Throwback Thursday – The Original Speakers!

The original Speakers story featured on the TD Commotion (with surprise anchors and cameos!) Produced by TD alum, Jenny, over a decade ago, it’s still a great piece.

Hey TD!

As we begin a new season of training youth speakers for the 2018 CA So. Baptist Youth Speakers Tournament (YST), I thought you’d enjoy a blast from the past! Back when we had the “Total Devotion Commotion” video program, we did a feature on the very first YST we entered in 2006.

About a week before the Los Angeles Association Drill, I had somewhat of an epiphany and saw a vision to begin training TD’ers to be able to communicate God’s Word effectively.  I pitched the idea to four seniors, asking them to be the guinea pigs and to take the first steps to open the doors for future TD’ers to walk through.  Even though all the other churches had already been preparing months in advance, I just wanted them to open the doors.  There was no way we were going to win or anything, but even entering would start the ball rolling for us.

I thought the four accepted the challenge, but one of them said she never did, so when she received my email thanking all of them for buying into the vision and being willing to do something crazy like enter YST with only a week to prepare, she went to the bathroom and cried.  Who could blame her? Public speaking is America’s greatest fear. Who was it? I’ll let you watch the video above to find out.

We spent nearly everyday at my home the following week preparing.  One speaker dropped out early, and then another had a scheduling conflict, leaving only two speakers left.  But God led us here and God’s hand was all over this (and clearly has been ever since).  The rest, as they say, is history.

Though we have had 13 tournament champions and 8 runners-up since then, we have had many, many more true winners – in the most important ways – before God. Through fierce struggle, perseverance, tears, and the mercy and grace of God, we have had speakers who thought they were Christians coming in, actually become Christians during Speakers.  We’ve had life re-dedications, victory over fear, personal “dragons” slain, and many tears of joy and triumph.

All I can say about the Speakers process is that it is … magic.  Enjoy the video! – Arthur

 

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Calling Potential Youth Speakers – this Sunday!

2017 California Southern Baptist Youth Speakers Tournament Winner, Michelle, speaking at the Ignition Student Conference in Sacramento

2017 California Southern Baptist Youth Speakers Tournament Winner, Joshua, speaking at the Ignition Student Conference in Sacramento

Hey TD!

Robert. Kathy. Beverly. Daniel. Judy. Megan. Frances. Jay … Eunice. Clara. Aileen. Katherine. Abigail. Jenny. Nathaniel. Theodora. Jonathan L. Justin C.

What do all these current and former counselors and interns have in common? They were all part of our youth speakers teams when they were in TD!  They can tell you what an incredibly powerful and shaping process it is. There’s nothing we do at TD that is as life-changing and transforming as “Speakers,” as it is affectionately called.

If any of you 10th – 12th graders are curious or interested to learn more, we will have a mandatory information meeting THIS Sunday from 1 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. in the basement of the Main Campus. During this meeting, we will answer any and all questions regarding the 2018 CA So. Baptist Youth Speakers Tournament (YST).

You don’t have to know for sure if you are going to do “Speakers” or not this year to come to the meeting.  In fact, the meeting is being held to help you decide one way or another.  And don’t worry, there will be no pressure to join.

Hope to see you there! – Arthur

Congrats 2017 Youth Speakers!

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2017 MBCLA Youth Speakers Team

(Back Row) Jay, Jaden, Evan, Daniel, Josh, Arthur
(Middle Row) Abigail, Katherine, Judy, Abigail, Clara, Rebecca, Sandra, Michelle
(Front Row) Harmony, Megan, Ashley, Angela (exhibition speaker)  (not pictured: Josh, Sissi)

Well, once again, God came through and changed minds, perspectives, and lives through the CA So. Baptist Youth Speakers Tournament process.  With two weeks less of preparation than usual, and a younger team than usual, neither coaches nor speakers were really sure they would be able to be ready in time for the tournament.  With a couple of speakers dropping out in the early weeks, a couple of more on the verge of dropping out halfway through, and coaches experiencing discouragement, the morale of the team was shaky.  But through prayer and perseverance, late nights, group chats, one-on-one conversations into the wee hours of the morning, Saturday practices, the team began turning the corner and began to build camaraderie, a team spirit, and a genuine enthusiasm and support for one another.  To say this was a 2 1/2 month spiritual boot camp would not be an overstatement.  There were tears, self-analysis, conviction, Aha! moments, humbling, encouragement, overcoming fear, understanding the gospel for the first time, surrendering to Christ, personal “demons” being slain.  You name it.  But the rewards of spiritual freedom and empowerment in Christ were well worth it.

