This is a guest post by Jeff Goins, a recent student at our Dynamic Communicators Workshop. He is also a blogger and active on Twitter and Facebook. Jeff’s experience exemplifies what happens at DCW and why, even if you don’t speak in front of people for a living, DCW can be a life-changing experience that effects every area of your life.
The last morning of the Dynamic Communicators Workshops, we all sat, waiting for the final session to begin. We had finished giving our last speeches and were well rested, finally free from anxiety.
One of our instructors, Stacey Foster, took the stage with a commanding presence and brought it all home for us: “God wants to use you more than you want to be used.” We all raised an eyebrow, wondering what, exactly, he meant.
He then began to tell us why this all mattered. Stacey started to preach.
“Men are looking for better methods,” he said, leaving an intentional pregnant pause, “but God is looking for better men.” Many of us gulped with conviction.
What was this all about then? Weren’t we learning better methods of speaking?
“Destiny is always wrapped up in decision,” he explained. And where we took this teaching — how we applied — would largely depend on us and our motives.
“Live a life worthy of your calling.”
-Eph. 4: 1
Stacey preached from Ephesians that morning, ensuring us that while he was passionate about his subject that we did not all have to be charismatics to apply what he was teaching. We all giggled, slightly nervous.
And then, he laid it on us. The commitments we now had to embrace. The commitments we had to internalize. The commitments we had to commit to. They were:
Commit to being people of conviction
“Don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk.”
As speakers, we are prone to communicate, to merely talk. But God wants more than that. He desires action. Love, after all, is a verb.
We had to admit: we all were educated way beyond our level of obedience. If God was going to use us and these newly-honed skills, it would not be because of another method.
When people see what you do, Stacey challenged, do they see a person of conviction or compromise? People do what they see, not what they hear.
Commit to being people of courage
“God has called us to make an impact.”
We must stand with boldness. As communicators, our words, although powerful, are not enough. We must act with the strength of conviction with which we speak.
We must make an impact — on our friends, families, and work places.
We must walk in the authority and confidence we exhibit on-stage.
We must be courageous.
Commit to being people of connection
“Apart from Jesus, you can do nothing.”
Stacey reminded us that the Greek word for “nothing” in the New Testament can be literally translated as… nothing. We all got the point. We can’t do this on our own.
He then recounted for us, quite entertainingly, a slightly-modified version of the story of Mary and Martha (in which they were two black women living in the southern United States).
The morale of the story was the same, though: Spend your time being, not only doing.
Commit to being people of commitment
“Give me the grace, so that I stand tallest when I’m on my knees.”
He said this at the risk of sounding redundant, but we understood his point. He wanted us to mean this, to take it seriously.
There are two commandments in the New Testament that we are taught to take seriously:
- The Great Commandment – To Love God and To Love Others
- The Great Commission – To Tell Others
Both are important: we must do, and we must tell.
“Because we’ve stopped going to the nations,” Stacey told us, “God has brought the nations to us.” He impressed upon us the age of opportunity in which we are living. He shared how in his hometown of Detroit, he had the daily opportunity to tell people from all around the world about Jesus.
Where do we go from here? How do we apply what we’ve learned and reconcile these new-found methods and skills with being obedient to our calling?
“The answer is in your hands,” Stacey closed.
Again, those words rang in my mind — long after Stacey and the rest of the staff and students from DCW left the building, long after the lights were turned off and I began my long ride home:
“Men are looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.”
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You are welcome Jeff.
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Thanks, Ken! This article applies to more than just public speakers!
You are so right on Claudia! Not many realize that truth. Thank you for commenting.
Wow. This guest post is fantastic!!! I love it. Thanks, Ken for having Jeff contribute. This really is fantastic.
Jeff always hits the nail on the head. He is a bright young man.
Thanks for the reminder. I live in Sioux Falls SD and there are people coming to this small city from all over the world to find refuge.