Seventy-four percent of Americans are afraid to speak in front of people. In fact, the most common fear, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, is Glossophobia: the fear of public speaking. This phobia even outranks Necrophobia, or the fear of death, meaning more Americans would rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy.
In a nation that seems to be falling away from the godly principles it was founded upon, we need members of the younger generations to stand up for what they believe, changing America for the better. However, if people are afraid to speak out for what they believe, that much needed change will never occur. Think about it; when deciding who to vote for in elections, while you look at candidates’ values and policies, you also examine their ability to lead, which is often linked to an ability to speak well. A good leader inspires others to follow him by both actions and by speech. But when the majority of our nation is afraid to explain their beliefs on a public platform, how will we ever raise godly leaders to take back America?
As our oldest was approaching the 7th grade, we worried about how we could help our children transition to really applying all of the things we were teaching them to real life. How would they be able to take their knowledge of the world and their Christian worldview and explain it to others?
Enter the National Christian Forensics and Communication Association. The National Christian Forensics and Communications Association, or NCFCA, is a speech and debate league for homeschool students. The NCFCA is founded on the idea that “formal speech and debate can provide a means for homeschooled students to learn and exercise analytical and oratorical skills, addressing life issues from a biblical worldview in a manner that glorifies God.” (ncfca.org) When a friend asked our family to become involved in the creation of a club in our town, I was hesitant. However, after my 12 year old son attended a three day forensics workshop, I knew our family would be involved in this activity for a long time.
Seven years later, all three of my children have become actively involved in NCFCA. I’ve seen students grow in not only their research and writing skills, but also in their ability to communicate with all types of people. I’ve seen students grow to understand the how the government makes foreign and domestic policy changes, and how values relate to every day decisions. Students learn to formulate responses and predictions about current events and learn to present different types of literature. But most importantly, I’ve watched as teens develop their relationships with Christ, and learn to communicate their faith to those around them.
I urge you to become a part of changing students’ lives and America’s future by becoming involved in NCFCA. There are clubs all over the country in which students cooperate to improve their skills together; to find a club near your area, or to get help forming your own club, feel free to contact me.You can even be a part of our league without being in a club. You can see more about our league at www.ncfca.org.
I pray you take action to preserve our nation by helping the younger generation face their fears of public speaking, allowing them to glorify God by speaking out for what is right.
NCFCA Alabama State Representative