The All New Women of Faith Conference [Video]

Gail and I have attended a Women of Faith Conference every year for the last ten years. That may sound strange since I am a man but stay with me!

Women of Faith is owned by Thomas Nelson. Most of the speakers at the conference are Thomas Nelson authors. So as the former CEO of Thomas Nelson, I had a business reason to attend. (That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.)

The truth is we love this conference. With world-class speakers, amazing singers, this conference is always an unparalleled, inspirational experience.

In the video above, I interview Lisa Harper, a Women of Faith speaker and now the new Director of Ministry. In this short, seven-minute conversation, I ask her six questions:

  1. What are you the most excited about with regard to Women of Faith this year?
  2. I know you have gone through a lot of changes at Women of Faith this past year, what are some that are the most compelling to you personally?
  3. Tell me about your new role at Women of Faith?
  4. Can you tell me about the new speakers at Women of Faith for this season?
  5. Tell us some insider information … what can we look forward to with Women of Faith?
  6. 2012 is the biggest season for Women of Faith ever. I understand you have added several new events. How is it different?

This years speakers include Andy Andrews, Christine Caine, Ken Davis, Sheila Walsh, Amy Grant, Mandisa, Marilyn Meberg, Patsy Clairmont, Sandi Patty, and many others.

Let me encourage you to visit the Women of Faith schedule and find the tour city closest to you. Here are a few ways you can participate:

  • If you are a pastor, why not make Women of Faith your women’s event for this year. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. You can take advantage of the best speakers in the best environment. I promise, the women in your church will come back encouraged and inspired.
  • If you are a husband, why not send your wife (and daughters for that matter) to Women of Faith. Forget the roses. This is the best gift you can give her, one she will be talking about for months. It would make a great Mother’s Day present.
  • If you are a small group leader, take your whole group. Everyone can pay for their own tickets and you can share hotel rooms. It’s like a giant slumber party. It’s a great way to share a powerful experience together and bond in a deeper way.
Question: If you have ever attended a Women of Faith Conference, what was the experience like for you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    My wife has attended this event a few times.  Every time she comes back charged up and encouraged.  I would strongly encourage husbands to do whatever they can to get their wives to a Woman of Faith conference.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for that word of encouragement, Jon. I have heard this same thing from scores of husbands.

    • http://www.highincomespot.com/ Kenneth Acha

       Great to know  Jon. This is  something I will recommend to my wife.

  • http://1minutedailyword.com/ Steve Martin

    My wife attended one in Anaheim, CA, years ago and said she would never go to another one.

    Too much focus on the self…and not enough focus on Christ and the neighbor.(is what she told me)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Are you sure it’s the same conference? I have never heard that kind of comment, even in complaints. Thanks.

    • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com/ Patricia Zell

      Without focusing on ourselves and getting ourselves set on the Rock, we will not be able to have the life that Christ came to give us. And, until we know and understand God’s love, we will not be able to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

  • Cheryl Luke

    I’m thrilled to hear about the changes and new speakers with WOF.  Can’t wait to experience it this year.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Which changes are you most excited about, Cheryl? Do you know which event you’ll be going to?

  • http://twitter.com/mamastreets Betsy Stretar

    Glad to hear of these new changes. May God use the WOF conference to help women see and respond to the amazing grace and love of Jesus. Praying for you all as you prepare.  Would love to help in Cleveland any way I can.
    Yours in Christ-
    betsystretar.wordpress.com 
     

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Betsy, how great that you want to help! WOF is always looking for volunteers. You might want to check out their volunteer page here: http://www.womenoffaith.com/volunteer/

  • Cindiet

    I have attended Women of Faith Conferences for quite a few years. I was blessed to attend last year as a Blogger and invited a friend with me who accepted the Lord at the Conference. I love the music, the Speakers are always inspiring and always a good time to reflect and be refreshed.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Wow! Great story. Thank you for taking that first step and inviting your friend. A life-changing weekend for both of you.

  • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

    I went to a Women of Faith event years ago. It may have been the first year of the event. I will never forget Sheila Walsh said, “Sometimes God gives you gifts that make your hands bleed when you open the package.”  Wow. This was a life changing statement for me, and allowed me to start understanding how a loving God can let “bad” things happen. 

    Patsy Clairmont showed me it was okay to be funny and fun and still be a Christian. (I know, duh, but up until that point it seems all the Christians I knew were stuffy, and I was trying to be them instead of funny me.)

    I highly recommend Women of Faith.  However, my “conference fund” this year is being applied to SCORRE…and maybe after that I’ll join the Women of Faith tour.  ;-) 

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Isn’t Patsy’s humor contagious? I love it when faith and humor go hand in hand. We have every reason to be full of joy and laughter!

