As mentioned in my 2009 goals, I’m going to begin public speaking and have decided to start by teaching a 6-part class at my local church titled “Understanding the Economy”.
The class is on Monday nights and the first class was yesterday. To share this class with my readers, I’m going to write an article each Tuesday for the next 6-weeks summarizing the class from the night before.
This 6-part class is not just about the economy from an economist’s point of view, but from a Christian worldview with a prophetic understanding that we are living in the last days before the return of Jesus.
The primary theme of this class is to help people understand that the global economic crisis is part of Gods plan and He is in complete control. He will sustain us. We shouldn’t panic, and instead should get ready to help many people - the Church will need a tremendous response.
The title of the class was; Part 1: “God has a strategy for establishing His kingdom on Earth”
The old prophecies of the bible tell us that great financial troubles will come in the last days, just like what we are seeing now.
Too many have forgotten the old prophecies of the bible about the second coming of Jesus. Just as the prophets predicted the first coming of Jesus with stellar accuracy, and the second coming is getting closer everyday as current events are lining up with what the bible says will be happening just before the return of Jesus.
During this class, I quoted some of the prophecies of the bible that are yet to come to past and showed how the events of today are lining up with these prophecies, like the one in Hebrews 12:25-29, where God describes how He will shake everything that can be shaken before re-establishing His kingdom on earth. And the one in Habakkuk 2:14, that says,
"… the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Habakkuk 2:14) – which has obviously not happen yet.
Then in Luke 12:54, Jesus sharply criticized his followers for not understanding the times. Jesus expects us to understand the times we live in by studying the current events and prophets. Yet, few people study the bible anymore and even fewer study the prophecies that are unfolding before our eyes.
The global economic crisis is part of Gods plan and He is in complete control. He will sustain us. We shouldn’t panic, and instead should get ready to help many people - the Church will need a tremendous response.
Confusion Sets In
Many in America and around the world are confused about what is going on.
The ‘Left Behind’ book series published in 1996 was a big hit, but it didn’t get very many people to look at the prophecies that it was based on. Instead, in my opinion, it cheapened the reality of bible prophecies by making them appear to be nothing but old wise tales or fictionist stories. Then came the Harry Potter book series which portrayed witchcraft and magic as harmless energy that can be used for both good and evil. This added to the confusion between good vs. evil.
Then came the ‘The Da Vinci Code’ which blurs the lines between truth and fiction by creating a fictional story that interweaves several bible verses along the way. To top it off, several atheist books have made it to the Amazon top 10 selling books just in the last year. The only way I can understand the progression of confusion over the last decade is if God is allowing this to happen, as he did in Deuteronomy 28:20 – “The LORD will send on you curses, confusion”
To add to the confusion, the bible says in the days before Jesus return, “many false prophets will appear and deceive many people” – Matthew 24:11.
It’s sad to say, but the educational system in America has lost its way. I heard the other day that 70% of the 600,000 professors believe the bible is nothing but myths and made up stories. How could this be when most Universities were created to teach nothing but biblical teachings? The majority of the educational system in America has been compromised and is no longer teaching anything of sustaining value. How will the public be able to understand what is going on today in the world without a biblical worldview? It is staggering to look at how quickly our nation went from a Christian nation to a post-Christian nation.
My Speaking Style
As mentioned in my 2009 goals, I want to begin public speaking this year with respect to the economy. I am not a professional speaker and I rarely speak to more than 5 people as a time at my job. So, I decided to do some research and create a plan for how I can begin public speaking with confidence.
Over the last few months I have been paying more attention to the characteristics of good speakers. I observed how our youth pastor has a natural speaking style that draws out people’s emotions. While speaking, he goes from very serious to very funny about every 10 minutes, which makes him a very entertaining and captivating speaker. One minute he has people crying and the next minute he has them laughing.
After making this observation, I realized that I’m not very funny or entertaining. But, I am very informed and visual. I think anyone can be a good speaker, if you have a good strategy. My style is to use slides projected on the wall with visual aids and colorful handouts for taking notes. Basically, I’m deflecting attention away from me because I’m not naturally entertaining, while leveraging my material and visual presentation to increase the entertainment value of my class.
Before I tell you how many people showed up for my first class, let me say that we had blizzard like conditions with 3-6 inches of snow and below zero temperatures. That said, ten people signed up for the class but only four made it to the first class.
But that’s ok because starting with a smaller group allows me to work on my style, build my confidence and have more interaction with everyone.
For this first class, I had nine slides to go through, which I thought would take about 40 minutes and then we would have 20 minutes for questions. The actual class took me 55 minutes to get through my nine slides. I currently have 18 slides planned for next week, so I’m going to have to either cut that down to 10 slides or go through the slides faster.
Next Article: Part 2: The Rise of the Global Economy, from WWII