthy culture isn’t transmitted vicariously.
  3. Low Impact. If your ministry culture is vague, its impact on your staff and ministry outcomes will be vague as well.

Take the Ministry Culture Quiz

Ministry culture is a system of shared values and beliefs that govern how people behave. Put a mental checkmark beside the areas you’re intentionally cultivating.

___ We have an expressed value for how we exalt and engage with God throughout any given day or week.

___ We have an expressed value for how we honor the sacredness of each person with whom we interact—staff, board, volunteers, clients, and individuals in the community at large.

___ We have an expressed value for how we actively get to know each other and affirm each other’s unique giftings and skills, leading to maximum engagement and ministry advancement.

___ We have an expressed value for how we corporately discern God’s wisdom and make decisions that have ministry-wide impact.

___ We have an expressed value for how leadership invites input and feedback from staff members, and provides for appropriately open communication throughout the organizational structure.

Next week we’ll look at “How to Establish Ministry Culture.” For now, begin jotting down the paramount values and beliefs you desire to see embraced and practiced in your ministry. The question isn’t whether or not your organization has a culture; it does. The question is, is it God-honoring, well-communicated, and lived out? Take heart—you’re on your way!

 

What’s an aspect of your current ministry culture that you highly value? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

DISTRACTION OR DIRECTION?

As leaders, we want to be directed by the Lord and not distracted by the enemy. But when the pressure’s on, it can be hard to tell the difference. Let’s learn how.

Recently, I became increasingly uneasy regarding two different ministry situations. Initially, I wasn’t sure if the enemy was just piling on, wanting to add to the typical stress. But in both instances, as I spent time with the Lord, He revealed the reason behind my unrest.

In one situation, He put His finger on a shared grief that individuals coming to a ministry event were carrying. He led a few of us to engage in intercessory prayer, and He lifted the spirit of heaviness for the entire evening.

In the other instance, He raised a concern in my spirit about a “final” decision we had made. As we engaged in more prayer and discussion, He rounded out that decision with a missing and essential component.

So how do you discern the source of your uneasiness?

Is it the Pizza You Ate Last Night, the Enemy, or the Holy Spirit?

  1. Don’t brush it off. When you’re sensing something’s off, it can be tempting to ignore it and get on with your many responsibilities. But you want to know if it’s the enemy, so you can counter his lies with truth. And you want to know if it’s the Lord, so you can respond to His leading.
  2. Ask Him. The only way to know the root of the negative feeling is to talk to your Father. This means taking time in the midst of an overly busy day to be with Him and listen. Take a walk outside if you need to—whatever it takes to get alone and quiet your spirit.
  3. Talk with an associate. In addition to talking to God, if it’s appropriate, talk with a close associate. Where two or three are gathered, God is in the midst. Welcome the insights and prayer of trusted ministry comrades.
  4. Follow through. As God reveals His heart, take the action He directs you to. Put forth the extra effort, call for the impromptu meeting, do whatever it takes to obey God’s prompting.

God directs leaders through His Word, His Spirit, prayer, confirmations from others, a sense of peace, and sometimes a sense of non-peace. Non-peace is a negative feeling and can inadvertently be chalked up to the enemy. But a discerning leader takes the time to distinguish the enemy’s distractions from the Lord’s direction, and follows His instruction.

And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them (Acts 16:6-7, ESV).

 

Share about a leadership situation when God put a sense of unrest in your spirit, and then led you in a different direction. Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

HAVE YOU CAUGHT YOUR BREATH LATELY?

There’s a tender phrase in The Message version of Psalm 23 that we leaders need to hear. It says, “You let me catch my breath.” I can just picture Jesus seeing how hard we’ve been working, and saying, “Slow down. Take a break. Rest for a while.”

We’re in an unusually full stretch of months at the ministry where I serve. At a recent Body of Christ time—where we gather for an hour to engage with God and each other—the staffer in charge read Psalm 23. She invited us to share ways Jesus shepherded us during the previous weekend. Several people shared, and then she gave us time to ponder it more deeply.

A few obvious things came to mind, but what rose to the surface were several times when I chose to rest instead of work. I walked right past the dirty laundry on my way to sit with my husband on our deck. Same thing with the dishes on the counter. And the overturned flower pots on my front porch that the wind blew over.

It was freeing to be okay with undone chores, and to follow God’s lead as I rested and enjoyed the weekend. I realized I was experiencing God’s “unforced rhythms of grace.” That’s another great phrase from The Message, in Matthew 11:29-30—

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.                                      Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

 

3 Ways to Catch Your Breath

  1. Pace yourself. Who’s driving your schedule? Is there some overzealousness at work—either outside of you, or coming from within? Identify it, address it. And then keep pace with Jesus—walking when He’s walking, running when He’s running. You’ll accomplish your work in His time.
  2. Take enjoyable breaks. What recharges your batteries? Make sure to do the activities God designed you to delight in—whether for a minute, an hour, or a day. If it means a few projects or chores are delayed, that’s okay.
  3. Get away with God. True rest is always found in the presence of God. Ask Him to lead you in spending some special time with Him, and go for it! It will be worth every moment.

Leaders are famous for working hard. But how often have we heard that on their dying bed, no leader ever said, “I just wish I would’ve worked harder.” God is not a controlling task master with a whip; He’s a comforting Shepherd with a rod and staff. Leaders who live and die without regret have learned to keep company with God and live in His unforced rhythms of grace.

