During the next two weeks, my coworker Dana Russo and I will train the communication coaches for our upcoming summer project. These Keynote and Impact staff members will coach our project students as they practice public speaking during daily workshops called “comm drills.” Dana and I want to equip and encourage our coaches as they (or we, actually, since both of us are also coaches) help the students gain confidence in a skill that will help them in all their interactions with people.
I’ll also be doing another form of coaching as I serve on a team of evaluators that will give helpful feedback to our teachers this summer. We’ll sit in on their classes and provide them with constructive critique of their communication skills.
For wisdom for Dana and me as we train our summer communication coaches
For rest, strength, and personal time with God during an extremely busy schedule
For God to work in and through the lives of the students on our project
Several weeks ago Keynote’s comedian-ventriloquist David Pendleton performed 8 shows in a “lock down” setting in San Bernardino, CA. Picture him in an open room with metal tables. On the upper deck surrounding him, inmates peered through a tray hole in the glass door of their locked, windowless cells to see and hear the show.
These prisoners are allowed out of their cell only one hour a day into the common area; twenty-three hours every day is spent in those locked cells.
Knowing that personal contact is rare for them, Dave went from cell to cell to speak with each man.
One inmate told him, “I just want out of here.” Dave replied, “I’m here to visit with you if you want to visit.” God opened the door for a natural spiritual conversation which led to the young prisoner inviting Jesus into his life. With tears flowing down both their faces, this new believer pressed his hand to the glass toward Dave and said, “I will never forget this day.”
Keynote has had a long-standing partnership with Chaplain Bill Bennett at Fort Jackson. From 1999 to 2007, seven Keynote teams (both full-time artists and summer student bands) and one Impact band (in partnership with Keynote) performed there. In those 22 shows, over 5500 soldiers heard the gospel and 550 indicated decisions for Christ!