In the opening days of the Olympics a group of athletes participate in a torch relay that ends with the lighting of the Olympic cauldron and marks the beginning of the games. These athletes then go on to compete in all different forms of athletic events to test their physical abilities, stamina, and integrity of their character. The hope of each of these athletes is to achieve the highest honor for themselves and their country by standing on the podium and receiving a gold medal for their accomplishment.
As I reflect back on my study and mentorship through the Chosen to Speak journey, it is as if the moment that God choose Moses to speak, at the burning bush, the torch was lit, and it has been passed on and on from one pastor to another. Dave Arden has passed the torch on to me and challenged me to either stay the same or move forward. As he states in his book “getting out in front of people is a test of character.” I hope that the result of that test shows the character of Christ in my life. Paul writes “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize?” So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So, I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-26
As an assistant Pastor carrying the torch of God’s word “Chosen to Speak” has given me the opportunity to live out the scriptures of Paul in my life by exercising self-control and disciplining myself in the form of public speaking. Just like the Olympic athletes my goal is to win but it is to win lost souls for Christ.
Chosen to Speak has helped me be more clear in my speaking and teaching me how to communicate God’s word in a clear and understanding way to those I am speaking to through chapters in the book that address how I should listen before I speak, understand my identity in Christ alone, speak through the power of the Holy Spirit, and several other topics that help me to be effective and efficient when it comes to speaking to people. Overall, I think having read through and studied this book with the help my coach (Rik Danielson), this has made me carefully think through what I am saying in order to communicate the gospel message more clearly. This experience has made me a better speaker as I run the race and pass on the torch of God’s word to ultimately glorify him.