Laying the Foundation
By Jennifer Winn
A recent conversation with a young woman who was an event planner for the conference I was attending reminded me why I do what I do. During the course of our conversation, I shared my story with her — my story of how the events that I plan are born out of a passion and purpose that transformed my professional identity.
You see, for the longest time I thought of event planning as simply a job, something that I did for seven years while finishing college. Eventually, I completed my BA in psychology and began a career as a licensed professional counselor. But as graduation rapidly approached, I increasingly felt like I was a square peg desperately trying to squeeze into a round hole. During the last semester of college, I finally realize that my genuine passion and true calling had been right under my nose the entire time — planning events.
Even when I was up to my elbows in event details each and every day, I could not see how God had placed me exactly where I was supposed to be. Little did I know that attending a Hillsong United concert at my home church in Dallas, Texas, would turn my perceptions upside-down and inside-out.
My purpose for going to the concert was because in only a few short months, I would be planning the first U.S.-based Hillsong conference, and I was there to scope out the breadth of the task. But sitting in the midst of the crowd, listening to the worship music, I knew that God had other plans for leading me to the concert that night. I felt as if God looked right into my heart and whispered, “This is why you do what you do. This is why I gave you the gifts and abilities that you have. You lay the foundation with each detail that you plan, so that the speakers and artists can get up on that stage and share the message I want to speak through them to move the audience — and ultimately, to change the world.”
At that moment, I realized that event planning was, in fact, God’s divine plan for my life. Recounting my story to that young fellow event planner, I encouraged her to take a couple of minutes when running an event to step into a session and see the affect that it is having on the attendees, and in those quiet moments, to let God speak to her.
Jennifer Winn, president of Winn Events and creator of myeventaudit.com, plans meetings, conferences, concerts and trade shows across the globe. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit winnevents.com for more information.