This coming Saturday I will be giving a workshop to 16 and 17 year olds at a church conference in a nearby city. There will be over 300 youth in attendance, and I must give the workshop 6 times to groups of about 50 kids. It's not my first workshop I've written, but each one brings a certain level of terror to me. Ironically, my topic for this workshop is confidence and self-esteem.
This is the first time I have complete free reign for 40 minutes, when I also have to present with a group of other presenters. All of a sudden, I find myself second guessing myself. I saw the list of presenters, and only one one of the five I'm familiar with. This guy is a funny, high energy entertainer. His workshop is titled "Go, go Power Rangers!" I feel intimidated, knowing that he will be funny and entertaining. I am doubting myself and my own presentation, titled "Such a Time as This" (a quote from the Old Testament.)
Then I tell myself that not everyone has to be funny. My style is to challenge and be thought-provoking. I like to help people see things in new light, ask them to really look at their beliefs, to help teens move from believing because their parents say so to truly believing.
I tell myself that the teens need different types of presenters, because there are different types of teens. Not everyone responds to learning in the same way, not everyone is inspired in the same way. I know my workshop is exactly what it needs to be, because it wrote itself. (That's how I always know when it's finally right. When I'm struggling to write it, it usually means I'm getting in the way of the Holy Spirit's inspiration.) Now I just need to rehearse it so that I can present it in an easy manner that will get the message across.
This is something I really do love to do, despite the challenge of writing the material, engaging teens for 40 minutes, and trying to be current the further away I age from my own teens years. It's something I'm pretty sure I'll be doing for years to come. And I'm sure that each notch in the belt will make the next one easier to hammer out.
It still doesn't make this weekend any less terrifying :)