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Need a speaker / preacher / facilitator?

I've been in lots of spaces where the right person at the right time unlocked something incredible for those gathered. It's hard to describe. I hope you've had that experience too. It's holy ground. You can feel it in the air.

For anyone planning a conference, retreat or workshop, the people you invite make a difference.

If you're looking for someone to facilitate a retreat or share a keynote address, I'd love to connect and see if I'm a good fit for your group. Send me an email and we'll chat!

Spaces I've Loved

  • Closing Worship Keynote Speaker - Exploration 2017, a national gathering for young adults exploring a call to ministry
  • Stories of the Sisterhood Facilitator - a women's retreat
  • How to Be Quiet: A Meditation Workshop
  • Facing Anxiety Together: An Evening of Stories, Honesty & Community
  • Frequent Preaching in Local Churches for over 10 years


I love how soft spoken Jenny is, yet yet words are strong. She is open with us about being who she is and that God is working in her life as well as through her. This confirms to me that God is here for me as well and has given me courage to express the fact that God is a big part of my life.

I like how Jenny says to imagine myself in the scripture, such as “Marisa, do not be afraid." It really reminds me that this is not just a book of fables or a book or history, but a living, breathing book to help guide us on this road. It helps me because the message (and Jenny) are relatable. I feel like she's a girlfriend talking about life over a cup of coffee - helping to solve problems and relating when it isn’t alway great.

Let's Chat

Send me an email at jkbsmith (at) gmail (dot) com. Or message me on Facebook or Instagram!

Exploration 2017 | Closing Worship with Rev. Jenny Smith from ExploreCalling on Vimeo.

A Question Can Disrupt a System. Ask them Anyways. from Marysville UMC on Vimeo.

Resurrection of the Body from Marysville UMC on Vimeo.

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Why Some Experienced Clergy (and Lay People) Have a Hard Time When Younger Clergy Take Renewal Leave

This is a guest post from my very own dad! He's a United Methodist pastor serving in Bend, Oregon. I enjoy chatting church leadership with my dad and it's fascinating to see how our generational differences bring different perspectives to our calling as pastor. We need each generation to walk with each other as we figure it out in this new world. We've been reflecting lately as I finished up a renewal leave and he prepares to retire this June. 
By David Beckett
I fall into the category of experienced clergy which is a polite way of saying I am old. I’ve been pastoring for nearly 40 years. When I was a young pastor my role models were mostly white males who presented an image of success that equated with dedication, overwork, and sacrifice. My first senior pastor talked about the 20 hr/wk he invested in sermon preparation. And he expected his staff to work beyond their stated hours. During those three years of full time seminary and a large youth group I put in up to 80 hr/…

Why pastors need collaboration, not competition

There's competition in every industry. Some get promoted over others. Some work incredibly hard but their gifts go unnoticed. Others do good work and people assume they're fine but underneath, they feel like they could never be honest about how hard life is in this season. People spend more energy figuring out how they measure up in a work culture instead of doing the actual work.

Competition itself implies there are two sides.

I remember field days at my elementary school in Alaska. The half-frozen spring ground was covered with clumps of dirty gray snow. Jackets were thrown on the ground as the fourth graders tried to beat the fifth graders at tug of war. Rope burns were shrugged off as sweat dripped down our young faces. We were determined to beat those fifth graders. Our pride was on the line.

Whether you're a fourth grader or an ad manager at a fancy marketing agency or a senator trying out for attorney general, competition runs deep in our DNA.

We want to be the bes…

Why I stay in the United Methodist Church

We can't ignore the numbers. The United Methodist Church is in decline. Many ask, "Why do you stay? Denominations are useless these days."

But I face that reality with overwhelming hope and excitement. I see the Holy Spirit weaving its way through our current & new leadership in ways I've only dreamed of. A couple years ago, I thought about leaving. But I decided to ask some hard questions about why we're in decline. And that journey to the heart of the United Methodist movement has lit a fire in me to see it renewed.

Why I Stay...

1. Our faith is active. We get our hands and hearts dirty in service & relationships.
2. Every United Methodist church is connected through a network of gatherings, prayer, service, money, agencies and leadership. I would never want to serve in building God's kingdom by myself.
3. I see God changing hearts and lives every. single. day.
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