Thanks so much for your interest in having me speak with your group! I can customize talks to the needs of your audience, but most talks are 30-45 minutes in length, and I usually spend another 15-30 minutes for Q and A or discussion.
Some potential topics include:
Grace in the Ordinary. Based upon my newest book, Small Talk (Zondervan, October 2014), this talk shares personal stories about experiencing grace in the ordinary stuff of everyday life. I give examples of ordinary “failures” as a mom and the way grace showed up unexpectedly. I also suggest a few practices (prayer, love, listening) that can help us pay attention to the grace that is all around us.
Let the Children Come. This talk looks at the various places in the Gospels where Jesus talks about children. Jesus treats children with equal standing to adults (he heals them and values them), but he also says that children have something crucial to offer the rest of us. Moreover, Jesus calls his disciples “little ones” and urges them to become like children. Again using personal anecdotes, this talk examines the call to become “like children” before God—why we resist that call, what it means to follow that call, and why God would want us to respond to that call.
Talking with Children About What Matters Most. Based upon my new book, Small Talk (Zondervan, October 2014), this talk shares personal stories in the context of how to talk with your children about faith, family, and the beliefs and values that matter to you.
Praying for Laughter. This talk considers the idea that we can learn to be content in all circumstances. In it, I provide stories and suggestions for how to experience God in the “dramatic hard stuff” of every day life, and perhaps more importantly, how to experience and pursue God in the “ordinary hard stuff” as well.
Hope and the Spiritual Imagination. This talk explores the nature of hope, moving from fear to hope, the role of the spiritual imagination in hope, and the Source of our hope.
Be Still and Know. This talk is based upon Psalm 46:10, and it offers practical suggestions for spiritual growth. In it, I reflect on the trouble we have living out this command to “be still and know that I am God,” the longing we have to live this out, and some practical suggestions about how we might overcome the trouble and satisfy the longings.
Rethinking Perfection. This talk addresses our culture’s obsession with perfection and the Bible’s response, weaving together personal anecdote and reading from A Good and Perfect Gift with theological and Biblical insight.
Identity and Ability. This talk addresses our tendency to construct our identity based upon our abilities rather than upon God’s love for us. We tend to ask, “What can I (or my child) do?” rather than “Who am I (or who is s/he)?” Here I discuss the temptation to compare ourselves (and for parents, our children) to one another. In this talk, I discuss the positive aspects of comparison, but also the problems of comparison when it leads to jealousy or to judgment. Again, using personal anecdote and reading from A Good and Perfect Gift, I offer real-life stories and theological insight on how to allow God to change jealousy and judgment into joy, and to create an identity based upon love instead of accomplishments.
Talking About Disability. This talk is designed especially for parents who want to talk with their children about disability. It begins with addressing the questions and fears that adults have when it comes to disability, and it offers some practical suggestions for how to engage children in the process.
I am also willing to craft a new talk for your needs, although in this case my fee might be higher based upon greater preparation time needed.
At all speaking engagements, I will work with you to make sure an adequate number of books are available for sale. You will need to purchase books through a local bookstore or an online retailer. I have included links to purchase books at the end of this document. You are welcome to mark up the price of the books and keep any revenue generated from sales. I recommend having cash on hand in order to make change as well as information about how to purchase via check and/or credit card.
I request reimbursement for travel and meals (and lodging if necessary) and an honorarium/speaking fee to reflect the time spent in preparation and on site. In general, I request:
$500 for events that are less than 150 miles from my home
$1000 for events that require significant travel and/or a night away but remain within the Eastern Standard Time Zone
$2500 for events that require cross-country travel
$5000 for events that require international travel
I am happy to work out arrangements that make sense for the hosting organization and conform to their policies.
Thank you for considering me as a speaker.
Amy Julia Becker