November 28, 2009

Figuring out what I think about CFC.

I've been thinking about interning a lot lately, what with Kristen back home, full of stories and thoughts and things she's learned. Even while I'm quite involved in other ICC activities,
I seem to have an idea in my mind that Communicators for Christ isn't "my thing." I'm trying to find out if CFC's mission is central enough to what I think is important. This is what I see:

"Lead the Escape" is central.
"Awakening: Rise Up. Reach Out." matters.
I think about these themes all the time. Everything in CFC related to the theme I can identify with, because the theme is about living, and loving people. I care about inspiring people.

It is not central to critique speeches and use the three-second-rule. But it is central to communicate a message.
It is not central to go into nursing homes in order to get things checked off. But it is central to be a presence in the community, and be a tangible demonstration of God's love to the culture. Being Jesus to people matters.

Reforming M&M packages, teaching stock issues, knowing about debate theory or the topic is not central. But they aid the purpose of debate. They help people learn to think critically and find truth. They teach people to be conversant in big issues that do matter, and to be larger, deeper people.

Living - living for God's glory - being freed from ourselves - being free from sin - all matter. Words are (some of) the tools with which we tell people about these truths. ICC is about learning to communicate what matters to others.

My question seems to be, if the truth matters, do the words that describe it matter as well?
Maybe I would be better off teaching knowledge - philosophy or worldview - rather than the way of speaking about knowledge. CFC is a metalanguage organization, it seems.
Lets disregard the slight hypocrisy I would run into by *speaking* to others about knowledge while disregarding the critical influence that public speaking training has given me, and try to answer if the words matter.
If our communication is broken, it doesn't matter how beautiful our minds are. Words matter, because truth matters. Is it selfish of me to want to live truly and tell people about truth, without also caring that they know how to communicate well?

Maybe my calling isn't teaching people how to communicate. But what strikes me is that the interns don't just talk about talking. They actually live lives of love towards others and they use their communication abilities to inspire people to BE. They speak what is good and right and wonderful and freeing, even as they give practical tools for others to do the same. They pass on practical skills that everyone can implement. Whatever sphere of knowledge or skill you are interested in, to take that past yourself, to inspire people, you need to know how to communicate.

Am I selfless enough to set aside my burden to teach others to live lives that express God's love to the world?

Just now I realized that I'm writing as if I have a particular burden, as if I even know what I would talk about, if not talking about talk. I think about my love for philosophy, and apologetics, and art. And I think that philosophy is something that comes with living, and interning would expose me to new situations, and deepen my life. As for apologetics and art, they are types of communication themselves.

Now I'm thinking about something I thought of a few days ago. I was saying to myself that I love being but have difficulty with doing. But there are some types of doing that are simply being enlarged. Joy in Christ flows into love for others, expressed in words, becoming action in community speaking, in conversations, in service. The only reason I find difficulty with doing is because I am not fully a whole person. Thought should inspire action. If it does not, perhaps the thought is to blame.

So I think I have decided what I think: ICC's mission is important. Interning is not just about teaching public speaking. Interns communicate truth, both in their lives and speeches, and vicariously, through the hundreds of students they inspire. All the metatalk is only to aid the message itself, to further the purpose of speaking the truth in love.

I have a lot of praying and growing up to do before I decide if I should intern. I have to think if teaching communication for four months is the best way to use my gifts, passions, time. But at least now I think I understand interns better. For that, I am thankful.


Eunice said...

Good insights!

Echoes in Ink said...

An inspiration to BE. That is potent, my dear.

I love CFC, too. Everything about it. Even the ridiculous things. I love that it's more than talking, and that it's more than teaching, and that it's more than performing. I love how they are not the all-knowing intern and you the lowly pupil, but that there is a mentorship and friendship that is more than just superficiality.

I love your blog.


Michael said...

Thanks for writing it, and I like and agree with what you have to say, and I'm afraid I've only partly realized this before. I'll be praying that God leads you to the right choice about interning.