My first year attending the Influence Conference in 2012 was, as cliché as it sounds, an experience of a lifetime. I flew to Indiana to spend the weekend with over 200 strangers – sounds crazy, I know. But, when you know the Lord’s in it, you just do it. I knew a handful of these women from blogs and Twitter, had been fortunate enough to email and Google Chat with a few prior to the conference, but truly, knew very few of these women before we met face-to-face at InfluenceConf 2012. It was a brave, nerve-wracking move for me, as an introvert, to step outside my comfort zone and spend the weekend with these women. A brave move I’m forever grateful for. That weekend, over 200 strangers formed a community that has been called to use the internet for good, to stand behind each other, to connect and grow with one another, and learn how to use our mediums, online and offline, to spread the Gospel.
With the launch of The Influence Network after the first conference, a community of gospel-centered women has quickly grown and blossomed into something the Lord has used for so much good. Bloggers, entrepreneurs, song-writers, mothers, church-planters, military-wives, photographers, writers, business owners, and students have all come together for one purpose – to make much of Jesus with their voice, with their hands, and with the platform the Lord has given them. We’re grateful to now have the resources to engage outside of our annual conference in order to connect, collaborate, learn and grow together. This community has created a space for new relationships to form and flourish, friendships to strengthen, and prayers and advice offered to turn an idea into a reality. The Influence Network is essentially the conference-year-round, minus the hotel roommates.
If you’re coming to the Influence Conference, plan ahead and find your people. They are out there. Whether it’s through the InfluenceNet forums, community groups, connecting beforehand at a local InfluenceNet meet-up, or even bringing a group of your “offline friends” – we’ve created resources for all of you to connect with other women just like you NOW. Seek out the women you feel called to meet. The women with similar interests, similar stories, or the women you’d love to learn from. Don’t wait until the conference to introduce yourself. We want you entering Thursday night’s Mocha Club party knowing that there are a handful of women waiting to embrace you with the warmest hug (or firm handshake, if you’re not a hugger, like me) and are super excited to finally experience the conference with you. The time to connect is now and the Influence Conference is the time to celebrate the Gospel. And we’d love to celebrate with you.
Please join the Influence Conference Community Leaders today as they share their stories of finding community at the Influence Conference in years past. You can share your own story on your blog and link up here or share your story on your Instagram or Facebook (adding the #influenceconf hashtag at the end). We are excited to connect and encourage other women, through our stories, to step out in faith and join us this September at the Influence Conference!
We’re working on getting the linkup posted here, so for now, linkup through a community leader‘s blog post. We’re excited to read your stories!