Sheila’s wit, humor, personal life experiences and Biblical perspective ministered to our multi-generational crowd of women and left us laughing and weeping at the feet of Jesus. God has gifted her with the ability to relate His Word in a way that’s easy to apply to how we live today. She gets down to the level where women really live.
“Well-versed and inspiring.”
“She explains things well so you can relate and understand them.”
“She laughs easily. Lovely charm!”
“Vivacious and biblically gifted speaker and teacher.”
What makes me excited about listening to Sheila Wray Gregoire can be best described in the following words: real, vulnerable, passionate, committed, and yes, very funny. The question is not should you book Sheila but when, and now has been the answer for me for quite some time.
“I came away with lots to think about–very practical!”
“I wish we had more time!”
I just want to say thank you so much for coming out and speaking to the MOPS Moms group. I got such great feedback from the moms – there were lots of e-mails and phone calls about how we can support each others to be the best parent we can be – we meet this week and they want to discuss what they have learned and how they can put it into practice. Again, thanks and blessings!
Just wanted to thank you again for speaking at our GNO. Everyone left so happy and inspired. One lady dropped around the house the other day to pay for our Chick Flick Night Dinner and a Movie and she said when she arrived home she felt so high her husband had to sit up and take notice. He said ” what happened to you” She said “I had the most wonderful evening.” So thank you!
Hi! I’m Sheila Wray Gregoire, and I:
- Speak at women’s events, women’s conferences, church outreaches, marriage conferences.
- Write seven books and counting! Focusing mostly on marriage, but I also have one on grief. And I have a Chicken Soup for the Soul type book of my 90 favorite columns.
- Blog everyday. Right here.
I love family. I love my family first and foremost, including my three children (one in heaven) and my husband. But I also love family because I believe that God made families as the primary vehicle to show His love. Probably part of this love stems from the fact that growing up, my family wasn’t healthy. My dad left when I was two, and I saw the damage that divorce does, even though my mom was amazing (and still is, as we take missions trips together!) So my passion in this life is to help strengthen families–to equip women to be the best wives and mothers they can be, and especially to cultivate marriages that are rock solid.
I don’t know exactly how I migrated from mostly talking about parenting and marriage to talking about sex, but sometime in the last five years I became the “sex lady”. And so now I blog and write regularly about how to make sex awesome in marriage.
I love to speak, and if your church is looking for an interesting women’s event, my Girl Talk: Straight Talk on Marriage and Intimacy, is a ton of fun. But I also do general interest women’s retreats, too.
When I’m not working, you can usually find me at home, homeschooling my two daughters. And knitting. Preferably simultaneously!
Sheila Wray Gregoire is a popular speaker, marriage blogger, and the author of seven books, including The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex. She loves encouraging women in their relationships, both with God and with their husbands, children, and friends. Her passion is for marriage, and she and her husband Keith speak together at marriage outreaches and at FamilyLife Canada marriage conferences. Sheila believes in authenticity, and gives real solutions to the very real and messy problems women, and couples, can face. You can usually find her in Belleville, Ontario, where she homeschools her two teenage daughters and knits. Preferably simultaneously.
Popular blogger and speaker, and award-winning author Sheila Wray Gregoire loves encouraging women to grow in their relationships, both with God and with their husbands, kids, and friends. The author of seven books, including How Big Is Your Umbrella, Sheila mixes humor and real-life stories to help women deal with the messy problems many of us face. She is the 2012 winner of the top literary prize for Canadian Christian books for The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, and her blog, To Love, Honor and Vacuum, is one of the top 25 Mom blogs on the web.
Growing up the only child of a single mother, she learned two things quickly: God is close to those who are lonely, and marriage is a sacred thing. The void that she felt in her early life has been transformed into a passion to help women find their worth first in Christ, and then to make their relationships mirror His. With her trademark humour and light touch, Sheila is able to drive home scriptural truths in a challenging yet inviting way.
Shortly after moving to Belleville, Ontario, when her girls were young, Sheila began writing for magazines. In 2003, her first book, To Love, Honor and Vacuum was published, followed rapidly by several more. She began to speak all over North America, keynoting at national denominational events, such as the Coffee Break conference and the Baptist Women’s convention, and leading workshops at large conferences like the MOPS convention and at BreakForth. She also speaks at women’s outreaches and retreats, sharing her story of finding God even in the darkest times. These don’t just include rejection as a child, but also walking through the horrible valley of losing a son. Through it all, Sheila learned that God is enough, a message she desperately wants other women to cling to and understand.
