Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Why It’s Essential to Be Yourself

 

Recently, Casey Graham of Preaching Rocket, sent out 10 emails with The 10 Commandments for Preaching. I thought this one was fantastic, so I asked permission to reprint it. Even though he is targeting preachers, you can replace with your name or “speaker”. :) Enjoy!

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s style.

The year we started Preaching Rocket, we decided to embark on a 9-city tour.  It kicked off at North Point Community Church, which is my home church.

The one-day conference had four sessions, and I was the fourth and final speaker.

Though I’ve spoken in front of people for 20 years, I was extremely nervous.  Not only was I following Jeff Henderson, Andy Stanley and Louie Giglio on the schedule, I had a lot of emotion and worry about standing on that stage.

I ended up rushing through the content.  It may not have been bad, but it wasn’t my best.  I felt like my talk was flat, and it didn’t connect with the audience.

And that’s what a couple of people said in the post-event evaluation.  One commenter said, “He may be a nice guy, but clearly, he’s not a public speaker.” 

Ouch.

I’m not going to lie…feedback like that hurt.  My first response was to email back and say, “Hey, I was a youth pastor and I was a pastor and I spoke to 2,000 people”  And on and on and on.

But if I want to get better, I’ve got to hear that feedback.  I’ve got to process that feedback.  And I’ve got to keep working. And hearing other people’s feedback led me to my own personal evaluation.

Pushing my content through the plasma screen like Andy Stanley masterfully does just isn’t me.  I didn’t communicate with my own unique voice.  I let the size of the stage get to me.  In the end, I wasn’t comfortable on that stage, and I was not secure in my own style.

The issue wasn’t my content, but how I delivered it.  I tried to speak like someone else.

Which is a lot light fighting Goliath wearing someone else’s armor.

David couldn’t fight in Saul’s armor, so maybe Michael shouldn’t preach with Andy’s plasma screen TV.

Now, take a look at this map…

When I took that screenshot a couple of months ago, it represented all of the pastors who were a part of the Preaching Rocket program.

And you know what?

No two pastors are alike.  Their stories are different.  Their congregations are different.  Their styles are different.

Some of these pastors serve in mega-churches – giant churches you’ve heard of.  Some of them are in the middle of nowhere – rural America.  Some of them are in urban areas, and some of them don’t speak English.

There’s great diversity in the Kingdom of God.

God didn’t call you to be a Xerox copy of someone else.

Your background is unique.  Your successes and failures are unique.  Your perspective is unique.  And your style is unique.

So I wanted to encourage today with this…just be yourself.   And don’t covet your neighbor’s preaching style.

Thank you to Casey Graham and Preaching Rocket!! I hope you’re encouraged. Check out this deal from them. For more info, just click on the link.

Reformation Day #2

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

In Our Weakness

I was looking for something to encourage you today, and this is what I found.

Inspirational-Quotes-Encouraging-Quotes-Every-Weakness-You-Have-Is-An-Opportunity

Funny enough, it’s exactly what I needed, so I hope it lifts you up today.

Yesterday I spent all day editing my first book. It’s a glorious opportunity, and I’m thankful. I’ve got to tell you, though, that it’s stinkin’ hard.

It’s making me be vulnerable, and it’s leaving me raw. I’m realizing how much I DON’T know about writing. I’m working alone a lot when I love being with people.

But this quote reminded me that the work being done on us is usually in our weakness, and it has a purpose.

God’s glory.

It doesn’t take long to see the good when I take that perspective. I believe He’ll get glory for forcing me to lean on Him. I believe He’ll get glory for open doors. I believe He’ll get glory for every highly edited word in my book. :) I believe He’ll get glory for the change the message makes in women’s hearts.

Is God doing anything in your life that’s leaving you feeling week? Please tell me I’m not alone! (I CRAVE community right now!) How do you see Him getting glory in your weakness?

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Encouragement Poured Onto a Dry Path

 

Have you ever had a time when you craved some encouragement?  I usually only realize how much I needed it after I get it. Encouragement is like a drop of water on a dusty, dry path. You just soak it in and then realize how much it refreshes your heart and tamps down the dust of discouragement.

I’ve found that God is sweet to use our friends and family to be that needed drink. He even instituted the idea in scripture! (And used someone to illustrate it with precious lambies. Bonus!)

34602_Called_AlongsidePhoto credit

I’ve been in a place of pouring out through writing, teaching and speaking, so God has lovingly prompted some of my Next Step friends/clients spontaneously to pour back into me. I’m so thankful!!! I feel completely humbled by their gracious words.

Since the encouragement I received not only recharged my batteries but spoke to those two questions the two main questions I believe people have about Next Step, I asked my friends if I could share. They said “yes!”.

2 main questions about Next Step:

  • Is it worth the money?
  • Is Amy scary? :) (ie. gives harsh feedback)

I hope my friends’ encouragement helps to answer these questions if they’re ones you’ve had.

Thank you so much for all your expertise the past few weeks. I know I wouldn’t be sleeping very well knowing the event was next month without your help. Except for the delivery practice, I feel 100% ready. Your advice to pray and let this be about God has been a true gift.

~Kathy Izard

I wanted to pass this along as a clear testimony to how much you’ve helped me in the just over a year that I’ve been working on this series of talks. I had SO much fun! I felt SO much more connected to the women, & I was almost completely unaware of my mistakes or fumbles and able to let them go. When I did notice them, I paused more, laughed more, exhorted more & just felt like I am finally, finally, FINALLY learning how to focus on the women and let God work!

So, THANK YOU!!!!

~Cheri Gregory

The site is up! …and feedback is good. I’m grateful to say I have four speaking commitments lined up and three more in the works. Your desire and ability to teach are gifts God is truly using, Amy. I’m so glad to have had our sessions together…. Thank you!

~Beth Sterne

If these comments encourage YOU to invest  in your calling to speak through coaching, let’s talk! My favorite thing is to encourage speakers one-on-one. Please fill out the Request Information form, and I’ll be in touch within 2 business days. If you don’t hear from me, would you let me know via email? I think the site may have been having some technical difficulties, and if you don’t hear back, I haven’t received your information. Thanks!

Amy

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