Moses, one of my favorite characters in the bible portrays the perfect example of my own fear before. If you would remember his account on Genesis, Moses met the Great “I AM” through a burning bush. With all God has told him, the first fear he had was that he doesn’t know how to speak. Like Moses, I was at one time in my life afraid to be in front an audience and speak.
I remember those days when our youth adviser would ask anyone from the youth to either share a testimony, pray in front or be the emcee and I often make an excuse to go outside and come back when the activity already started.
Can you imagine yourself standing in front of a big crowd talking?
Fear always keep creeping at my back every time I am asked to go in front. I remember, Ate Charna, our National Director for the Youth Ministry sharing to us a few youth camp ago about our fear to be in front and we would all laugh about it.
But the real reason behind those missed opportunities is because I was afraid to make mistakes. Although I have this burning passion to share God’s word, I was afraid to speak. Like Moses, I was in the dillemma of trusting that the God who gave me these gifts will be there with me through thick and thin and He will give me the right words to say, even if it’s in broken english!
Our Common Mistake
Young people nowadays would say “NO” to opportunities. I’m not generalizing everything here but maybe we don’t want to get involved because we are all afraid to make mistakes. We fear that people will laugh at us with our grammar, or the way we walk or whatever our mind would tell us everytime an opportunity comes up. Like many of you, I also found out that those who often laugh at us would say no also because of the same fears.
With much guidance and perseverance, God made me speak in front of a crowd. The first time was during the Freshmen Treat with InterVarsity in Dumaguete.I vividly remember joining the said event for the first time and as a facilitator. I was new in the group but they saw the potential.
That was the start of what I call “the new beginnings”, opportunities to do the things you missed because of fear.
When we decide to overcome the fear that we have, the Lord will help us out in this present need. After that perfect time when I said “yes” to these exciting opportunities, the Lord developed my self-confidence in being in front. Of course, there were times that I was pretty much afraid but there were a lot of times of humbling down before the Lord and asking for His much grace and anointing.
After so many years of practice in speaking infront of the mirror, the Lord expanded my influence. Together with Viz, my twin brother, we now facilitate our youth ministry activities ranging from a thirty to hundreds. It’s the most exciting time when we serve our local church and beng given responsibilities to be in front. Not only do we facilitate activities, we now share God’s word as every opportunity permits us.
A Good Reminder
A good reminder for all of us is that everytime we have such opportunities, we give back to God all the glory and due. If it’s not for him, we can only do little. I always make it a point that after any sharing time, I pray and ask the Lord to move in the hearts of the people and whatever I shared and spoke of would be from Him. I remind myself that I am only an instrument,a spokeseman for the King.
Ate Lala, my strongest and favorite critic, often shares to me my own flaws during those times, her insight and tips allows me to be more inclined to rely on the grace of God. One good example is that when I was the one who shared during the missions day in the Leadership camp, she told me to continue practicing because every time I speak of some issues, people really listens.
Although I still experience some “butterflies”, I seldom say “No” when in front of a crowd. Like Moses, it only took trust to change all that. There are a lot of reasons to say “No” but there are good reasons to say “Yes” to these exciting opportunities.
The “How To’s” with God
Moses was afraid to become God’s spokesman because He didn’t know how to speak but God dismissed that notion. When Moses decided to say yes to the Lord, He led the people of Israel out of Egypt, defeating the tyrannical Pharaoh and signs and wonders followed from then on.
Here are a few tips on how to develop your speaking skills –
- Always practice in front of the mirror – Whether it’s leading worship songs or introducing a speaker, take time to practice in front of the mirror. This will allow you to see your facial reaction and boost your self-confidence in speaking.
- Have a script ready – make sure you have a copy of the program and a script ready. The script will give you an idea for your “ ad libs” and makes sure you are in line with the activity.
- Use your mother tongue – Yes, if you’re good in speaking in english – by all means, please use it. But if you still have a few doubts with your grammar, try practicing first with your native tongue or have it in tagalog or cebuano or taglish.
- Always look at the crowd – don’t forget to look at your audience. This will allow you to get used to people. Don’t think they are laughing at you.
One Final Reminder
It is important to recognize our fears and bring it back to the feet of the Lord. It is because of what He did on the cross, that all notions from the enemy has been broken and His grace and favor to flow freely in our lives for His purposes and glory!