This one is probably less Bible based and more common sense. I’ll try and support things with Bible as I can – hopefully the principles will stand. For anyone who didn’t read my last post, the i-face is an acronym for dealing with confidence. There is a situation that seems coming up and I think confidence will be key in helping it. The first post, focused on the letter “i” which was identity, it talked about how our ID should be built on Christ and what God says about us rather than all the other things that are valued: achievements, personality, appearance, popularity etc….
So “FACE” stands for… Familiarisation, Acceptance, Competence and Enjoying…And because I’m not too much of a creative type these words may be a bit of a stretch from what I actually mean by them. But I hope its helpful. Also because I think prioritising is important I’m actually going to order it ACFE. Anyway – my unprofessional-ism is now adequately exposed!
A – Accepting – (the audience), when we looked at “I” we looked at accepting self – not on a “everyone’s a winner” basis, but on a “the God who has ultimate authority over all creation has said these things about me” basis. Here though, we are looking at accepting the audience. In preaching or serving the church this is crucial! We need to love the Church and the congregation. In order to love someone, you kind of need to get to know them first!
It could be said that this would make it harder to be confident! Some people find that it’s easier talking to strangers. But I say it’s harder to truly love strangers – love in the sense of unfailing/despite faults – because you don’t know strangers faults and they don’t know yours. But why is Love important in confidence. WELL, without love our preaching and teaching is pretty useless see 1 Cor 13 on using gifts without love! Therefore if our preaching is without love, then it is not accomplishing much for God’s Kingdom, if it’s not accomplishing me, how can we be confident in what we’re doing! We’ll just be relying on our own strength rather than God’s and that is a formula for un-confidence. Hope that all makes sense and the argument follows!
C – Competence – again it’s important that the “i” is in place first! Without the “i” we can value ability and take our identity claim from that instead! A recipe for disaster. Competence is pretty self explanatory. It helps our confidence if we are good at what we do. Therefore we read up on what we’re speaking on, we talk to experts, we prepare well. We read, listen, ask questions, take classes… The only thing here is not putting competence over “i” in terms of priority!
F – Familiarisation – this is linked to competence, once we know the stuff, once we’ve developed the skill. We want to practice it. Andy Stanley writes about the importance of memorisation when it comes to preaching. How much it communicates about the importance of what you’re saying to your audience and etc etc. I know it’s not possible for everyone to memorise their talks but at least be very very familiar with the main points and how we plan to present them! This will build confidence!
E – Enjoyment – This is probably deemed as the least important, and maybe out of the four it is. But I still think it’s crucial. People will be able to tell if you’re not passionate and excited about what you’re talking about. They will “feel” whether or not it is a pleasure for you to speak to them or if it is a “chore” or a duty. If you are aware, you will sense this reception. I think it makes sense. Therefore if we want more confidence lets try and find ways to enjoy sermon, or at least (if it’s a tough or sad topic) realise it’s importance! I find that passion is contagious, so maybe if you don’t get excited about the tabernacle system and how it relates to the new covenant (for example) talk to someone who is – maybe it will rub off on you.
RTTQ – So how can we develop confidence in preaching/teaching?? Make sure our identity is staked in what God says about us, not what others (or self) says. Then take the practical steps of getting familiar with the text, accept and love the congregation, develop competence and finally make efforts to enjoy and be stir passion for the subject – realising it’s significance.
This definitely isn’t the most comprehensive, or exhaustive tips. But I found them helpful when thinking through it for myself with God. Hope you find it helpful too!