Speaking Topics

Dear Event or Retreat Planner,

Thanks so much for considering my speaking topics. I’d love to talk with you about sharing a message with your group! Please feel free to contact me here.

Warmly,

Topics for Women’s Events

Control Girl To Jesus Girl

Control Girls aren’t trying to exasperate anyone; they’re just trying to make everything turn out right! Yet the woman who lives life repeatedly lunging after control tends to make everybody miserable–herself included. Shannon Popkin can attest to that.

As she shares about her journey from Control Girl to Jesus Girl, Shannon will invite you to find the peace, security, hope, and joy that comes–not from gripping, clamping, and clawing after my own version of perfect, but from surrendering to the One who truly is in control.

Flipped: Comparison in the Upside Down Kingdom

Comparison isn’t a game; it’s a trap set by Satan. He knows that if we compare, we’ll either feel inferior or superior, and either one leads to bondage. But Jesus invites us to be part of His kingdom, where freedom is found—not in measuring up, but in pouring your life out.

With humor and candor, Shannon will share about her own comparison struggles, and how having her perspective “flipped” by Jesus is restoring her confidence, freedom, and joy.

Mirror, Mirror

Why do American women spend billions, annually, on makeup, dieting, and trips to the salon? It has more to do with an inner problem than outward issues. With humor, candor, and compassion, Shannon will talk about her own struggles in front of the mirror, then share a beauty secret from the true “mirror, mirror” of God’s Word–which give any woman timeless beauty.

More than Pretty Packaging

God designed each woman to be a beautifully wrapped gift to her family. Yet many times, we’re the reverse of this. We might have pretty packaging, but on the inside, we’re empty and demanding. Without realizing it, we become the ugly, controlling woman with her claws out–trying to get everybody else–instead of God–to fill us up.

 Shannon Popkin has tried it both ways. Blending her love for humor and God’s word, Shannon will share a personal story that illustrates the stark contrast between being the ugly, controlling woman and the beautiful gift God designed for each of us to be.
(This topic has been used with a “Spa Night” setting.)

Empty Habits, Abundant God

Somehow, we always get it backward. We think that God’s ways will leave us empty and hollow. So we repeatedly turn aside to the ‘empty things’ that promise to fill us up. But the empty things can only make us empty.

Using several stories from her life, Shannon Popkin will invite you to discover the abundant, lid-popping fullness that God wants you to have–but only when you leave the empty things behind.

The Prodigal’s Sister

This presentation is a dramatic retelling of the story of the father with two sons in Luke 15, but it adds a character—the prodigal’s little sister. It’s based on a book (a poem, really) written by John Piper, with the same name. The sister, like Jesus, pursues both the prodigal who is far off, and the dutiful brother who never left, but is far from the Father.

Shannon Popkin loves to tell a good story, and this is one of the best. After drawing you into the story, Shannon will compel you to consider your own relationship to the Father, who longs for you to come to the table. This presentation’s length can be adjusted to 30 or 45 minutes, and can be tailored to suit either young or mature audiences.

How to Have a ‘Mary’ Christmas

From pies to decorating to gift-giving, women tend to put a lot of effort into making everything turn out “right” at Christmas. But our drive to create the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ often turns us into exasperating Control Girls, who cause everyone to cringe instead of savor the season.

With humor and passion for celebrating Jesus, Shannon Popkin will help you consider Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a beautiful example of relinquishing control at Christmas. Come find the hope and joy that Jesus offers to any woman who chooses to make Christmas all about Him.

When God Re-Writes Your Script (CHRISTMAS)

Who could say that her life has gone exactly as expected? We’re often given an unexpected ‘role’ to play–something we never envisioned for ourselves. A child with special needs, a disease, a marital struggle, or an addiction. We flip forward in the script, wondering how it’s going to turn out, and whether the ending will be happy. But beyond this scene, the script is blank.

Mary was handed the script for a ‘leading lady’ role, which she had not auditioned for. Mary’s story shows us that each new script is an invitation to give God center stage, as he deserves, and get wrapped up in his grand drama, rather than trying to star in our own, rather insignificant and unsatisfying production.

