In our training, we continue to train for growth in conviction, character, and competency. Over the last month, the competency we’ve focused on is our apprentices’ rhetorical skills. Practically, this means giving them weekly communication challenges to do in front of our group, speaking both with prepared materials and off-the-cuff. It may sound silly to have someone stand up and speak for two minutes on, “The pineapple: king of fruits”, but it quickly and effectively builds comfort with speaking to a group by helping them face a fear that controls a lot of new preachers: “What would happen if I looked totally ridiculous in front of a group of people?” By the end of the month, each apprentice came in and preached a stellar two minute sermon, which included a Scripture verse, an introduction, some exegesis, an example, an application, and a recap. Every one of them pulled it off, and I was deeply impressed with their growth in this area over the last month. I’m eager for what’s next: “Designing a preaching series: the book of Colossians.”