Emcee + Worship Arts Training

Please pray for our Emcee + Worship Arts Training this weekend, December 5-7!

  • We’ve expanded our annual Emcee Training event to include a Worship Arts track for college students who help lead worship at their Cru weekly meetings. Pray for Keynote’s Artist Team as they prepare to teach these sessions.
  • At least 15 will attend (registration is still open). Pray for safe travel for the attendees and three instructors coming in from out-of-state.
  • We will film interviews with some of the teachers for the online training videos I’m editing. Pray that God will oversee all the details and we’ll get good quality footage.
  • Pray that God will use us to encourage the attendees and equip them to serve Him more effectively.

Thank you so much for praying!

Mission Trip Report: Bulgaria 2014

Thank you for praying for my July 14-23 mission trip to Bulgaria!

I went there with my friend and coworker Dana at the invitation of Agape Bulgaria (the name of Campus Crusade for Christ in Bulgaria) to teach communication. University students came from the cities of Sofia and Varna (see map below) for two weeks of English lessons, career-starting tips, communication training, and just plain fun.

This communication training was a first for Dana and me: two thirds of the students were non-believers. Surprisingly, one gave a talk during practice about why he believes in creationism. A Bulgarian staff member spoke with him personally later.

“He has read the Bible and thinks that it’s true. He said that when he started living according to some of the principles there, his life changed…He thinks that in the beginning God created everything in the universe to move in a certain way and now He doesn’t intervene, but when I gave him an example of how Jesus is God’s intervention in the world he was nodding in agreement.”

Pray for this young man to take the step of trusting Jesus for salvation!

One of my favorite things about this trip was reconnecting with the three Agape Bulgaria staff members I had helped train last year. This session completed their “apprenticeship” so they are now fully qualified communication trainers. In fact, they have already begun equipping a new person to become a trainer with them! Pictured below teaching communication skills for the first time are Polly and Danny (the English versions of their Bulgarian names.)

The university students were incredibly fun to teach! They took the lessons very seriously and put great effort into practicing the skills. The three students pictured with me below were in my practice group.Bulgaria2014collage2

Stoyan, a Christian, wrote this about his summer experience:

“God called us to open up our hearts to the students who are non-believers. Once you do that for someone, your life can never be the same!”

Thank you so much for making this mission trip possible through your gifts and prayers!

2014 Mission to Bulgaria

1000px-LocationBulgaria.svgIn less than two weeks I will be on my second ministry trip to Bulgaria. My coworker Dana and I will leave July 14 and return July 23.

Last summer our Keynote team trained three Bulgarian staff members how to coach the workshop portion of Keynote’s Communication Training, and together we taught public speaking skills to a group of church leaders. (You can hear comments from the staff members and trainees here: http://tinyurl.com/noza3zz.) This year, Dana and I will oversee the Bulgarian coaches as they help lead the seminar portion of the training. After this, they will be fully qualified to lead and teach the curriculum on their own.

This trip will have an additional twist: we usually train Christians who want to learn to share Christ, but many of the university students attending this conference do not know Christ. The public speaking training will be just one part of an English Camp sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ.  Our sessions, especially those on The Power of Story, will provide many opportunities for each student to talk about his or her life and perspective. The believers will naturally share stories about connecting with God, and the relational environment of the English Camp will give them many more chances to engage in further spiritual conversation with nonbelievers.

I will be honest with you: I have a love-hate relationship with international travel. The multiple flight changes with long lines for security scans, the cramped economy-class seating during long flights, and working while jet-lagged are stress factors I would much rather do without. But the ministry that happens during an overseas mission trip far outweighs the stress of getting there and back. I love helping ministry-minded Christians share the good news of Christ!

Please pray…

  1. for safe and uneventful travel
  2. for effectiveness in encouraging and equipping our Bulgarian partners
  3. for God to open the hearts of the nonbelieving students to the gospel.

Thank you for praying!


Video Project Revived

Late in 2011, my team filmed a series of short training videos to put on the web. Shortly afterward, our team’s video editor transferred to another Cru ministry. As a result, the project was set aside until there was another video editor available. But Keynote’s other video editors double as performing artists, so their plates have been too full to take on another team’s project.

To be honest, that frustrated me because of my long-time dream of seeing Keynote’s training on the web. Knowing that frustrations can be God’s promptings to take action, I studied video editing. It turns out that I’m pretty good at it, so I’m working on our 2011 footage. I’m thrilled that this project is finally moving forward!

Please pray for continued progress on the training video project. Thank you for praying!

Encouraging Response to Comm Lab 2014

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” – 1 Peter 4:10-11 (NIV)

1 Peter 4:10-11 is the theme verse for Comm Lab, the four day intensive communication training we conduct each year at Keynote’s facility in Westfield, IN. The feature that makes Comm Lab really stand out, in my opinion, is that attendees receive one-on-one training from experienced coaches along with large-group instruction from communication experts. This year’s 28 participants included Cru staff members, church pastors and community leaders.

I was very encouraged to read what Eric Maitlen had to say about his Comm Lab experience, and I think you will be, too.

“My wife Jillian and I lead worship at Mercy Road Church in Carmel, IN and have done music evangelism for the last 10 years across North America, Central America, parts of Europe and Asia. This month we attended Comm Lab for the first time and were blown away by the level of teaching and practical skills training for better communicating the gospel. I found the week to be very challenging as I became aware of and began to break a lot of bad speaking habits I had formed over the years. I also felt as though my eyes were open for the first time to the postmodern mindset that is sweeping our country. There is a way to reach and impact this next generation with the gospel but it will take new methods of communication and evangelism. Thank you Keynote for using your time, resources and manpower to equip me and so many other harvest workers to become more effective evangelists in 2014!”

Please pray for the Comm Lab attendees as they apply what they learned. Thank you for praying!

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