Submitted by Immanuel Rinkema from the Chicago Youth Ministry!
An elevator speech represents a short rehearsed set of lines that someone can practice as an automatic response to sensitive content thus, being able to articulate him/herself well without feeling word clumsy/speechless. Practicing an elevator speech applies to any concept outside of UC, but it can also be utilized in youth ministry as an educational tool for participants. For example, a young unificationist with a desire to represent UC values will need to respond to peer commentary such as: “who needs religion, it has only caused us wars” or “monogamy is so traditional and out-dated, we need to liberate our sexuality and try new things with our sex life”.In order to react with a clear/concise reply, practice is absolutely necessary.
- Determine a scenario or prompt to have the youth respond to
- Try to focus on realistic scenarios that your youth will actually encounter
- The aim is to have people get comfortable with sharing their faith with others
- Instruct the youth to outline their response.
- Have each youth give their response in front of a small group.
- Time each youth for about 30 seconds
- Try a few rounds so each person can fine tune their response
Here is an example:
- You give a friend a ride and forget about the True Parents picture dangling from your rear view mirror. As soon as both of you settle in and buckle up, your friend asks: “hey, why do you have a picture of your grandma and grandpa in your car” OR if you are not any bit oriental “why do you have a picture of old Chinese people in your car?”
- Fail Response: “Oh my mom says its good luck to have a picture of your grandparents” OR “my dad was adopted by Chinese people and that’s just my grandparents”
- Proper Response: The man on the left is the Dr. Rev. Sun Myun Moon and the woman on the right is his wife Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. They are the founders of the Unification Church founded in 1954 in Korea. My faith theology is a combination of Western Christianity and Eastern Confucianism. I am still learning about our faith and I am not yet ready to teach our beliefs. But what I am inspired about is the lifestyle that Mr. and Mrs. Moon have lead and continue to lead. They have displayed through example a kind of love that is comparable to Jesus through endless unconditional love, forgiving betrayal, loving adversaries, and incredible success as a movement. According to Harvard’s divinity school, the UC is the most successful religion because it established a worldwide foundation within the lifetime of the founder. Most religions spread from the point of death of the founder. This is truly an example of Dr. Moon’s global mindset for the entire world, not just his own local church.
- Other Response: They are the founders of my parent’s religious movement that they joined and sacrificed much of their youth to build it up. I am honestly still trying to figure out their role and importance to me in my life. I respect them because my parents, but I personally am still trying to figure out what I believe. But they are important because without them I would not be alive since my parents’ marriage was arranged by them along with others members of the church. The purpose of this activity is for participants to 1) realize how much they know or don’t know and 2) establish a concise response. Thus, it is not necessary to enforce a particular type of response that perfectly aligns with Godism or Unificationism. They just need the confidence in being able to express their ideas and views cohesively.