Monthly Archives: May 2014

Lessons From Semifinals #1: Pervasive Excitement

I was recently in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at the NCFCA Region VII Regional Invitational tournament. In addition to judging several rounds, I watched the semifinal round of Apologetics and jotted down a few of my thoughts. Here are my thoughts on that round, in the form of a few tips for you in your own Apologetics speaking. (This is the first post of a three-part series.)

Personally, I believe that one of the most important aspects of Apologetics is passion. While watching one of the speakers in the semifinal round, I came up with another way to say, “be passionate”: have a pervasive excitement about your topic. Your passion should be pervasive—all throughout your speech. If the topic is truly interesting, you should be passionate about it consistently, not sporadically! And you should be excited—first, that you even get to speak. But second, because you get to speak about this topic! Every topic is interesting and exciting in its own unique way. It may take a little work, but you can find something to be passionate about.

If all else fails, then find an aspect of theology that you are naturally passionate about and work it into your speech. For example, say that you are speaking on the image of God. If you don’t know what in intrinsically exciting about the image of God, you can add in some comments about how Jesus came to restore the image of God that had been broken by the Fall. Slowly yet steadily, our broken image is beginning to reflect God’s image again. One of my favorite verses would work great here: “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Look at how the image of God fits into the bigger picture of salvation! No matter the topic, there is always something to be excited about.

Out of all of the semifinalists, the speaker that I thought was the best had this pervasive excitement. She had great content, but the reason I really enjoyed listening to her was her passion. Her excitement shone forth, visible for all to see. The audience can tell whether a speaker really cares about the topic. And when the speaker cares, the judges will too.

Our Response to Tragedy

On the Sunday night of April 27, a tornado blew through my city of Little Rock, Arkansas. While the tornado passed a bit north of my house, it directly hit the home of a family in my church. This family of 11 (2 parents and 9 children) lost three members: Rob, the dad; and Tori and Bekah, daughters.

The next week, I was at the Region VII Regional Invitational tournament with my dad and brother. My brother was competing, I was judging as an alumnus, and my dad was on the tournament staff. The first morning of the tournament, I had the privilege of giving a short devotional. Since the tornado had been weighing on my heart in recent days, I chose to speak on our response to tragedy.

I hope that my words can be encouraging in whatever circumstances you are currently experiencing.

If you would like to donate to this family, my church has set up an emergency fund for them: Please keep them in your prayers!