I was standing on the curb at an airport a few weeks ago. My phone dinged as I got an email from someone who wanted me to come speak at a conference. As I started to tap out a reply, a car pulled up beside me–it was my ride. I was in town to speak at a church.
I put my bags in the trunk, and got in the passenger seat. Before we could even start talking, my phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and saw it was my contact for the next event I was speaking at. I offered my host an apologetic frown and said, "This could be important, do you mind if I take it?"
My life is on a bizarre, wonderful trajectory. Stories like the one above have become common. I am in the fortunate position that people want me to come share my story and insights with their churches, colleges, and conferences. I take these opportunities seriously.
Anytime some invites you to speak to a group, they are lending you their credibility. All the people in the audience are giving you their most precious commodity: their time. So, I work hard at giving my absolute best every time I speak or share. But, preparing a talk isn't the only work involved in sharing to a group.
A remarkable number of details have to allign for any event to be a success. So, I put special emphasis on being easy to work with, and being responsive in the planning process. I've found that as your work grows, it gets more difficult to both do a great job being present on a platform while being responsive regarding upcoming events. Plus, I'm just not qualified to manage all the details that go into larger events–a lot of the questions people ask me are new to me.
Several friends encouraged me to work with a management company, but I've heard enough nightmare stories about unresponsive partners to be cautious. It wasn't just that, though. I was also doubtful any serious company would take me on. There is always a voice inside that whispers, "Who are you, anyway?"
Despite that voice, my good fortune continues. I am thrilled to announce that I'm working with Chaffee Management Group now to handle my booking and event execution. I can't overstate how amazing this is. I would have laughed in your face if you would have told me a year ago that one day I'd be working with the team that develops Rachel Held Evans, Bob Goff, Sarah Bessey, Cathleen Falsani, Steve Taylor, Matthew Paul Turner or the other folks with Chaffee Management Group. These are people whose work I admire, and who are contributing fresh words into the Church today.
If you're looking for someone to talk about what happens when science and faith meet, doubt, athiesm, or how neuroscience can change how we pray, follow this link. Jim Chaffee has the experience and mentality to make sure your event is a success, and I'd be honored to be a part of what you've got planned.
So, all you readers and supporters: thanks for taking this journey with me. I couldn't do it without you.
Finally, as part of the process I asked a few friends and people who've invited me to speak to share a few words about thier experience. The responses below are more than an honor. They're also humbling beyond words.
“I honestly don't know whether I'd still be a Christian or not if I hadn't met Mike. I consider him to be one of the most interesting and important voices in American Christianity right now.”
"Science Mike is way too funny to be as smart as he is and way too honest, touching, insightful and entertaining to be ignored. What I mean is, I resent his multiple talents. Any time he's speaking my ears perk up like a dog hearing a can opener, and yours should, too. Also, feed your dog."
"Mike McHargue is one of the smartest thinkers of our time. His understanding of the Universe, and its intricacies, is inspiring and beautiful beyond measure. I can only assume that as a child, he took all of his toys apart and put them back together again just to figure them out. With that same wonder and curiosity, he lays out every tiny, confusing piece of Science and Religion on the table, and we as his readers and listeners get to watch and learn as he pieces it all together.”
"I was once at a party with Mike and I began asking him
questions about science or the brain or God or some similar
topic and when he responded something fascinating happened.
It was a fairly large party, with people in the living room where
Mike and I were, spilling out into the dining room and the kitchen,
but when Mike started casually answering my questions people
stopped talking to each other and started listening to Mike.
And moving closer, and hanging on every word.
I don't mean to make this sound overly dramatic, but I've seen
Mike talk, both casually and more formally over the past few
years, and this always happens: people lean and hang on his
every word. It isn't just the content of what he says, which blows
people's minds, and it isn't just his clarity-he is an outstanding
communicator, it's something else. Something deeper, richer,
more profound-something involving his soul, his life, his integrity,
his heart. This is someone filled with wonder and awe, who looks
at the world and in the facts and pain and science and poetry
and heartbreak sees something beautiful at work, and he has the
uncanny ability-maybe the better word would be power-to explain
and describe and articulate that something beautiful like few people I've ever heard.
Mike is a rare talent, a rare voice, a rare soul."
Rob Bell, New York Times bestselling author and speaker
“Mike McHargue's message reminds us that we can believe in God, love Jesus, and use our brains all at the same time. He speaks with knowledge, humor, and compassion for those of us whose faith journey has led to some very unexpected places. He helped me on my own journey, and I am willing to bet that there are people in your community that he can help as well."
“Mike’s presentation at Granger on neuroscience and prayer was unique, engaging, and insightful. We were trying to reach an eclectic audience of seekers and believers, academics and laypeople, and he connected across the board. The impact of his time is still being felt in the ongoing conversations and new steps of faith he provoked. But maybe the best part about Mike’s visit was that his humble, thoughtful demeanor on-stage was matched in every other interaction we had leading up to the event and during his time in town. He was a joy to work with. I can’t recommend him highly enough.”
“Mike is the best kind of nerd - an engaging storyteller that strikes the perfect balance of being both smart and accessible. His story and willingness to tackle difficult questions of faith and science is a gift to all of us.”