“Sam is a dynamic and hilarious speaker who will have you laughing and crying, sometimes in the same breath. He shares from the heart and inspires audiences to live fully with the time they have.”
It’s not about me; I never set out to be a speaker. I’m not interested in fame or glory. How can I serve you? How can I help your community?
I started speaking because there is this bone-shaking desire inside me to help people, to save them from the darkness they’re trapped in.
God asked me to be brave and I reluctantly said yes.
I started Recklessly Alive Ministries because I want to use the pain of my story to help others pursue a life that is fully and recklessly alive. Through A LOT of trial and error, and a suicide attempt, I learned that full life only happens when you’re following Jesus and I will tell how God changed my life to anyone who will listen.
The speaking possibilities are endless; I am always looking to grow and stretch myself. Ready to talk? Fill out a speaking request form at the botttom of this page! Questions: email me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What I do:
Choose to Live: The Day Suicide Didn’t Win
My most popular event, I will share my battle with depression and suicidal thoughts in addition to facts, warning signs and ways to help. Talking about suicide doesn’t make it any more likely that someone will attempt suicide, in fact, it greatly increases the likelihood they will seek help (The Jason Foundation).
This presentation can be adapted from 45-90 minutes based on your needs. Often times groups will plan an opening music event before my presentation and invite local professionals to provide additional resources after the event. (I can help with both of those things). A truly life-changing evening and an essential conversation to be having in every community.
“Sam is a gifted speaker, skilled at gracefully navigating a difficult topic. His ability to share his personal story, tie in important facts and warning signs about suicide, and even evoke a laughter from the crowd every now and then is admirable. He is and honest about his story, but even more, his conviction for giving life everything he’s got is contagious. By the end of our time with Sam, youth and parents were encouraged, resourced, and told time and again that their life has a purpose. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience!”
-Sami Tierney, Director of Youth and Family Ministry at Messiah United Methodist Church, Plymouth, MN
Churches & Worship Services
I love speaking in churches of any denomination. Either a special event or speaking in a service, I am in! Need a someone to give the message when your pastor is off? I can share from my story or jump into the book of the bible or sermon series you’re currently in.
Youth Groups & Retreats
I’ve been a public school teacher for 7 years, camp counselor, a swimming lessons instructor, a youth group leader, a Sunday School teacher, a mentor, a small group leader… to sum up: I love young people! In fact, I’ve dedicated my life to helping them.
Whether it’s a Youth Group Night, Worship Night, Weekend Retreat Speaker—I would love to partner with you! I’ll make sure to have your students laughing while getting the heart of how Jesus has totally rocked my world.
I wrote a post about millennials in the church that got a lot of attention. Whether you agreed with my words or not – hundreds of thousands of young adults saw themselves in what I wrote. I’d love to bring that ability to connect with young adults to your group!
Conferences, Podcasts, Radio Shows
I’ve flown to Dallas Theological Seminary to be on their podcast. I’m flying to Missouri to speak at a Pastors Weekend and Atlanta to speak at an Innovations in Theology Conference. I’ve done tons of Podcasts and Radio shows.
Looking to feature my ministry with your listeners? Want to talk about an article I’ve written? Want me interview me about… pretty much anything? I’m in.
Looking for someone to talk about depression and suicide in your community? I give a fun and informative presentation talking about my story, the statistics, warning signs, and ways we can really help those around us.
Schools & Colleges
As a public school music teacher, I get the sensitive nature of religion in public schools and can share my story without any religious connections at your middle or high school. I have also spoken on college and university campuses. I can speak in a coffee shop, classrooms, chapel services. Our young people need to hear stories of adults surviving suicide attempts. They need to know their life might hit rock bottom but that life can and always will get better.
This is how I got my start. I partner with my musician friend Hunter Fraser for a night of music and sharing of my story and my ministry. This is a fun and meaningful night for everyone, one they will talk about for weeks to come.
I will always tailor my speech to try my hardest to meet the needs of your community. I work closely with hosts to listen to their hopes for an event and do everything I can to bring their vision to reality. I speak on many different topics and I am always willing to dicuss new topics as well. Here are my most popular:
- Choose to Live: The Day Suicide Didn’t Win
- 12 Reasons Millennials are Over Church (And How to Start Bringing them Back)
- Teens, Depression & Suicide: What to Look for & What We Can Do to Save Lives
- When Everything Goes Wrong: What Job Teaches Us About the Hardest Nights
- Suggested Topic By YOU!
I don’t do this for the money. In fact, I’ve never paid myself for a speaking event. So far I’ve invested any speaking fees to offset costs of running this blog, creating suicide prevention videos and materials, ministry merchandise, travel costs, and equipment.