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I was just with Patsy last night for dinner. (She only lives a block from us.) She is just as precious—and funny—in person as she is on stage!

        • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

          What a blessing to have dinner with her precious personality! She is such a gifted story teller. I loved the story of her mother putting a ghost in the front yard for Halloween, and her neighbors judging her, and someone saying to defend her, “Maybe it’s the Holy Ghost.” 

  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com/ Patricia Zell

    I went to a conference in Columbus, Ohio two years ago, and Andy Andrews was one of the main speakers there, too. The words he spoke about perspectives literally changed my life. My youngest daughter and I were in a very tense relationship at that time–Andy’s words opened my eyes to see where the problem was. My daughter and I were looking at her life from two different perspectives. As I prayed about what Andy said, God nudged me to understand that my daughter’s life was her life and that I needed to back down. Our relationship eased and later on, I actually told my daughter that she was right and I was wrong. We are close now and she is a success in the career path she chose.

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      It was life changing for me too Patricia. Isn’t that amazing how words can change our lives? I appreciate the speakers insights and the Holy Spirit to guide their words, and open our hearts. So glad for the reconciliation in you and your daughter’s lives.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Didn’t Gail and I meet you at that conference, Patricia. We both love Andy Andrews. He’s such an amazing author and speaker.

      • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com/ Patricia Zell

        Yes, we did–we chatted for a short bit. I was happy to meet you in person and loved meeting Gail, too. She and I have quite something in common–we’re both mothers to five daughters.

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    The first time I attended was probably 9 or 10 years ago, but I’ll never forget it. The entire atmosphere was positive and encouraging. Each message was delivered with a dash of humor and a ton of heart, and designed to inspire us to authentically connect with God. And the music–excellent! One of the best parts. Last year I attended 3 different conferences and can say WOF keeps getting better and better. Looking forward to 2012!

  • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

    About five years ago, I went to a Women of Faith event in San Jose. I was initially disappointed because the friend who’d planned to go with me became ill, so I went by myself. In that huge stadium full of women who all seemed to be part of a group, I felt alone.

    But not for long. As each speaker opened her heart and shared her own struggles, my response was, “Me too!” 

    I may have attended by myself, but the speakers made me realize that I am not alone in my experiences and feelings. I headed home simultaneously encouraged and challenged.

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      That is the best part Cheri. Realizing that we are not alone in our experiences and feelings.  Isn’t that wonderful?

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Great interview, Michael. In looking at the schedule, I see they have a conference coming to San Diego in May. And the price is right! That might make a great mother’s day present for my wife. Thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      This makes me want to cheer. :) A great gift, John!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It would be a great gift to give your wife! She will still be inspired long after the flowers would have died. ;-)

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       John,
      What a great idea!

  • http://juliesunne.com/ Julie Sunne

    I attended a Women of Faith conference years ago, maybe 13 or 14 years ago now. I was just getting to know a special friend, and she invited me and my sister to attend with her. It was phenomenal! I remember Jaci Velasquez was one of the singers. Her songs wowed me. I was hungering for a real relationship with Jesus Christ and was just learning what that meant. The speakers and singers at the Women of Faith conference helped leapfrog my understanding of what a life lived for Christ looks like. Someday I hope to attend again.

  • http://www.hope101.net Lori Tracy Boruff

    I’m wondering why we don’t have womens’ events like these in my area – Quad Cities (Moline/ Rock Island IL, Davenport/Bettendorf, IA. It’s a great location between Des Moines, IA and Chicago, IL.   Home of JOHN DEERE!

    Michael, I’d love your thoughts on how to get a sponsor for events. I’ve got tons of ideas for a womens’ conference but don’t know how to approach a sponsor.

    It’s refreshing to see a husband/community leader encourage rather than discourage women to gather in faith and fun!

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      I’m from Virginia, Lori, but my husband is from Iowa, and I will testify to the faith-filled community there! It would be a great place for the conference.

  • http://www.sallyferguson.net/ Sally Ferguson

    Our women loved the conference and the camaraderie.  A great gift idea!

  • Connie Almony

    It’s funny you post this today. I was just looking through my volunteer packet for the one-day event in Baltimore this weekend. This will be my first, and though I will be working the event, I am so excited!!!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great! I hope you have a wonderful time.

