They were quiet—very quiet. Six college students looked at me with varying degrees of discomfort as I explained what they would be doing in their ten Comm Drills. Only the seventh student (a returnee from last year) looked eager to start practicing public speaking in front of his peers.This was the Film Team—easily the most introverted of the five teams on our Summer Project. Unlike the performers on the other teams, they had no aspirations to go in front of an audience. But each one bravely got up to speak when it was their turn.
Each day’s drill introduced a new skill for the students to learn. And each day’s drill brought new improvements as my fellow comm coach and I encouraged the students to step out of their comfort zones. As they learned how to make eye contact, express emotions in their faces, and use descriptive gestures, something else began to happen. Something beyond the mechanics of public speaking.
Stevie showed a surprisingly lighthearted side instead of his usual serious intensity. Jess dropped her nervous mannerisms and became animated and engaging. Soft-spoken Stephen narrated part of a children’s story with the passion of a stage actor. Day by day they took small faith-risks to reveal their true selves, gradually moving from quietness to confidence.
Of course it wasn’t just the comm drills; they also learned together, studied the Bible together, played together, produced a film together, and did evangelism together. God used all of these aspects of the Summer Project to transform the Film Team students and prepare them to bring the good news of Jesus to others.
And bring it they did. They showed their finished short film with several others during a week’s worth of
outreach events. Two of them, Jon and Megan, emceed these mini film festivals where they led audience discussions and Jon explained the gospel. Then the whole team spoke with audience members after the show.
Thank you for partnering with me to help students grow from quietness to confidence in proclaiming Christ!