Recap: Prayer Journaling Workshop
What I learned hosting my first business event
Last week, I saw God move in an undeniable, faith-invigorating, only-God-can-do-it kind of way!
I hosted the first of (what I hope to be) many events in my ministry, and I want to be sure to memorialize what I experienced and learned so we can all grow from it.
It all started…
At the beginning of 2018, one of my business goals was to host a ministry event. I felt God inspiring me to believe it and do it, but I was TERRIFIED that it would flop! I worked on my other goals for 2018 and waited for clarity, direction and (honestly) more belief that I could host a successful event.
Well, this year God put this amazing friend in my life, Kahlea Nicole, who has an events company called Gal Getaway. I went to a few of her events and was so inspired that I, too, could host events.
Side note: It’s one thing to show people you can do something, but it’s an entirely different art to inspire people to do what you’re doing! Thank you to Kahlea for your vision to see women stepping up into their dream lives. You are such a gift!!
Early last month, God told me that if I was planning to host an event this year, I better make it happen. So, I took the leap of faith — scary as it might be — and put together the framework: theme, core material, date/time/location. I posted tickets on my website, and to my surprise — God actually knew what He was doing! JK…kinda. I was STUNNED at the overwhelming support!
If you’re facing a decision to shrink in fear or leap forward in faith, always choose the latter. It makes all the difference in creating a godly life.
I didn’t quite sell out the event, which felt slightly like failure, but God told me that the test of faith was NOT in selling all the tickets, but in providing the event. I had to strip my mind of worldly standards of success and remember that success in God’s eyes is saying “yes” to Him. It’s in the obedience. It’s in the bold, risky leaps of faith that we succeed in creating reliance on God which causes us to feel His Spirit move greater than we have before.
If that weren’t enough, well, everyone LOVED the workshop and they asked if we could do it weekly! Haha! I guess that’s another marker of success. The workshop was rich with information, but more importantly it was rich with the Spirit of the Lord moving in our hearts.
Okay, so I wanted to share what I learned with y’all because:
I need the reminder to gain traction for next year’s monthly events! …yes, you heard that right. Next year, I hope to host an event every month, focused on a variety of topics from: growing your prayer life, creating a godly marriage, goal setting/planning/executing, etc.
If there’s a topic that you’d like to grow in, drop it in the comments (even if I mentioned it), because this will help me so much to know what you want!
If you’re hosting events, I’d love to share what I know so you start “not from scratch” :)
WHAT I LEARNED:
Make way for God to show up, and He will
Listen to guidance
Decide your priorities
Envision your event beforehand
Make way for God to show up, and He will
The most important lesson I learned has nothing to do with organization, planning, or logistics. The biggest lesson is God-centered, because the most important thing to me with anything I do is God.
I planned this workshop within His grace. What I mean is: I prayed throughout the entire planning process, because I wanted it to be a product of God, not a product of my superb event planning skills. When something that felt off, I would pray about it and then tailor it in the way I felt God was leading me.
You might not know this about me, but I’m actually a pretty awesome event planner. Given the right budget, I can throw a heckuva party! I used to work as an event planner, and I’ve always enjoyed opening up my home for seasonal soirees.
It would have been very easy and natural for me to rely on my own experience, rather than on God’s grace, but I wanted people to come and experience God, not experience Priska. So I planned what I felt led to, and I specifically carved out time in the agenda for God’s Spirit to move.
During the closing, I asked people to share what they learned and/or needed prayers about.
It somehow turned into a confession-cry-pray revival. Not somehow. By God’s Spirit, it turned into a multi-hour revival.
Honestly, I didn’t have anything special planned besides God’s Spirit moving. If God didn’t show up, the workshop would be over. It would be okay, but not spectacular.
But God showed up! And it was spectacular. His Presence was felt by each of us in a way that I crave daily.
Only God could do that!
Only God could invite 15 strangers together who are sisters in Christ and open our hearts to truly feel His peace and unity.
Whether it’s a business event, or your daily personal life, please PLEASE make way for God to show up, because He is so faithful to come through and do what only He can do!
“Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”
2. Listen to guidance
It’s so funny God’s timing, but the day before my workshop, my aforementioned event-wiz friend Kahlea posted some hosting advice, and one of the main bits was that setting up an event always takes more time than you planned. So on Workshop day, rather than waiting 3 hours beforehand to set up, I set up way early.
And then, I took a nap. I never nap!! That in itself is a miracle.
But the peace I felt after praying over my house, each room, and the women coming. And then executing a great setup… well, that was enough to send me into a nap apparently!
I think if I was stressed and procrastinating or just poorly-planned, there’s no way I would have even slept a full night’s rest. But I felt God’s peace and I napped! LOL!
Secondly, as I was planning my event, I combed through Pinterest and a few bloggers’ websites where they blogged about event preparation and hosting. I pulled out the stuff that I wanted to add to my event: an agenda, photo station, finger foods, music.
None of us need to “start from the bottom”. We all can walk on the shoulders of the giants who have done the basics of what we want to do. But it takes a smidgen of humility to say, “I don’t know, but I can find someone who does!”
Go with humility. Search for the giants who have gone before you. Ask lots of questions.
If you want my advice, I’m happy to give it. Just ask!
“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.”
3. Decide your priorities
When I set out to create this event, rather than starting with a topic, I started with the attendees in mind. I planned on mostly hosting friends and acquaintances. I asked myself, “What do they need?”
I knew many of my friends have been getting their butts kicked by life this year… Scratch that, the enemy has been attacking them so heavily! I knew they needed to experience God in a fresh way. They needed to feel comforted, heard and cherished. They also needed to be empowered in the spiritual battle with some offense. American Christians play defense in the spiritual battle too much:
“Sorry that happened, I’ll pray for you as you deal with the results.”
Rather, I wanted to equip the women who would attend my workshop with a strategy to play offense. And that is done in prayer. It’s in prayer that we are reminded the power of THE ONLY LIVING GOD, and we are reminded that He is able to bend the forces of nature to bring His glory on earth. We are reminded that we, too, have power in calling on His mighty name to change our reality.
And that’s when I learned what God wanted to be my theme:
…the strategy that has helped me to take an offensive position against satan and to put on defensive armor against his lies. Prayer Journaling is why I know miracles are real — I have them recorded in my dozen journals over the last 18 years. It’s how I know that God CAN AND WILL change our realities when we yield our hearts to Him.
I started with “What do they need?”, and I learned what they needed that I could offer. And it just so happens God was able to use the pain I’ve lived through to inspire women with hope and vision for a better future. Again — ONLY GOD!
Secondly, I jotted down the key words I wanted to focus on for this event:
authentic, Spirit-filled, open hearts, Biblically rich, miraculous, powerful, life-changing, fun
Again, nothing about me — all about the Lord. Women paid good money to be a part of this workshop, and the worst I could do is have them leave with a positive impression of me but no experience with God. I made God the priority, and He delivered!
4. Envision your event beforehand
Let me share with you one of the several areas I learned I could grow in.
I learned from restaurant work that envisioning the optimal guest experience helps you to see the flaws in what you’re currently doing and change them BEFORE they go awry. Well, I envisioned most of my event: the flow from room to room, how people would feel at each stage of it, etc.
But I didn’t envision the short worship set, where we would all sing together. I asked Grace Jones (she’s amazing!! Follow her here) to play 3 well known songs, and she came up with this set:
What a Beautiful Name
Seems perfect, right?? Except I forgot that the lyrics to What a Beautiful Name can be confusing in that “beautiful” is substituted for “wonderful” and “powerful” during the song, and I honestly never remember which order they come in! …and I wasn’t the only one, thank goodness.
It made for a laughable moment when we all got tripped up singing acapella, but I’ll definitely display the lyrics next time!
Lastly, I wanted to share the best photos from this fantastic night. Thank you to each of you who trusted me enough to buy a ticket! Thank you for joining the group, opening your hearts, and making this a successful event! I hope your faith walk is forever changed + enriched by this Prayer Journaling Workshop, and I’ll see you at the next one!