It’s been said that people judge you by the words you use, and this is true. Some of my readers may not agree with this statement, however, if you do, then you understand the importance of choosing your words with prudence.
Words have power!
Words shape our worlds!
Words shape our behaviors!
The words we use every day shape our realities, whether we realize it or not. The words we use to express ourselves can make a powerful impression on the lives of people around us, whether they occur in a polite conversation at Starbucks, or a more spiritual exchange while you’re ministering the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Words have the power to impel nations to war, peace, and alliances. The fact of the matter is, the words we choose can do the same for us in relationships. Our words can create war, peace, and forge lifelong alliances. The impact of what we say, and how it is delivered, can literally have eternal repercussions.
Growing up in the Thompson household as a child, we were greatly encouraged to regard our words carefully and avoid one word in particular at all costs.
Do you know what that word is?
If I, or one of my siblings, ever said “can’t”, we were quickly rebuffed with, “Can’t isn’t in the Thompson dictionary.”
How often do we utter the words “I can’t?”
• I can’t be a missionary.
• I can’t be a business owner.
• I can’t be a teacher.
• I can’t be an author.
• I can’t be a straight ‘A’ student.
• I can’t lose weight.
• I can’t forgive.
• I can’t move forward.
• I can’t give.
• I can’t love again.
• I can’t reconcile.
• I can’t repent.
The list goes on and on!
This word has become so common and accepted that we have completely missed the major problem with such a declaration. When we declare that we are not able – we are. In essence, declaring that the Mighty God who empowers us is also not able.
Do you realize once you make such a declaration, you are correct? If you SAY you can’t do it – you are correct!
Today, I encourage you to stop limiting yourself. More importantly, stop limiting God!
You can, because He can! God is able!
Because God is able, we are able!
Today, throw the “can’t” out of your vocabulary and begin to replace it with the truth and promises of the matchless, undefeated Word of God!
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)
Planning an event can be very overwhelming. The timeline, the details, the cost, marketing strategies, location… this is just the beginning. Often times the stress of making the event happen can lead you to a place in which you ask yourself, “What am I even doing?”
I, too, have been stressed out before and asked myself that same question.
However, planning a successful event does NOT have to be overwhelming. It doesn’t have to stress you out, robbing you of the joy that serving others can bring.
Over the past 20 years of planning all types of events, in diverse sizes, and for various demographics, I have picked up a few pointers that I’d like to share to encourage you.
1. Determine The “Why”
Are you having this event to inspire and challenge? To see others come to a place of repentance and relationship with Jesus Christ? To equip leaders to better effectively serve? To promote an idea or project? To garner support from volunteers?
Determining the “Why” will instantly streamline your focus and point you on the path to having a well thought out, well-planned event. This is the absolute first step.
2. Get Started Early.
One mistake people make when planning, is underestimating the amount of time they need to bring everything together. Keep in mind that the prep time needed will vary depending upon the context of the particular event. The earlier you start – the less stress you and others will feel. Plus, more time gives you ample opportunity to vet your ideas and make changes without missing a beat.
3. Think Like Them.
Who is “Them”? It could be your audience, sponsors, speakers, security team, caterers, the corporate community, etc. In every phase of your planning, make sure that you are thinking about “others”. The objective is to remove all other distractions so that your partners can focus on their task(s) effectively; and so your audience doesn’t have to climb over obstacles to benefit from your event.
4. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
Let me say it like this… If you think you’ve over communicated, you’re probably halfway there to get your point across. Therefore, communicate clearly and often with both your team and your attendees.
5. What Is The Call-To-Action?
In other words, what do you want your attendees to do with what you’ve presented.
Remember, the win is not getting them TO the event. The win is getting to do something with the information you’ve presented to them AFTER the event. The proper win is what makes your event a healthy event.
6. Enjoy the journey.
This is critical, because it allows you to drink deep from the moments that bring together an experience that is going to accomplish something special. Trust me, you want your event to be born and nurtured from a joyful attitude, as opposed to one that is depleted, stressed, and burned out. Everyone will enjoy themselves when it is evident that you have enjoyed yourself.
II Chronicles 16:7-9
7 At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. 8Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand. 9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”
History records King Asa as being a good King, who as he obeyed and relied upon the Lord to fight his battles, was very successful. Although toward the end of his life, he began to trust in man and refused to seek after the Lord’s way.
Because of this, he began to lose battles and eventually his very life, because he chose to seek the care of physicians, rather than the provision of the Lord God.
Oh, how much better it is to simply trust God and to seek HIS way! Our human nature says to figure it out on our own, to MAKE it happen. If there is a will, there is a way, right? But God’s way is the way of faith and total dependence upon Him.
God wants all the glory for the things that he does in our lives. Let’s be sure our hearts are right with Him, so He will ‘seek us out to show himself strong for us’!
Today, I choose to surrender all my plans and solutions, in exchange for a sweet relationship with Jehovah-Jireh, My Provider!
By: Sarah Thompson