People know when to laugh and when to be moved at the right times. But the reality also is as they file out to go home, it is not unlike leaving a movie theatre after a touching, warmhearted movie. You try to hold on to the emotions and possible fantasy the movie brought about, but soon reality slides back in. The impact of the message is felt but it evaporates like a movie memory in the theatre parking lot. It was early in Brenda’s teaching ministry that she decided she was not just going to be a “movie memory” type of speaker. Brenda prefers to not speak “at” people. There are stories being told, some that need responses. There are vulnerable opportunities that will be given at your event, no matter which topic you choose.
These topics are the core messages Brenda (and John) share on. These topics are not limiting but inspiration for you as you plan your event. But know this, people’s vulnerability will be challenged and possibilities will be given so your event is not just another “movie memory” for your people.
We Don’t Trust God – James 4:8 simply asks us to “Come near to God and God will come near to you.” Yet so many of us don’t. We do just enough to “check the box” but we never dare to really come near or to bravely ask, seek, and knock. We keep it safe. We have our reasons. Like things were “supposed-to-go” a certain way. So how do we live when our “supposed-to”s don’t work out?
About Your Shame – Do you not trust God because of shame?
Shame thrives in secret-keeping and knocks vulnerability right out of you. Shame keeps us from living to our full God-given potential which is sad because shame is a liar to our souls. Brenda brings truth and words to these secrets of our souls and shame loses.
When Pain is the Beginning – No one likes pain. But it is so real and truthfully no one is exempt from pain. Our easiest way to handle pain is to numb, but that is no way to live and causes harm to those we love. Our Creator God has created everything to work in cycles. Everything. So pain is the beginning. And spring always comes. Always.
To Forgive – We all know God wants us to forgive others. But the reality of that is so hard. To forgive others is such a hard and deep subject, often accompanied by deep pain—a pain that probably feels justified. This is not a “blanket teaching” that we should forgive others. We talk about the difference between forgiveness and correcting wrong, misconceptions of forgiveness, anger, bitterness, and grief. These are raw subjects but truth and hope is spoken throughout.
Brave Dating Coach – Brave dating is dating to discover who you are. The result of this learning process will then lead you to a good match to give you that love for a lifetime you desire. This takes practice, as in actual dates. Brenda has loads of experience in coaching many young adults into marriages. To date well and to date bravely (vulnerability is involved after all), Brenda has lots of practices to share. You can read more about these on her blog Brave Dating Coach. But they are better received from her impassioned, honest, and present approach.
Youth Events – For 25 of Brenda’s 34 years of youth ministry experience, Brenda has taught at many church youth events across denominations. Everything from the topic list above can be taught at a youth event and mostly has been taught already at youth events. Because Brenda is still a substitute teacher as part of her belief to stay involved in the local community, teens have a natural connection to Brenda because they’ve all had substitute teachers—and very likely have mistreated their substitute teachers. This provides an immediate connection.
Youth Ministry Training – With 34-years of experience, Brenda has and continues to have much to teach youth workers. But everything she teaches in this area reflects this theory of youth ministry which she has found to work over her length of years. Youth ministry must be church family-based, meaning that youth ministry must involve the parents and must be connected to the entire church family. To read more about this and the vast amount of knowledge Brenda has to share on it, check out the resources at www.WildFrontier.org.