 When God Re-Writes Your Script (Gen. 12-21: Sarah)

Who could say that her life has gone exactly as expected? We’re often given an unexpected ‘role’ to play–something we never envisioned for ourselves: infertility or a child with special needs, a marital struggle, or a disease… We flip forward in the script, wondering how it’s going to turn out, and whether the ending will be happy. But beyond this scene, the script is blank.

Sarah was handed a ‘leading lady’ script, which she had not auditioned for. The role involved leaving everything and following her husband on a camping trip to a foreign country which lasted the rest of her life. Her drama also included betrayal by her husband and giving birth to a way, way overdue baby. And though Sarah makes us feel better about our own fiascos, her ‘thumbs-up’ review in Hebrews 11 gives us hope. Sarah’s story shows that each new script is an invitation to have faith in the loving God who wrote it.

Event Planners, don’t miss all of the resources I’ve pulled together for you here!

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Topics for Women’s Retreats

Control Girl to Jesus Girl

Control Girls aren’t trying to exasperate anyone; they’re just trying to make everything turn out right! Yet the woman who lives life repeatedly lunging after control tends to make everybody miserable–herself included.

Shannon Popkin can attest to that. As she shares about her journey from Control Girl to Jesus Girl, Shannon will invite you to find the peace, security, hope, and joy that comes–not from gripping, clamping, and clawing after my own version of perfect, but from surrendering to the One who truly is in control.

Participants will:

  • Learn to recognize fear and anger as indicators of a deeper struggle with control.
  • Draw a connection between their control struggle and the first struggle for control in the Garden.
  • Choose from 5 practical, course-correcting steps, which have the power to, little-by-little, turn a Control Girl into a Jesus Girl.

Retreat planners, don’t miss all of the resources I’ve pulled together for you here

More topics, coming soon. 

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Writers’, Speakers’, Leadership, or Ministry Conference Topics

5 Platform-Building Questions Every Christian Speaker and Writer Must Ask

Social media offers more opportunities to spread the light of Jesus than ever before–but it also presents new and unique challenges. We set out with a passion to serve others, share truth, and give of ourselves. Yet our good intentions are easily eclipsed by desires to promote ourselves, receive affirmation, and gain recognition.

Is there a way to gather followers and still follow Jesus? Is there a way to both take up our cross and build up our stats? Shannon Popkin believes there is. Come get guidance on these five questions, every speaker and writer must ask:

  • How can I make noise, and still be humble?
  • Does Jesus want me to be strategic?
  • How can I weigh my own motives?
  • Should I become a platform-builder, or just trust God?
  • Am I self-serving when I try to network?

 

Preparing for Spiritual Attack in Ministry

Many new writers and speakers are caught off guard by the spiritual gloom or added temptation, which often accompany a writing/speaking project. When we—as writers and speakers—cast words of light and truth out into the darkness, we also throw rocks at the enemy’s hornet nest. And Satan doesn’t fight fair. Yet God has not given us a spirit of fear. Come develop a step-by-step plan for protecting against and overcoming spiritual attack in ministry.

Participants will:

  • Learn to identify the enemy’s condemning attack vs. conviction from God
  • Define the unseen spiritual battle—God’s goals vs. Satan’s
  • Develop an offensive plan (physically, spiritually, emotionally) for times of intense ministry
  • Create a defensive strategy for times of attack—how to fight back

Comparison Game War

Comparison isn’t a game; it’s a strategy of war used by an enemy who loves to divide us. Satan knows that when we compare, we pull away—with either a sense of inferiority or superiority. Division. Jealousy. Pride. Unworthiness. Each one has “Satan was here” graffiti spewed all over it. But what if we showed Satan to the door and ushered King Jesus to His throne at this conference?

Jesus invites us to a kingdom where greatness is achieved—not measuring up, but by pouring yourself out. And Jesus invites us (the leaders) to go first. As we huddle up and collaborate on how to better share truth and spread the gospel, let’s link arms in solidarity. Let’s enjoy the sweetness of unity. Let’s empty ourselves—as Jesus did, and be free!

Control Girls in Ministry

Control Girls aren’t trying to be inflexible or exasperating; they’re just trying to make things turn out right. But by clamping onto their own ministry ideals, they work against God, not for him. Discover God’s way to respond, either to your own inner Control Girl, or the Control Girls you minister alongside.

