Yesterday, thirteen precious souls were lost in a head-on collision on a Texas highway. These people were about 10 minutes from the Alto Frio Baptist Encampment where they had spent three days at a Seniors Retreat. It could have been a women’s retreat, men’s retreat, youth event, singles conference…honestly, this hits too close to home on several levels.
If you’ve ever attended any type of conference or retreat, you can imagine the excitement in their voices and the refreshment in their spirits as they were heading home. But they didn’t make it to their earthly homes. We can hope they all had an opportunity at that retreat, if they hadn’t already, to get to know Jesus as their Savior.
While Christian Speakers Services didn’t book the speaker for this particular event, we have had the privilege of working with AFBE for other retreats. We have booked speakers for other churches and events in the New Braunfels, TX area. We have asked the thousands of speakers and event planners we have contact with around the country to join with us in praying for this church, their families, the community of New Braunfels, TX, and the staff at AFBE as they deal with this very tragic situation.
As the owner and booking agent for Christian Speakers Services, my passion and the reason I do what I do, is reaching people for the Kingdom of God. I discuss this upfront with speakers who are interested in being represented by CSS. After every faith-based engagement booked through our agency, it is asked on our post engagement evaluation if there was an altar call, invitation, or quiet time given during the event (by the speaker or anyone else). If the answer is yes, we then ask for the event planner to share briefly how lives were touched by God and if anyone made a decision to start following Jesus Christ. Too often, the answer is no.
In my opinion, if it’s important enough for a group of Christians to come together to share their beliefs, and if CSS booked the speaker, I feel it’s important enough to allow anyone attending the event to have the opportunity to make a decision about having a relationship with Jesus Christ as their Savior. Why? It’s so simple…where people spend eternity matters!
We are not asking our speakers to have a full-blown evangelistic service at every event. Although some events do have an outreach focus. We do hope that event planners and our speakers will, at the very least, mention from the stage that anyone who would like to know Jesus can (1) talk to one of the church/event staff, or (2) visit the Speaker after their presentation is complete (i.e. at their product table in the back).
Hebrews 9:27 states, “…it is appointed unto men once to die…” This tragedy on March 29 was that unknown moment for those who had attended this Christian retreat. It was their appointed time to take their final breath and transition to their eternal home. Every event we do has that element. One hundred percent of a group may not make it home, or to the next event. Our main reason to speak, write, sing, make people laugh, etc. as Christian communicators should be to share HIS story, not our own.
Let us not waste one opportunity. Let us be even more mindful to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ at our events and give an opportunity for those attending to make sure they are ready when their appointed time comes. With all that is going on in the world, in our communities, in our families, and our individual lives with violence, illness, marriage and family values being attacked, and people leaving the Church like never before…today is the day of Salvation!
“Teaching is highly responsible work. Teachers are held to the strictest standards” James 3:1 (MSG). As the booking agent, event planner, or speaker, we are responsible and accountable for what is or isn’t shared an at event. When we don’t, we miss fulfilling our responsibility to share Jesus, our accountability to God for doing what He’s called us to do, and an opportunity to make the most important difference in someone’s life.
We are the carriers of a message that is the solution to the crisis, chaos, crime, and concerns of this world on every level. Let us never leave an event wishing we had taken just a few minutes and given someone the opportunity to make that eternal decision. Let’s be mindful, intentional, relevant, and relational when we, as a group of Believers, come together. Let’s be open at all times to share that Jesus Christ is Lord, Savior, and The Answer! Let this tragedy on March 29 be the impetus for those of us who are Christian communicators to not waste another opportunity!
Karen Power is the Owner and Booking Agent for Christian Speakers Services since 2007. She has worked with thousands of Christian communicators and event planners across the country since she began in 2004 as Speaker Services Manager with CLASServices, Inc. She has been providing technology support and promotional services since 1994 to speakers, authors, entrepreneurs, ministry leaders, and business owners.
Karen has 40+ years experience in the Christian communication industry. She started at the age of 11 as a drummer and later as a bass guitar player and songwriter for Christian music bands and church praise teams. She has been on virtually every side of events and the stage as a musician, songwriter, speaker, author, event planner, concert promoter, coach, book tour manager, speaker bureau owner, and booking agent. Her technology and curriculum development skills have helped develop and launch a national support group, delivered hundreds on live webinars, and designed promotional and other support materials for internationally-known Christian speakers, authors, and teachers.