You Don’t Have to Lead, Write, Speak Alone

I’ll never forget that single brave moment over a decade ago when I shared that God was working in my heart to write and speak for Him. I don’t know what I was expecting, but not long into the journey, I felt lonely. I didn’t know any other writers. I didn’t know any speakers or ministry leaders. And for some time, writing, speaking, and leading felt like working on an island–without any Internet access!

One of the second bravest moments was when I showed up at a blogging conference. I didn’t know a single person and my personality is not naturally the boldest. But there was one thing I knew—I couldn’t do this thing alone for the long term. If I planned to follow through with God’s plan for me on this ministry journey, then I needed to surround myself with others who would “get it.”

Over 12 years later, there’s a prominent principle I stand by: 

Authors, speakers, and ministry leaders need one another. 

Writers and leaders who choose to think in terms of collaboration rather than competition see enormous success for many reasons. Let’s walk through a few of the benefits of being in a community together, shall we?

  1. Iron sharpens iron. 

If you want to grow your skillset, then hang out with the peeps who want to grow those same skills. Simply stated, but straight truth.

  1. Having someone to hold us to the fire is a good thing.

Accountability is a treasure. According to, research shows that if you commit to someone that you will do something, the odds of completing that task are 65%. BUT if you have an appointment with someone who is going to ask you about that task and hold you accountable? Your odds of completion jump to 95%. 

Still struggling to get that book proposal completed? Dragging your feet to finish your new web design? Just haven’t made the time to start that podcast? You guessed it—you need accountability.

  1. Community births fresh ideas and insight.

Our brains are stimulated by the thoughts, actions, and reactions of others. The creative meeting of the minds is more powerful in a focused setting and instigates unique channels that otherwise wouldn’t exist. Feeling stale or distracted in your work? Community just might be your cure for the status quo.

  1. Challenges are better tackled together.

Overcoming obstacles in a team framework requires less time and energy than handling them alone. Teamwork makes the dream work. If you don’t have a team, get connected to one that can pinch-hit for you.

  1. Successes are better celebrated together.

There is no one who will better understand the reason you cry when you hold the first copy of your book than another author. There is no one on the planet who will get the reason you are completely exhausted after a 3 day speaking event other than a fellow speaker. Cheers from the speaking and writing community are sweet to the soul because they’ve been there. 

While the list for committing to be part of a group is much longer than the few benefits I’ve listed above, the point of this post is that our Speak Up team knows that you have at least three basic needs as a communicator: Clarity, Community, and Accountability.

Right now, the doors are open for Speak Up Growth Groups Registration. What are Speak Up Growth Groups? SpeakUp Growth Groups were born from our very own SpeakUp Conference, the premier conference for speakers and writers to advance their personal or professional ministry.

Growth Groups consist of two levels, Lean In and Learn On. Each group consists of 6-8 participants and a leader who serves as either a discussion facilitator or intensive coach. 

Lean In is our entry-level peer-to-peer mastermind group designed for someone who has never participated in mastermind groups before or has beginning experience. This level walks through a monthly focused topic curriculum together with a group discussion to promote accountability and community. The Zoom meeting lasts 90 minutes and is guided by a discussion facilitator. 

Learn On is our intensive coaching group designed for speakers, writers, and leaders who are pushing forward to the next level of their ministry. These groups meet and walk through monthly curriculum together, but in addition to the Lean In material, they also receive 20 minutes of intensive coaching, a bonus sheet of resources that complement the month’s topic, AND a monthly bonus Zoom meeting with Carol Kent, myself, our intensive coaching group leaders and Learn On members.

Registration is open until 11:59 pm EST, August 26, 2022.

We hope you’ll REGISTER NOW!

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  1. Leann Seale on 2022-03-29 at 8:25 PM

    You are right on! Growth groups are beyond valuable. For me, participating in growth groups with like-minded speakers & authors, who authentically want to live out God’s calling, helps me know “my people” are out there across the country doing the same things I’m doing. I don’t feel as alone or isolated, knowing we share similar struggles, challenges, and hopes. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to be praying for their ministries and projects, and I have made friends through Speak Up, who care about mine as well.
    I am inspired to stay focused and complete the work that God has for me. That accountability is so necessary. The addition of these groups year-round, truly keeps our connections strong and our ministries growing.
    Thank you & hugs,
    Leann Seale

    • Rachel Wojnarowski on 2022-04-18 at 3:14 PM

      You’re rockin’ it, Leann! Thank you for the kind words and I’m so excited to see how God is using you!

  2. Dyann Shepard on 2022-03-29 at 11:20 AM

    Thank you Rachel. Loved this encouragement. I completely related to the “first” time writing and speaking. God stretches and stretches us and when we allow it “oh the places we will go.” Looking forward to Speak UP and being in person with our brothers and sisters from growth group and office hours.
    Blessings, Dyann

    • Rachel Wojnarowski on 2022-04-18 at 3:15 PM

      Can’t wait to see you face to face at Speak Up, Dyann!

  3. Donna Fagerstrom on 2022-03-29 at 6:39 AM

    Excellent, practical advise. It reminds me of the truth that Jesus sent the disciples out two by two, we need each other.💕

    • Rachel Wojnarowski on 2022-04-18 at 3:15 PM

      Thanks, Donna!

  4. Cheri Fuller on 2021-08-04 at 2:03 PM

    I’m a friend (writer and speaker friend) of Carol Kent and just read your blog. I agree with all you said!
    What are some of the faith-based companies/publications, either online and/or in print, that you contribute monthly articles to?

    I ask this because I’m doing a session at a writer’s conference over Labor Day weekend here in OKC on magazine writing. I used to write for a number of faith-based magazines, but God led me in the direction of being a founder and executive director of a nonprofit that supports children of incarcerated parents.
    So I’m a bit “out of the loop.” I’d really like to be able to make some suggestions about where these writers will start or offer some direction for them on markets.

    Thanks very much!
    Cheri Fuller

  5. Becky Harling on 2021-08-03 at 10:17 AM

    This is a GREAT blog post! Thanks, Rachel!

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