Threatened or Thriving: How Control Strangles Ministry

Controlling leaders are turf-oriented, defensive, and inflexible. Out of fear of losing their grip on control, they strangle a ministry, rather than breathing life into it. Come discover five ways to cultivate a thriving ministry by surrendering control to God.

Building a Platform to Elevate Jesus (Not Me)

In a media driven world, does God approve of our efforts to build a platform and expand our reach? Are we compelled by the Great Commission or a great need for affirmation and recognition? Is there a way to gather followers and still follow Jesus? Get practical help on examining motives, relinquishing control to God, and developing godly strategies for growing your platform.

From Proposal to Print: 6 Essentials

My biggest surprise about being published? That when I turned in my manuscript, I had not reached the “Finish Line”. It was the starting block for “phase two” of the publishing journey!

Are you closing in on a book contract? As a newly experienced author, I would love to put an arm around your s

houlders and guide you on the second leg of this publishing journey. I’ll offer input on six essentials for bringing your book from proposal to print:

  • Providing an excellent, timely manuscript
  • Gathering endorsements
  • Branding your book
  • Enlisting Supporters
  • Preparing for Launch
  • Managing your emotions and expectations

Are you a Comparison Girl?

(Great for Teens/ Middle School/ Youth leaders)

“How do I measure up?” a girl intuitively begins to wonder, as her eyes flutter open to differences she never noticed. And that’s when Satan pounces–tempting her to compare. Jealousy, pride, inferiority, self-loathing, and mean girl tactics are some of comparison’s bitter fruits which can poison a girl’s life for decades. Thankfully, King Jesus came offering a cure.

With humor, compassion, and passion for God’s word, Shannon will share her own struggles with comparison, along with the immense freedom, joy, and connection she’s found from living inside Jesus’ kingdom–where the last are first, the greats are servants, and measuring up comes from pouring your life out.

 

 
 

 

 

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Topics for Moms Groups

Control Girl Mama

Control Girls can be uptight, overprotective, angry, fretful, pushy, frantic, irritable Mamas—but only because they’re trying to make it all turn out right! Yet trying to control everything tends to make everybody miserable (including the Mama).  As Shannon shares about her journey from Control Girl to Jesus Girl, she will invite you to find the peace, security, hope, and joy that comes–not from gripping, clamping, and clawing after your own version of perfect, but from surrendering to the One who truly is in control.

Flipped: Comparison in the Upside Down Kingdom

Comparison isn’t a game; it’s a trap set by Satan. He knows that if we compare we’ll either feel inferior or superior, and either one leads to bondage. But Jesus invites us to be part of His kingdom, where freedom is found—not in measuring up, but in pouring your life out.

With humor and candor, Shannon will share about her own comparison struggles, and how having her life “flipped” by Jesus is restoring her confidence, freedom, and joy.

Surrender Daringly

Do you struggle with wanting to control everything, and make it turn out “right”? Are you fretting because Benny isn’t crawling yet, or Lucy is behind on potty training? Do you project out to the Happy Ending you’re hoping for, then try to arrange today, accordingly? Shannon—whose kids are now in the driving & dating stage—can relate!

God’s long term goal for our parenting is not for us to control our kids, but to surrender them to Him. In her humorous, open way, Shannon will give you practical steps for abandoning your frantic, fretting, fuming ways and join her on the path that leads from control to surrender.

When God Leans Low

If the heaven is God’s throne and the earth is his footstool (Isaiah 66:1), then my life must be pretty small. Does God see? Does He care? It’s easy to sing along with the song, “He’s Got the Whole world In His Hands”, but what I really want to know is: “Does He have MY world in his hands?”

With this question in mind, Shannon will share several stories from her life which leave no room for doubt: God truly does lean down low! Shannon’s stories aren’t about earth-shattering events. They’re about small moments which are life-altering because they prove that God truly is for us and cares enough to involve Himself in our lives. Shannon will inspire you to recognize how God has leaned low into your life, too–proving that you can trust Him.

Why we have “MOPS”, not “POPS”

There’s a reason we have MOPS instead of POPS. It’s because God embedded in YOU a unique drive and desire for relationships. He designed you to be the relational expert of your home! But that doesn’t mean your work is easy. You won’t be able to distance yourself from problems or hope things fall into place. No, relationships will be the most challenging work of your life; but also the most rewarding!