Sheila’s background includes two Master’s degrees from Queen’s University, with one in Sociology and the other in Public Administration. Her real education, though, has come as she has learned to be a wife to Keith, a busy pediatrician, and mother to Rebecca and Katie. Sheila and Keith love homeschooling their children, taking them on mission trips, and building a strong family rooted in Christ. Sheila is one of the few people in her immediate family who is not actually a physician, so she spends her life in doctor circles, on medical missions trips, and medical conferences. But she still faints at the sight of blood.
And she knits. Even in line at the grocery store.
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“Well-versed and inspiring.”
“She explains things well so you can relate and understand them.”
“She laughs easily. Lovely charm!”
“Vivacious and biblically-gifted speaker and teacher.”Various comments from Women at the Well “Extreme Makeover” conference, fall 2009
“I came away with lots to think about – very practical!”Various comments from Hebron Christian Reformed Church women’s retreat, “Redeeming the Time
- Girl Talk ~ One Off Event on Sex & Marriage
- Girls Night Out ~ One Off Event as an Outreach on How to Trust God
- Cutting the Strings ~ Women’s Retreat
Thanks for agreeing to host a Girl Talk! We’re excited to partner with you. To make it easier, we thought we’d share “Best Practices” from other churches and groups that have hosted a Girl Talk.
Charging For the Event Brings More People–and Makes Planning Easier
We know it can be tempting to want to offer the event for free. You certainly don’t want money to be a factor in whether or not women attend.
But what we have consistently found is that churches that charge for the event get more people–and the people are more engaged.
First, let us share with you a large scale experiment Sheila was involved in. For several years Sheila headlined at the Girls Night Out events produced by World Vision Canada. They were evening events held at local churches for the women in the community. For the first few years they charged nothing, but often found that by giving the tickets away they had no idea how many women would actually show up. It wasn’t unusual to only get 50% attendance based on number of tickets in circulation.
They decided to try to charge $5 to help defray some costs. All of a sudden up to 90% of women who had tickets showed up–and attendance didn’t drop, either. In some cases it even increased because people value what they pay for.
Within a few years they increased the price to $10 a ticket, again to defray costs, and found that the extra $5 made no difference. They still had roughly equivalent attendance to when they charged $5. So whether you charge $5 or $10 you get the same number of people–but $10 defrays more costs.
With Girl Talk, several churches have tried to offer it for free, and in some cases organizations have wanted to underwrite the event. However, this can backfire because when you give away tickets, people are less likely to come.
What we suggest: Charge $10 a ticket. If a sponsor wants to underwrite the event, have them instead offer gifts totalling $10 each, like a romantic gift bag for each woman with candles, oil, and even some promotional materials inside. You’ll find you get higher attendance and a more accurate count of how many women are actually coming.
Charge a Two-Tier Ticket Price
One of the challenges of planning an event is knowing how many will show up. After all, you have to plan for food!
Using a Two-Tier price structure can help you get more accurate numbers. Today it’s hard to get people to commit to an event more than a week in advance, and many would rather buy tickets at the door.
If you give a discount for buying tickets early, though, you overcome part of this problem.
You could charge $10 a ticket, or $12 at the door, and you’ll get a more accurate count early.
What if You’re a Group That Meets in the Mornings? Have an Evening Event!
In Seminole, Texas, a MOPS group that normally gets 70 women in a morning ended up with 400 women at the event in the evening. In Lafayette, Louisiana, with only 3 weeks notice, a group that gets 40 in the morning had 90 in the evening.
Girl Talk is a really easy sell. People WILL come out to hear a talk on sex–absolutely.
If you have a regular meeting in the morning hosting an evening event can seem daunting. But it does work. And there’s a lot more energy when you meet in the evenings for a special event than if Sheila just walks into your regular morning meeting. It ends up being more fun for everyone!
Consider joining with the women’s ministry at the church, or ask other MOPS groups to go together with you to host a community-wide Girl Talk.
Join with Two Other Churches or Groups
In San Antonio, Texas, one follower of Sheila’s blog really wanted to host a Girl Talk. But her church wasn’t big enough.
