But how do you find one? And how do you ensure they’re going to be a good fit for your church?
Let’s start with the “big one”.
How do you find a speaker?
- Ask your Pastor.
- Ask other women’s ministry leaders and churches in your area.
- Ask your women – chances are they’ve attended events elsewhere and heard great speakers.
- Contact your local and state denomination office. They often have a list of speakers for your state/area.
- Ask other leaders on the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Facebook page. Be sure to share your location and speaker budget.
- “Google” Christian women speakers + “your area or state”
- Search Christian speaker websites. Be forewarned, big name speakers will charge $5000 and more for an event: 101 Christian Speakers (Blog post), Christian Communicators, Christian Speaker Services, Christian Women Speakers , Compassion International Speakers and Artists , , Gifted Communicators Directory, Premiere Speakers Bureau, and Proverbs 31 Speakers
Once you find a speaker that you’d like to know more about, you need to interview them.
Do not skip this part! You want to make sure the speaker is a good fit for your women.
Hop on over to my Questions for Potential Speakers. I give you a list of questions you’ll want to ask.
Be sure you get several references. Call at least two. More if you have any concerns or hesitation.
Ask to see a video. Most seasoned speakers film themselves teaching. You want to make sure they connect well with the audience, can be easily understood, and are interesting.
A few other thoughts on finding a speaker:
- Many speakers have websites on which they list topics they speak on. Some speakers will be willing to speak on the topic God has led you to.
- Big-name speakers book at least 1, if not 2, years out. Can God provide you with a spot? Certainly. However, if you feel God leading you to a popular speaker, you’re most likely going to need to plan far in advance.
- Most of your less expensive speakers won’t be found on a website speaker directory. Referrals are going to be your best bet.
- Remember, don’t let your speaker define your topic. Let God define your topic and then pray for a speaker.
I’ve also learned not to force it. I really, really wanted to bring Shari Braendel out to Bowling Green, KY to speak with our women there. Our ladies in Apex, NC LOVED her and the event we did with her was a huge hit! I know how great she is!
But when I talked to Shari to see if she was available she had an overlapping commitment. She was going to see if she could fly back early from the other event to be with us. The more we tried to plan, the more road blocks there were. It wasn’t spiritual in nature, just more of a sense of God saying “not right now”.
I tell you all of that to encourage you to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading. If your circumstances aren’t lining up, don’t force it. If you sense a “spiritual red flag”, heed it and look elsewhere.
May God direct and bless your search for a speaker for your retreat!
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