I'm not a very good transitioner when it comes to speaking publicly. Niel ministered at a church on Sunday. As is typical in this scenario, I shared a 10-15 update on the ministry before he shared a message from the Word. There are a few things I always share during my time behind the pulpit, and my recurring challenge is how to transition between them.

Main Point 1: General greeting (blessed to be here to share with you, etc.)
Main Point 2: Overview of vision (who we are, what we do - broadstrokes)
Main Points 3, 4, 5: Three main areas of ministry (pastoral development, village discipleship classes, AIDS prevention)

Amidst the nervousness, shortness of breath, and the fluttering family of butterflies who take up residence in my stomach, which I experience anytime I have to hold a microphone, I find it a challenge to segue between each of these points--and worst of all, to bring it all to a close in a nice, neat, wrapped package.

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On Sunday we had to sit on the stage with the pastors during the service (yes, the entire service!). I cannot tell you how much I dread this sort of thing and how self-conscious I am the whole time I am enduring it. I feel like quite a spectacle, always thinking things like, "Did I just accidentally make a weird face? Did anybody see me? Shame, I don't know the words to this song! Should I be smiling or serious while I watch Niel preach?" It's all a bit overwhelming for me.

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Niel was a fireball on Sunday. He always preaches well, but on Sunday he had a new zeal and fervor about him. He spoke more passionately and articulately; he was challenging, yet inspiring; he was very funny, but also very heart-piercing. It was a great service -- Niel was on fire!

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