  • http://patalexander.com Pat Alexander

    Mike, I attended my first Women of Faith in Dallas 2011. While I have attended many faith events over the years it is truly amazing being in a group 0f 15-20 thousand women. The most moving moment for me was Sandi Patty singing “We Shall Behold Him” while Lisa Smith singing with Sandi via her signing. I still get chills and tears every time I think about it. I wrote about it at http://tinyurl.com/44r3tww 

    It is exciting to hear about the WOF plans for the year. Thank you for this interview and sharing it with us.

  • Stephanie

    I was adopted as an infant, and had the amazing opportunity, 36 years later, to attend my first Women of Faith event with my birth mother.  It was amazing to sit with her and notice we laughed the same way at the same time, how we were drawn to the same books at the speaker’s tables, and chose the same moments as our favorites afterward.  I’ll never forget it!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Stephanie,
      What a great story! Do you attend regularly with your birth mother?

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Not knowing the Thomas Nelson tie in when I did it, I made “Women of Faith” one of the church announcements when my protagonist grudgingly visits a San Antonio church. Glad to hear Lisa speak with such inviting enthusiasm about what’s happening with Women of Faith. I loved her unfolding of the word proskuo (can’t check that one out on my spell checker) and highlighting the Jesus focus throughout each event.

  • Beyondchatter

    My girls and I have attended this event for several years as a mother-daughter retreat.  I has always been an excellent event where we learned much and laughed until we couldn’t laugh any more.  It has always been truly a “recharging” event and one that helped us reconnect as a family.

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    Never attended but sounds interesting, also you had a greast interview that really explained Women of Faith.

  • Julie Gumm

    I attended my first WOF in 2000 and loved it. Unfortunately it always seemed to fall on my son’s birthday so I didn’t make it back until this year when I went as a blogger. It was disappointing. Sure, the singers were great and the speakers were funny, but I felt like it lacked real substance. We heard stories with a nugget of truth but I didn’t crack my Bible open once the entire weekend. I didn’t hear anything so moving I needed to write it down. That all seemed to be missing. I also have to say that the extreme commercialization turned my stomach a little – the pushing of the books and even worse, the WOF credit card. I understand the organization needs to make money but there is a balance somewhere.

    I am excited to hear of the changes coming – those are some great speakers. I hope the “go deeper” theme really is true. The conferences are always extremely well organized and run and I have high hopes for is next year!

    • Becky Thompson

      I agree about the commercialization push.  I’m glad they are mixing more speakers in the mix but also keeping the same ones we love– for me that would be Sheila Walsh!  I went to several events but quit going b/c it became too predictable, so I’m excited to reconsider the event and see if I can work a weekend into our family’s budget.  Also, excited about Mandisa and Sandi Patti being apart of the event, as well. 

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Julie,

      It sounds like, with this new direction, that perhaps you weren’t the only one feeling this way. 

  • http://twitter.com/onisha Onisha Ellis

    When I worked in a physician’s office, several of us ladies attended each year. The speakers and music lifted our souls and created a bond that carried through to our work life.

    Meeting Evelyn Husband, wife of the commander of the shuttle  Columbia was a healing moment in my life. I had a lot of anger issues after the Columbia tragedy. After hearing her journey to forgiveness and acceptance, and talking with her, i I was able to release the anger in my heart.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Onisha,
      Sounds like a powerful message!

  • http://twitter.com/felicitywhite Felicity White

    I was thrilled with my Women of Faith experience. I was able to attend as a blogger through Thomas Nelson. Super excited about the live worship band – that should make a big difference in the worship experience, providing a bit more flexibility and an authentic feel. Christine Cain seems like a great addition – should attract younger women and less churched women.

    My best takeway? My first World Vision sponsor child: Silindokhule. That was probably the best decision of my year and has shaped our family’s perspective in a lot of transformative ways.

     

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Wow, Felicity, what a great experience sponsoring a child!  I agree about Christine Cain.  She will add a lot of value.

      BTW, I just subscribed to your blog.  I hope you do that book proposal!

      • http://twitter.com/felicitywhite Felicity White

         Thank, John! I’m working on it. : ) I enjoyed reading through your story today as well.

  • http://www.cynrogalski.com/ Cyn Rogalski

    At my first Women of Faith conference, I learned how to journal my devotions from Becky Tirabasi (early 1990’s). It is the formula I still use today; God never fails to speak!

  • Jackie

    I have only been once long ago but recall vividly moments in the hotel with my girlfriends.  Tears and laughter. That didn’t even involve the speakers!

  • http://www.CrazyAboutChurch.com/ Charles Specht

    Wish my wife could go to one of those.  I know they can be very encouraging.

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  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    As a man, I’ve never attended the conference but the lineup makes me jealous! Andy Andrews, Amy Grant, Ken Davis… Those women are lucky!

  • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

     Never gone—but encouraging my wife to go with some of her small group.

  • http://www.robsorbo.com/p/welcome-from-disqus.html Rob Sorbo

    This type of event seems awesome, but I wish there was a cost-effect way to do them on a smaller scale (maybe even Web streaming). My wife gets very uncomfortable in crowds, so she would never even consider going to an event like this.

    It seems like there could be a business opportunity here. If you created a Web option, then your target audience becomes all of the English-speaking Evangelical women in the world, rather than just the English-speaking Evangelical women in driving distance.

  • Johnhames

    Please, bring Sandi Patty back.  There is none other than her.

  • http://www.itsallabouthome.com/ Jo Rae Johnson

    Last year I attended IMAGINE, my first Women of Faith conference, in Atlanta. I was blessed with a free ticket in exchange for blogging during the event.

    I arrived at the conference like a flat tire. Unforeseen circumstances had punctured my life, and left me bumping down the road on my rims. As I inhaled each session here, I felt the breath of the Holy Spirit fill me with a fresh infusion of imagining. I left the conference pumped up and ready to  roll down the road to my destiny. 

    The key verse for the weekend was Ephesians 3:20

    “God can do anything you know – more than you could ever IMAGINE, guess or request in your wildest dreams.”

    If you’re in  need of inspiration, encouragement,  or renewal attend a Women of Faith Conference. You’ll be glad you did.

  • Dawn Vesco

    I just went yesterday to the new One Day WOF event in Baltimore.The venue was the Hipprodrome where Patsy Clairmont,Andy Andrews and Angie Smith encouraged and uplifted women in faith.It was fantastic!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m glad to hear it!

  • http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com womenlivingwell

    Awesome video!!!  I’m so excited about all the new changes!!! I LOVE Ann Voskamp – woohoo! GREAT addition!
    Courtney

  • http://amysorrells.wordpress.com/ Amy K. Sorrells

    I attended WOF in Indianapolis in 2010, and the authenticity, humor and faith of the speakers soooo helped me re-focus on Christ and re-fuel my faith. I especially loved Patsy’s story of how she overcame agoraphobia. And I also loved Andy Andrews! I love women, but having Andy there really helped spice things up (I do mean this respectfully, of course) with his humor and joy. My favorite moment was sitting in the third row while Sandi sang We Shall Behold Him. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Seriously.

    But perhaps the biggest way to-date that WOF has changed my life is when I learned just last week that my novel won the Westbow/WOF writing contest grand prize! I’m still completely goofy-speechless about that. I told God a long time ago the manuscript is His to use, and I pray the words will bring hope to many.

    So, THANK YOU, Women of Faith, for pointing us toward Him and encouraging us to use and devote our lives to Jesus!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Congratulations, Amy! This is an awesome accomplishment!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cathy-Zavitz/1286192856 Cathy Zavitz

    Question – why was the Women of Faith conference only in Toronto, Canada area one year ?  I’ve been hoping every year it would return but it’s been years now.

  • Modadaone

    I go every year with my daughters.  We have so much fun, shed some tears of joy and sadness and return recharged to our lives to be better servents for the Lord and our communites.  I am surprised by the comment about the wife who would never go again.  The only thing negative I would say is that the Honda center seating in Anaheim is scary above the 200 level especially if you have vertigo.

  • RRShelley

    WOF is the highlight of my year. I plan each year to attend the next with a group of wonderful ladies.  The blessings extend far beyond that brief moment in life as we are lifted into the presence of God through the life encounters of each speaker. We find God’s faithfulness in every experience and music selection.  I have journeyed with Patsy, Marilyn, Luci, Thelma, Sheila and our friend in glory, Barbara Johnson.  We laugh, praise, cry, laugh more and praise even more!  These women and the ministry team honor the Lord and encourage us to be more like Jesus when we leave than when we arrived and they offer the resources to motivate us.  How we appreciate all who serve behind the scenes to provide such a wonderful opportunity. See you in San Antonio, TX, in October. In the meantime, thank you, thank you, thank you and may God prosper and bless you.

  • Lpetrie

    I ordered 2 tickets for Rochester NY conference.  I chose my seats carefully and received a confirmation notice in email.  Now I receive an email stating I must be in a “race” to choose my new seats the week of July 7th.  I don’t even know what they are talking about since this is the first communication I have received since ordering online.  I have to choose new seats?  Really?  Why? 

