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What's your story? How SHARE changed my life

Laity Watters

05 Aug, 2019

 

Laity Watters tells the story of her experience on SHARE, Youthscape’s residential retreat that helps young people connect story-telling, film-making, and faith.

 

SHARE changed my life. That might sound dramatic or clichéd, but it really did. The things I learnt, the conversations I had, the friends I made and the opportunities which have followed have completely changed me. I look at everything God has done through SHARE and know that when I applied, I couldn’t have even dreamed of all that has followed.

When I applied for SHARE, I’d never filmed anything. I didn’t use social media very much. I spent a good amount of time watching Youtube but not a lot. I was from a small Welsh town and had no idea where Luton even was! I wasn’t the girl you’d expect to apply!

But I saw the advert on Twitter and felt really drawn to apply. So, in a tentative step of faith with a thought of ‘If I’m not the right person, if it’s not what God’s calling me to do, they’ll just say no and that’ll be fine’, I applied – and I got accepted.

It was a such a privilege to be part of the week, to be taught, encouraged and invested in. Over the 4 days, we had masterclasses, workshops, chapel time, trips and a lot of toast and hot chocolates. The masterclasses led by James, a professional videographer, covered a range of topics, from the technical lessons of frame rates and apertures to the art of storytelling and the creative process. We talked about the practicalities of making videos, from planning to post-production.

 

One of the best things about SHARE is that you are thrown straight into creating videos. After a morning of masterclasses, there’s workshop time with a challenge to put into practice what we’ve just learnt. The opportunity to create, often working in pairs or threes, was so much fun and taught us the realities of making a video while building amazing friendships.

"The encouragement and love of the SHARE community has filled me with joy and confidence. The process of planning and creating videos, the importance of stories and how to tell them has taught me so much that now informs the way I preach and lead."

 

Times of worship and teaching in the chapel started each day, grounding everything in God’s love and our identity in Him. It’s unique to find an opportunity to learn from incredible professionals, where everything is grounded in Christ and where success isn’t measured by analytics.

 
 

I’m still not the girl you’d expect to apply or to have been part of SHARE. I've made a few short films and really love videography but I haven’t got thousands of subscribers or views. In fact, I don’t even have a Youtube channel. I still don’t use social media very much. I haven’t felt God's call or passion to share in that way. However, SHARE helped me to find what God is calling me to do.

I’m now living in London, working for a church. The things I learnt, the friends I made, the conversations I had at SHARE, all helped me to thrive and grow in my sense of what God is calling me to. The encouragement and love of the SHARE community has filled me with joy and confidence. The process of planning and creating videos, the importance of stories and how to tell them has taught me so much that now informs the way I preach and lead.

On the other hand, some of the others have gone on to make incredible Youtube videos and share their faith online in amazing ways. It’s been wonderful to see the ways God has used the skills that SHARE equipped us with, and has taken each of us on a journey of serving Him in beautifully varied ways.

Applying for SHARE was one small step of tentative faith on my part, but God’s love and faithfulness meant it became immeasurably more than I ever could have asked for or imagined.

Laity is part of the Church is England Ministry Experience Scheme, placed in a church in Islington, North London. You'll usually find her singing, laughing or talking about her passions - youth work, mental health, and snacking.

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