We all clapped for my fellow classmate as they finished. I thought to myself, “If only I had the gifting to speak as well as they did.” I was next. I tried to put a smile on my face to hide the fact I was dying inside. I made my way to the front of the class. I almost dropped my phone as I tried to set it on the stand in front of me. My notes laid out before my eyes…. this was really happening. I wasn’t dreaming.
Before coming to School of Discipleship I had never spoken to groups of people before. I’m an introvert and public speaking was never something appealing to me. I liked to remain “the quiet one” and not have everyone’s attention on me.
Throughout my two years in SD I had many opportunities to sharpen my speaking ability, in front of both my class and the GFA staff. Most units concluded with a speech and we were given ample opportunities to share prayer request during prayer meetings. I learned to know the subject I was speaking about well enough to share it boldly with others. I learned to rehearse my speech out loud to make sure I stayed within the time frame allotted. The teaching team gave feedback on the areas I did well in and the areas I could improve in and I did better with every speech I gave.
Looking back, I am no longer that scared 19-year-old waiting to give my speech in the classroom. Do I still get nervous? YES! But, I don’t let it get to me, I am able to move past it. SD helped me to grow in public speaking and though I still have a long way to go, now I am excited to keep learning more.
Can you die to yourself for a year for more of Christ? The final application deadline is June 15th for our August 2018 term.