 

How are you learning to catch your breath and live in God’s unforced rhythms of grace? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

 

ARE YOU ON AUTOPILOT?

As Christian leaders, we know God called us, loves us, and empowers us for the work of the ministry. But even though these truths are the wind beneath our wings, we sometimes take them for granted and lead on autopilot. How do we stay engaged with God and lead vibrantly?

When my husband was first learning to fly, he came home with tales of instrument-rated (IFR) pilots who read books while flying, did Sudoku puzzles, and even took naps! Just the thought of it gave me the willies, and I was grateful Ron was content to be a visual-rated (VFR) pilot.

3 Signs of Autopilot Leadership

  1. Boredom. Does it feel like you’re going through the motions? Have you settled into a blasé routine? Is there no new mountain to climb?
  2. Diminished joy. Do ministry advancements and life transformations that once swelled your heart, now have little effect?
  3. Lack of zeal. Is your conviction-level dipping? When you talk about the ministry, does it feel a bit rote?

I’ve been reading Ephesians lately, and noticed three ways Paul stayed strong in the Lord. The first two are contained in Paul’s prayers for the Ephesians, and the third is a prayer for himself. It’s clear from Paul’s writings that he knew how essential it was to stay connected to his Life Source.

3 Ways to Be Zealous and Effective

  1. Press in to know Jesus more. Paul prays that God will give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, and that our hearts will be enlightened so we’ll more fully realize the hope and glory and might of God. Begin praying Ephesians 1:17-23 for yourself, and ask God to open your eyes to see more of His goodness and grandeur.
  2. Experience more of His love. In Ephesians 3:16-19, Paul prays that God’s Spirit, in our inner being, will strengthen us so we’ll be rooted and grounded in His love and come to know its immeasurable vastness. Ask God to empower you to comprehend and personally experience His extravagant love.
  3. Be spiritually meek and dependent. This one surprised me. In Ephesians 6:19, Paul requests prayer that he’ll receive words in order to open his mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel. You’d think that Paul—an apostle who’d personally encountered Jesus—would never lack for words or zeal. But he was human, he recognized his spiritual need, and he requested prayer that he’d fulfill his life mission.

 When you sense you’re on autopilot as a leader, make a commitment to engage more deeply with God and His Word. Press in to know Him more. Cry out for a greater revelation of His love. Pray for what you need to carry out your mission. Be vulnerable with others and ask for prayer. Your God—who is able to do far more than you ask or think—will respond, will empower you, and will be glorified (Eph. 3:20-21).

His divine power

has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness,

through the knowledge of him

who called us to his own glory and excellence.

2 Peter 1:3

 

When you feel adrift as a leader, how does God help you passionately stay the course? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

 

HOW TO PREP YOUR ANNUAL TED TALK

TED Talks are short, powerful speeches given by 2,000+ leaders since 1984. TED Talks celebrated their one billionth video view in 2012, and since then they’ve averaged 17 new page views a second. In a ministry leader’s world, your speech for the annual gala or banquet rises to the level of a TED talk. So how do you prepare for your most important talk of the year?

Let’s start with ways you don’t want to prepare. I know this because I used to do this!

3 Ways NOT to Prepare

  1. Delay. With a mountain of projects on your desk, it’s hard to even see much less prioritize an event that’s two months out. So, wait to write your speech until it becomes super urgent.
  2. Do it alone. You know your ministry, you know what’s most important to share, so figure it out by yourself. After all, isn’t that what leaders are supposed to do?
  3. Cram. All-nighters worked in college, so why not in ministry? If the week leading up to the event is jammed with speech revisions, just look forward to crashing afterwards.

Hopefully warning signals are going off in your head. Your speech may not flop if you use this approach, but it also won’t be as impactful as it could be.

7 Steps for Preparing Your Annual Speech

  1. Start discerning 4-6 months out. Meet several times with your event team to talk with God and each other about the theme and program content. Stay alert to ministry trends and advancements, and ponder how they could shape or be woven into your theme.
  2. Develop key concepts with a team. Choose two or three main points for your talk. Ask appropriate staff members to provide pertinent facts for each aspect.
  3. Write the first draft. Pray. Write. Pray some more. Write some more. A good speech is best written in the context of communication with the Lord. You want His passion and Scripture to fuel it and flow through it.
  4. Invite feedback. Choose a handful of ministry associates, hopefully both women and men, to read your speech and give honest feedback. This will help you strengthen, tighten, omit, and revise where needed. They serve as a microcosm of your eventual audience.
  5. Create PowerPoint. You may delegate this to a team member who’s up on current trends in design, photos, font size, colors, etc. Your PowerPoint imagery should support the event theme.
  6. Do a trial-run with a review team. Run through the entire program with a group of six to eight associates. Give everyone a copy of your speech so they can mark possible changes, comment on PowerPoint images, timing, tone, etc.
  7. Build in margin. Complete the trial-run at least a week out from the event. This gives your entire team breathing space—including you! There are plenty of other ministry responsibilities and event details to attend to in the final week.

Granted, this type of preparation spans months and requires lots of planning. But guaranteed, it will yield a much better experience for your audience because it was birthed in God’s presence and shaped by trusted associates. The best annual talks are developed over time with a Spirit-led team, and not pulled together at the last minute—solo.

 

What process do you go through to prepare an important speech? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.