Suggested Donations (Outside of Travel & Lodging Costs):
One Night Event – $300
Weekend Retreat or Multiple Speaking Events – $600-$1000 (depending on the event)
Many, many hours of prep go into even just one hour of speaking. If cost is an issue, let’s chat. When my schedule allows, I am often willing to donate my time to organizations in need.
I am happy to stay in a spare bedroom or on someone’s couch—I don’t need a hotel room (but will certainly never complain about one). Depending on the time of year, I am often willing to drive and save airline costs, especially if we can set up mulitple events in the same or nearby locations. Let’s use Kingdom dollars well together.
Every summer, I set up a tour, driving across America and bringing my message to people who need to hear it. This is a very cost effective option. My 2017 East Coast Tour is currently full (see details below). I am now taking requests for Summer 2018.
Scheduling & Calendar
I am a public school teacher and reside in Minneapolis, MN. I don’t have a lot of flexibility in my job, but can take a few personal days throughout the year for weekday events. I do have a number of breaks in which I can travel.
2017 Speaking Schedule
1/5/17 – Chose to Live: The Day Suicide Didn’t Win – Tree House Teen Center – New Hope, MN
1/14/17 – Come Alive Tour – Maple Grove, MN
2/20/17 – Interview – Jesse Lee Peterson Radio Show, Los Angelos, CA
3/15/17 – Lenten Message – Spirit of Christ Lutheran Church, St. Louis Park MN
3/27/17 – Podcast Panel on Millennials – Dallas Theological Seminary – Dallas, TX
4/22/17 – Millennials in the Church – The Forum Podcast – LifeFM – New Zealand
5/13/17 – Millennials in the Church – Moravia Project Podcast Interview –
6/19/17- Freedom in Christ – Anguished Hearts Facebook Live Event – Minneapolis, MN
7/3/17, – Millennials in the Church – iWork4Him Podcast Interview – Indiana Rocks Beach, FL
2017 East Coast Speaking Tour
8/14/17 – Teens, Depression & Suicide: What to Look for & What We Can Do to Save Lives – First Baptist Church, Stryker, OH – 7pm First Baptist Church of Stryker 100 S West St, Stryker, Ohio 43557
8/18/17 – Youth Group Event – Queens Herald Church, Queens, NY – (closed to the public).
8/19/17 – Choose to Live: The Day Suicide Didn’t Win – 6pm – Throop Civic Center – 500 Sanderson St, Throop, PA 18512
8/20/17 – Choose to Live: The Day Suicide Didn’t Win 10:30am and 6:30pm – Rescue and Restore Church – Church Services – 125 Lackawanna Avenue Olyphant, Pennsylvania, PA 18447
8/22/17 – Choose to Live: The Day Suicide Didn’t Win – 7pm – Nokomis, IL –First Baptist Church Of Nokomis – 211 E South St, Nokomis, Illinois 62075
8/23/17 – Choose to Live: The Day Suicide Didn’t Win -7pm – Hillsboro, IL Hillsboro High School (Illinois) – 522 E Tremont St, Hillsboro, Illinois 62049
Events are open to the public, youth and adults, unless noted.
Fall/Winter 2017 Speaking Dates
9/13/17 – Nowthen Alliance Church Parents Event – Nowthen Alliance Church, Nowthen, MN
9/20/17 – “Just One” Suicide Prevention Night – Wayzata High School, Plymouth, MN
9/27/17 – Fully Alive: Mental Wellness Youth Group Event – Nowthen Alliance Church, Nowthen, MN
10/4/17 – Telling the Best Story With Your Life (Just One Follow-Up) – Messiah United Methodist Church, Plymouth, MN
10/7-10/8/17 – Millennials in the Church Weekend – Lancaster Christian Church, – Lancaster, MO
10/11/17 – Fully Alive: Spiritual Wellness – Nowthen Alliance Church, Nowthen, MN
10/14/17 – How to Change Lives Through Blogging – One-Day Workshop sponsored by the Minnesota Christian Writers Guild – Plymouth, MN
11/9-11/10/17 – Innovation in Theological Education Conference – Atlanta, Georgia
2016 Fall Speaking Schedule
8/26/16 – Maple Grove, MN – Come Alive Tour
9/10/16 – Buffalo, MN – Come Alive Tour
9/23-9/25/16 – Youth Retreat Featured Speaker – Rochester, MN
10/31/16 – University of Northwestern St. Paul – Mental Health Week
11/4/16 – University of Northwestern St. Paul – Come Alive Tour
11/15/16 – University of Northwestern St. Paul – Come Alive Tour