One for the Speakers – Tips from John Rinehart
Has starting an MTS apprenticeship meant you find yourself doing a lot more public speaking than ever before? From kids’ spots to sermons, youth talks to service leading, all your new ministry opportunities could see you speaking in front of many a crowd. But this might be an area where you have little experience, or something that gives you head-spinning nerves.
John Rinehart, author of Gospel Patrons and itinerant Christian speaker, recently wrote about strategies he employs to ready himself before speaking in front of a crowd. You can read the full post on John’s blog here.
“Leaders get called upon to speak and I want to help you be ready.
First, begin with identifying your fears. What freaks you out? Is it forgetting what to say? Is it what people are going to think about you? Is it that you’ll feel all alone up there with everyone staring back at you? Identify what makes you anxious.
Second, the way to overcome fear is with the truth. Search for the corresponding truth from God’s word. Personally, I’ve created a list of 20 truths — or speaking affirmations — that speak to my fears and embolden me to do what I believe God has called me to do. The way to overcome fear is with the truth.
Third, I read and remind myself of them before I speak. When the fears come, usually the night before and morning of my presentation, I push them back with truth. The context I speak in may be different from yours, but speaking affirmations have helped me step up to the mic with greater freedom and confidence.
20 Speaking Affirmations
1. God is for me. (Romans 8:31)
2. Jesus is with me. (Matthew 28:20)
3. The Holy Spirit is with me and in me. (John 14:17)
4. The Lord wills for me to be right here with these people at this time. (James 4:15)
5. I come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ. (Romans 15:29)
6. I come to impart some spiritual gift to strengthen them. (Romans 1:11)
7. I have spoken many times before this and I felt nervous before every one, but I can’t remember a time where God didn’t use me and work through me. He is the same God today. (Hebrews 13:8)
8. Do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. (Matthew 10:19)
9. God has given me everything I need to do the good works he’s prepared for me. (Ephesians 1:3, 2:10)
10. God made me a distinct part of his body and he wants me to play my part so that the whole body is built up in maturity. (1 Corinthians 12:18; Ephesians 4:11-16)
11. I have received a gift in order to use it to serve God’s people and God’s purposes. (1 Peter 4:10-11; Romans 12:6-8)
12. I do not seek my own glory. If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. (John 8:50, 54)
13. So don’t hold back, but let your light shine before men that they may give glory to God. (Matthew 5:16)
14. Be strong and courageous, steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (Joshua 1:9; 1 Corinthians 15:58)
15. You will receive power to be Jesus’ witness when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. (Acts 1:8)
16. The Helper, the Holy Spirit will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that Jesus said to you. (John 14:26)
17. You cannot change people, but God’s word penetrates to the heart and God’s Spirit gives life. (Hebrews 4:12)
18. Abide in Jesus and you will bear much fruit, for apart from him you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
19. Jesus chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide. (John 15:16)
20. The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. (2 Chronicles 16:9)
Which gospel truths encourage you when preparing to speak to a crowd?