In her humorous, yet encouraging way, Shannon Popkin will share several biblical patterns for creating extraordinary relationships between the people who matter most: your family.

Treasure Maps that Lead Little Ones to God

Left to themselves, our kids will spend the rest of their lives hunting the empty treasure of this world. So how can we draw a ‘treasure map’ that leads our little ones to God (especially since they can’t see God, and they can see Thomas the Tank Engine or whatever else they momentarily fixated on)? Fortunately, we don’t have to turn our kids into treasure hunters; they already are treasure-hunters! God placed an insatiable desire for more inside our kids to draw them toward Himself, knowing that He is the only one who can ever satisfy them.

With the perspective she’s gained from parenting her kids into their teen, Shannon Popkin will give you six guidelines for drawing a treasure map that leads your little one (or older child) to the one true treasure–God.

The Significance of Crumb-Sweeping and Nose-Wiping

You want to do something great with your life! Something significant! But the sticky floors, a screaming newborn, and towering laundry baskets keep getting in the way, right? Wrong—according to God. As God sifts our accomplishments, He assigns the most value to serving, which is what moms do all day long! Each little nose that needs to be wiped or little mouth that needs to be spoon fed is an opportunity to do something truly great.

With humor and the perspective of a mom whose shoes are now smaller than her kids’, Shannon Popkin will empower you to embrace the preschool years.

Mirror, Mirror…

Why do American women spend billions, annually, on makeup, dieting, and trips to the salon? It has more to do with an inner problem than outward issues. With humor, candor, and compassion, Shannon will talk about her own struggles in front of the mirror, then share a beauty secret from the true “mirror, mirror” of God’s Word–which offers any woman the opportunity for timeless beauty.

 

More than Pretty Packaging

God designed each woman to be a beautifully wrapped gift to her family. Yet many times, we’re the reverse of this. We might have pretty packaging, but on the inside, we’re empty and demanding. Without realizing it, we become the ugly, controlling woman with her claws out–trying to get everybody else–instead of God–to fill us up.

 Shannon Popkin has tried it both ways. Blending her love for humor and God’s word, Shannon will share a personal story that illustrates the stark contrast between being the ugly, controlling woman and the beautiful gift God designed for each of us to be.
(This is an abbreviated 20 minute version of ‘Mirror, Mirror’–great to use with a ‘Spa Night’)

How to Have a ‘Mary’ CHRISTMAS

From decorating to gift-giving to pinterest-perfect treats, women tend to put a lot of effort into making everything turn out “right” at Christmas. But when our drive to create the “most wonderful time of the year” turns us into exasperating Control Girls, we cause everyone to cringe instead of savor the season.

With humor and passion for celebrating Jesus, Shannon Popkin will help you consider Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a beautiful example of relinquishing control at Christmas. Come find the hope and joy that Jesus offers to any woman who chooses to make Christmas all about Him.

When God Re-Writes Your Script (CHRISTMAS)

Who could say that her life has gone exactly as expected? We’re often given an unexpected ‘role’ to play–something we never envisioned for ourselves–a child with special needs, a disease, a marital struggle, or an addiction. We flip forward in the script, wondering how it’s going to turn out, and whether the ending will be happy. But beyond this scene, the script is blank.

Mary was handed the script for a ‘leading lady’ role, which she had not auditioned for. Mary’s story shows us that each new script is an invitation to give God center stage, as he deserves, and get wrapped up in his grand drama, rather than trying to star in our own, rather insignificant and unsatisfying production.

When God Re-Writes Your Script (Gen. 12-21, Sarah)

Who could say that her life has gone exactly as expected? We’re often given an unexpected ‘role’ to play–something we never envisioned for ourselves: infertility or a child with special needs, a marital struggle, or a disease… We flip forward in the script, wondering how it’s going to turn out, but beyond this scene the script is blank.

With humor and transparency, Shannon will refresh your faith by introducing you to Sarah–a woman in the Bible, who provides both ugly and beautiful examples of how to respond to God, when He re-writes your script.

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Contact Shannon about a Speaking Opportunity:

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