So she contacted the women’s ministry directors at two other area churches and the three churches went in together.
- One church did the decorations.
- One church did the food.
- And one church did the ticketing/administration/coordination
It worked wonderfully! The turnout was almost 300 women from 3 medium-sized churches, but all churches had fully bought into the event and promoted it to their congregations and their neighborhoods.
And because each church was responsible for one area, it was easy to split up the work.
Ask Another Church to Buy In, Don’t Just Give Them Posters
If you want the women from other churches to attend your event, asking other churches to buy in in some way will help. Ask another church to take on the responsibility for one area–like the food or the decorations–and then you’ll have more people excited about it!
How Should We Decorate?
You don’t have to be elaborate! Some churches have gone all out and some have just done a little bit.
Event & Workshop FAQs
FAQs about Fees & Expenses
Because I have worked closely with FamilyLife Canada, I am using their statement of faith as my own, since I like it and I signed it when I went on board with them! Here is their statement of faith, which I endorse wholeheartedly:
FamilyLife Canada Statement of Faith
The sole basis of our beliefs is the Bible, God’s inerrant written Word, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe that it was uniquely, verbally and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, and that it was written without factual error in the original manuscripts. It is the supreme and final authority in all matters on which it speaks.
We accept those large areas of doctrinal teaching on which, historically, there has been general agreement among all true Christians. Because of the specialized calling of our movement, we desire to allow for freedom of conviction on other doctrinal matters, provided that any interpretation is based upon the Bible alone, and that no such interpretation shall become an issue which hinders the ministry to which God has called us. We explicitly affirm our belief in basic Bible teachings as follows:
1. There is one true God, eternally existing in three persons – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – each of whom possesses equally all the attributes of Deity and the characteristics of personality.
2. Jesus Christ is God, the living Word, who became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. Hence, He is perfect Deity and true humanity united in one person forever.
3. He lived a sinless life and voluntarily atoned for our sins by dying on the cross as our substitute, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone.
4. He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He had lived and died.
5. He ascended bodily into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Father, where He, the only mediator between God and mankind, continually makes intercession for His own.
6. We were originally created in the image of God. We sinned by disobeying God; thus, we were alienated from our Creator. That historic fall brought all mankind under divine condemnation.
7. Our nature is corrupted, and we are thus totally unable to please God. Every person is in need of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
8. Our salvation is wholly a work of God’s free grace and is not the work, in whole or in part, of human works or goodness or religious ceremony. God imputes His righteousness to those who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, and thereby justifies them in His sight.
9. It is the privilege of all who are born again of the Spirit to be assured of their salvation from the very moment in which they trust Christ as their Saviour. This assurance is not based upon any kind of human merit, but is produced by the witness of the Holy Spirit, who confirms in the believer the testimony of God in His written Word.
10. The Holy Spirit has come into the world to reveal and glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to men and women. He convicts and draws sinners to Christ, imparts new life to them, continually indwells them from the moment of spiritual birth and seals them until the day of redemption. His fullness, power and control are appropriated in the believer’s life by faith.
11. We, as believers, are called to live in the power of the indwelling Spirit so that we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh but will bear fruit to the glory of God.
12. Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, His Body, which is composed of all men and women, living and dead, who have been joined to Him through saving faith.
13. God admonishes His people to assemble together regularly for worship, for participation in ordinances, for edification through the Scriptures and for mutual encouragement.
14. At physical death the believers enter immediately into eternal conscious fellowship with the Lord, and await the resurrection of their bodies to everlasting glory and blessing.
15. At physical death the unbelievers enter immediately into eternal conscious separation from the Lord and await the resurrection of their bodies to everlasting judgment and condemnation.
16. Jesus Christ will come again to the earth – personally, visibly and bodily – to consummate history and the eternal plan of God.
17. The Lord Jesus Christ commanded all believers to proclaim the gospel throughout the world and to disciple men and women of every nation. The fulfillment of that Great Commission requires that all worldly and personal ambition be subordinated to a total commitment to “Him who loved us and gave Himself for us.
Without mental reservation, we subscribe to the above statements and pledge ourselves to help fulfill the Great Commission in our generation, depending upon the Holy Spirit to guide and empower us.