“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.
I started speaking because there is this bone-shaking desire inside me to help people find a life that is fully and recklessly alive.
God asked me to be brave and use my voice. I reluctantly said yes.
What I do:
Just One Life Matters Suicide Prevention Event
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.
Full video from a previous event is available upon request.
“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
- 59% of Millennials Raised in a Church Have Dropped Out: Help & Hope for Reaching the Next Generation for Christ
- 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 multiple 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.