In the end, true victories were had all the way around, and that’s what really matters. God moved. God slew. God held on. God embraced. God empowered. That’s what He does through the “Speakers Process” and this year proved no different.

We are extremely proud of each speaker and for what each of them had to overcome to complete this process.  You are true winners.  And sadly, we say goodbye to our seniors, Joshua Chang, Joshua Chuang, and Harmony Hung, who provided great leadership for our team this year.  You will be missed.

2017 CA So. Baptist Youth Speakers Tournament

As far as the actual Youth Speakers Tournament results, we’d like to congratulate Josh Chang and Michelle Chen for winning their respective tracks!  They are the latest in a long line 20170408_113941 of MBCLA Youth Speakers Tournament winners that will be charged to steward their entrustments well:

One track only:

2006: Kathy Hung (12th)
2007: Christine Winarko (12th)
______  Runner-up: Eunice Im (12th)
2009: Nathaniel Hsieh (10th)
______  Runner-up: Vincent Puu (10th)
2010: Clara Wong (12th)
______  Runner-up: Randall Hsieh (10th)

Two tracks:

2011: Isabel Shen (12th)
2013:       Runner-up: Daniel Hsieh (10th)
_______  Runner-up: Harvey Gan (12th)
2014: Daniel Hsieh (11th)
____  Joseph Chang (12th)
____  Alexandra Tagami (11th)
2015: Megan Lee (12th)
______   Runner-up: Aileen Wei (12th)
______   Runner-up: Judy Wu (12th)
____  Andrew Shi (12th)
______  Runner-up: Joshua Chang (10th)
2016: Angela Hsieh (10th)
2017: Joshua Chang (12th)
____  Michelle Chen (11th)

Calling All Youth Speakers!

2016 California Southern Baptist Youth Speakers Tournament Winner, Angela, speaking at the Ignition Student Conference in Ontario

Hey TD!

If any of you are curious or interested in that life-changing process affectionately called, “Speakers,” we will have a mandatory information meeting THIS Sunday from 1 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. in the basement of the Main Campus. During this meeting, we will answer any and all questions regarding the 2017 Youth Speakers Tournament (YST).

You don’t have to know for sure if you are going to do “Speakers” or not this year to come to the meeting.  In fact, the meeting is being held to help you decide one way or another.  And don’t worry, there will be no pressure to join.  You must be in the 10th – 12th grade to be eligible.

Hope to see you there! – Arthur

Andy’s Speech at Ignition ’15

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Hey TD!

Here’s Andy’s Youth Speakers Tournament winning speech, “If God Knows Everything, Is Prayer Really Important?” before 1,500 students at the California Southern Baptist Youth conference, Ignition, in Sacramento (our state capital!).  It’s an important question that Andy addresses well.

Here’s Travis Ryan leading the audience in worshiping God with “Good Good Father.”

Megan’s Speech at Ignition ’15

Hey TD!

Greetings from Sacramento! Megan gave her Youth Speakers Tournament winning speech, “What 1 Peter 1:6-7 Means to Me,” this morning at the California So. Baptist Convention youth conference, Ignition, before 1,500 students.  It was terrific. Check it out!

Here’s a little bonus footage of Some of your TD interns worshipping our Lord in song:

Youth Speakers Info Meeting

Hey TD!

If you are between the 10th – 12th grade and are considering participating in the 2015 Youth Speakers Tournament, we will have a mandatory information meeting this Sunday, January 25, from 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. in one of the downstairs rooms on the Main Campus. We will go over everything you need to know!

In the meanwhile, enjoy Alexandra’s speech on Gender Identity that she gave at Ignition last month!