Imagine you’re invited to a weekend adventure. Your friends describe the trip in such a way that your heart stirs and your spirit leaps. You think about going, but you’re not sure. You wonder if this is the right place for you … you question whether you’ll fit in … you have no idea what to expect … you don’t know if you should spend the money … and before you know it, you’ve talked yourself out of the adventure before you ever looked into it. When Sue McGray, our CWIMA Southeast Regional Director, first announced the Global Media Summit (GMS), I was one of those who felt her “heart stir and spirit leap”. I was also one who talked herself out of going for all the reasons above. After years of serving on staff at churches, I am fairly new to the fulltime speaking and writing world. While I’ve been warmly received and encouraged at the CWIMA local level, the idea of swimming in the national pool by going to the GMS felt like jumping into the ocean. Yet, the stirring and leaping wouldn’t go away. The more I heard about the GMS, the blender-speed on my heart went from ‘stir’ to ‘puree’. I finally prayed and asked the Lord if I should go. As in, perhaps this stirring might be coming from … oh, I don’t know … the Holy Spirit? I think God’s answer was something like, “… just been waiting for you to ask.” With that settled, I prayed for the resources to go. He provided, and I jumped into the ocean and registered. I registered, then I panicked. What am I getting into? This is where the beauty of CWIMA comes in; I’m not on my own. I’m surrounded by a community of like-minded women who find joy in uplifting and encouraging each other. With that as my filter, I reached out to a Southeast CWIMA friend who was a first-time attendee at the GMS last year. She generously shared an hour of her time and the benefit of her experiences to share about the summit through her eyes. Let me introduce you to her, then we’ll dive into learning those top five things that will help us get the most from the GMS
Paula Mosher Wallace is the President of Bloom in the Dark—a ministry devoted to helping women who have lived through abuse and personal darkness to find healing and restoration by God’s mercy. She is an author and, along with Ginny Priz (another CWIMA member), is co-host of the television show “Bloom Today”. (http://bloominthedark.org/) To learn how we can get the most from the Global Media Summit, I asked Paula the five questions below.
Do I need to have a book published, a TV show, or an established ministry to attend the GMS? No. The key factor is that you need to feel God wants you to have a voice and to share your story. If you haven’t launched your ministry yet, you’ll have opportunities to start learning. You’ll discover new concepts about which to be praying. As you hear from people who’ve been doing what you’re called to do—and doing it well—you’ll gain insights that will help guide your next steps. If you are actively in media-ministry, you’ll learn how to build on what you’re currently stewarding and how to expand your reach. Additionally, you’ll benefit greatly from the connections you make.
The people attending are truly seeking God. These are not people who are in media to be in media; they are there because media is the way they can live out their calling. Where do I go when I get there? What should I expect the days to be like? View the GMS schedule (https://www.gmssummit.com/schedule/) to get a feel for the weekend. On Thursday, begin at the registration table by stopping by to pick up your lanyard. If you signed up for the Social Media Intensive Boot Camp, you’ll join that group from 2:00pm-5:00pm. Everyone else will gather at 7:30pm for the Opening General Session. Paula said we can expect great worship music, powerful speakers, high energy, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
On Friday and Saturday, prepare for a full day of meals, General Sessions, and Media Seminars. Regarding the Media Seminars: The GMS offers 5 Media Tracks—Radio, Film, Writers, Television, and Marketing. Each day is packed with information shared by industry leaders. Check out the line up (https://www.gmssummit.com/media-seminars/) and let it stir your excitement to the next level!
Also, throughout the weekend, you’ll be able to browse at display tables as various individuals and groups exhibit their latest products and services.
What should I wear?
Business attire is requested for the main part of the conference. You’ll see some dressed in suits, others in slacks, skirts and tops, and some may be in dressed-up jeans. One note: The rooms for the conference are fairly close together, so you could wear heels the whole time and be fine.
On Saturday evening, your registration comes with an invitation to The Platinum Awards Gala. The Platinum Awards celebrate the outstanding achievement of Christians in the field of communications, as well as excellence in media. Click here to see the 2018 Platinum Award winners. (https://www.gmssummit.com/announcing-platinum-award-winners/) For this event, you will need to bring evening attire as it is a formal event.
What was your most important take-away?
For Paula, it was the relationships. It’s important to get to events early so you can begin to meet people. Don’t shy away from walking up to people and introducing yourself. Paula had great advice, so let me directly quote her regarding this important aspect of the GMS: “No matter where you go, it can ‘look’ like people are in their own groups. I don’t look at them as wanting to exclude me. I’ve trained myself to walk up and include myself. God has me here, so there is something for me. It’s not about who you know, it’s about who knows you. You must be willing to step in and introduce yourself. You can’t let fear stop you—even if you’re shaking or in a cold sweat. Walk up and say, “Hi, I’m __________. What do you all do in media?”
Paula also stressed the importance of staying on site at the Gaylord. Last year, she stayed with friends in the area, and she felt she missed out on opportunities to socialize with new people by meeting outside of class times. Being at the hotel allows the time needed to deepen those relationships. Lastly, she shared how important it is to be at all the provided meals and not use that time to go to your room or explore the hotel. You don’t know who God is going to bring across your path to help further your call, so be present in every moment provided.
Can you share a God-orchestrated encounter you had while you were at the GMS?
We’ll all have different experiences, but I asked Paula to provide one example of hers from the 2017 GMS. I think it’s useful in illustrating the amazing ways God is prepared to meet His people when they step out in faith.
To underscore the importance of forming relationships, Paula shared this story. Prior to coming to the 2017 GMS, the idea for her and Ginny’s television show was barely out of the concept phase. On Day 1, they arrived early and started wandering around meeting people. Within the first 30 minutes, they met the top three people that—even if they had known with whom they should be trying to connect—were the three people they needed to meet to help launch their show. Those initial introductions blossomed into ministry relationships that helped bring “Bloom Today” from concept to reality.
CWIMA members: Will we see you there?
After listening to Paula’s experiences, I feel better equipped and more comfortable to jump into the glistening, blue waters of the CWIMA ocean. I’m confident I won’t drown because I’ll be too busy successfully learning new strokes to not only stay afloat, but more importantly, to take ground.
I’m certain that the stirring in my heart about furthering the work God is doing in me is shared by everyone reading this post. It’s not too late to join us in Dallas—click here for registration information (https://www.gmssummit.com/registration/)
If you haven’t, don’t assume you’re not supposed to be there. Ask the Lord, then be obedient to His leading.
Do you have any other questions about the Global Media Summit that we can answer for you? Leave us a comment and we’ll be sure to follow up.
Hope to see you in Dallas for this year’s “Victory in Battle” Global Media Summit!
Ordained pastor, author, blogger, and speaker Lisa Miller-Rich brings the message of God’s word with logic, humor and earthy truth. Her passion is to guide people to live with peace, power and purpose. A graduate of Lincoln Christian University, Lisa has been on staff at churches in Illinois and Tennessee. Living in the outskirts of Nashville, she serves on the leadership team for the Southeast Region of Christian Women in Media, and the Social Media Team for the national CWIMA organization. Her first book, “218 Ways to Own Joy” will be released on May 25th and is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit her at www.lisa.miller-rich.com