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Beginning of Comm Project
Index for Communication Project
Middle School Camp(summer after senior year)
My parents had always encouraged the boys (my two brothers along with
me) to participation in church youth activities. My older brother always
seemed to have popularity (he was an athlete and always had girlfriends),
and I was small, and lacking in confidence. I remember feeling very intimidated
in discussions in youth groups, afraid I would be asked to say something.
I always had an interest in becoming "knowledgable" like it
seemed the others were, but I never felt much like a part of the group.
The summer before my senior year in high school, that all changed. I had
become more comfortable in the youth group, had done pretty well in some
youth dramas, and began to sense that I was an important member. One of
the older youth had told me in the middle of a two week "mission
trip" that he was "glad I was there".
IN retrospect, I don't know whether or not that affirmation was the result
of some "strategy" coming out of a discussion of me as some
kid in need of encouragement and confidence, but it worked on me. I began
to feel confident that I could become a leader, and study the scriptures
and be an important , knowledgable, helpful member of the group. The middle
school camp in which I was a "youth counselor" for junior high
kids provided me with my first opportunity to lead some groups and attempt
to be a positive influence as an "older role model". I got some
positive comments from a couple of adult leaders concerning my staus as
youth counselor, and again later that summer as I accompanied the junior
highs once again to Cincinnati for a fun trip, with a stop along the way
to visit Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to see where many pastors
and youth ministers got their initial training in ministry. I began to
sense from these positive experiences of ministry, and the sense of "connection"
I felt after seeing the seminary, that I was destined to become involved
in ministry. I felt I was one who could be up front and honest with people,
and that I could communicate the way it all made sense to me: the Bible,
its relevance to our daily living, and the importance of our working at
harmony with each other. At seventeen, I had little idea how complex it
was to become, but I know that I needed that sense of confidence at that
point in my life. It also affected my academic performance from that point
on. I never applied myself to studies before this, but my senior year
in high school and college years were to be successful, enlightening,
and deeply shaping.