  • http://cyndidenotter.wordpress.com/ Cyndi den Otter

    For many years in a row a group of women chartered a bus and drove 9 hours from Canada to  Women of Faith conferences.  We arrived weary but excited and it was worth the trip!  We were encouraged by the wonderful words, worship, and wisdom from those precious women who were willing to be real and transparent when they shared with us.  We laughed. We cried.  We went home filled up and refreshed with God’s many blessings from our week-end. I am excited about what God has in store with the new changes and hope to make the journey again.

  • Kathy Donnelly

    I have gone to the WOF conferences for a number of years now, the first few as a guest, and then started to take small group, then church  groups. This year was the largest for me, of 70 women. Some un-churched, some from other churches than mine, some military, and some friends of friends, in other words a very mixed group.Most of the women had never been before and were completely blown away. My friend from work thought that someone was going to thump her on the head and stick her nose in a bible. She came away totally awestruck! Wanting  more and already  recruited someone for next year.As for me, I have to tell you I was very busy keeping track of my little 70 chicks being the mother hen I tend to be. So I didn’t see the whole conference, but the joy of seeing all the other ladies experiencing this was truly my blessing and total joy. I personally could not get connected with this year WOF as in the past years. Was it the stage? Possibly, cause I thought the center stage was more inviting. Was it the speakers? Not sure. I have heard all the speakers before and loved each and every one of them.Maybe that was it, I had heard them before. We get sky boxes, and from what the venue told us was that WOF would not let us have any programs and that the small TVs could not be turned on per WOF.  That made things difficult for the older folks who have trouble with walking or seeing. I understand money is a big issue, but really WOF would prevent those things from happening? I keep telling everyone that this is D.C. and a big spiritual battle is taking place here, I really do believe that as we are fighting against late term abortion, same sex marriage in this area- so I know we are in a battle zone. 
    I missed the painter (sorry I can’t remember his name) and sorry I did miss it. I did see the dancers and thought they were beautiful. 
    My plan is to continue to take as many women as I can to the WOF.Allowing them to experience the fellowship of other ladies worshiping and lifting up the name of Jesus. 

  • Bishopper

    I just got back from my fourth Women of Faith conference. It was held in Portland, Oregon. The first three conferences I attended were spectacular. This one, not so much. The emphasis seemed to be on telling one tragic story after another. Where was the humor from the earlier conferences? The story-telling segment about a young boy who loses his father was entertaining, but what was the point? At the end he summed it up with something vague like, “There’s something bigger out there for all of us.” Also, the speakers seemed to focus on the “young mom” experience. I’m an older mom with a 20-something child who is going through some tough times. I would have appreciated having an older presenter. Sheila Walsh is my age, and she’s fantastic, but her son is 16 and by all accounts, a dream child. What about those of us whose children were on the cradle roll at church yet we feel like failures? My friend and I left during the much anticipated Selah concert because the sound was so loud it gave her a splitting headache. (The other music had been fine.) All in all, it seemed like a canned attempt to sell lots and lots of stuff. I was so disappointed after spending money on priority seating, two nights in a hotel, and making a three-hour drive.

  • Patti

    I was extremely disappointed with the changes in St Paul MN. From changing the physical layout to only Sheila Walsh, did not need so much ballet, and changing the lunch break (& running behind schedule). My daughter and I who have attended at least 7 events will probably not return next year. When making changes I would suggest making the changes gradually.

  • Anne Johnson

    I have attended the Women of Faith Event mostly every year since 2000.  I even went on the cruise one year.  It has been a must for me throughout the years.  This is my vacation for my soul!!  I just went Friday and yesterday at the Ft. Lauderdale event so inspiring were the speakers, one,  no better than the the other all inspiring and eloquent in telling their story in their own special way with the Word of God always first in their lives!!  Now isn’t that what life is all about!!  One of the ladies of the many I met, in my immediate vacinity, could not believe how to put our Lord and Savior’s word in our hearts and learned that connection by listening to this conference!!  Praise God!! 

  • Donna

    My sister almost died recently. It was terrible. She is very very Sick. She has a blockage in her heart that cannot be operated on because her kidneys are not functioning properly. I had bought tickets for the Phila conference on Sept 5 last year for the 2014 showing. My sister is not permitted to travel further than a few minutes from her home which is close to a hospital. She lives in VT. My niece must stay home with her. She needs someone with her at all times incase of an emergency, which has happened several times. I called woman of faith trying to explain the situation and that we can not go to the conference. They would have nothing to do with my plea of a refund. I have been trying to sell the three tickets but have had no luck. This is a lot of money for someone on a retirement income. I am so disappointed in woman of faith. It seems they are more interested in money than understanding and acting in a Christian manner. I won’t go back after this.