Communication is a big deal. Communicating an important message is an even bigger deal. Communicating THE most important message this side of eternity is the biggest deal imaginable.
As communicators of the earth-shaking, life changing, eternity altering message of the Gospel, we have a huge task at hand. Whether a Pastor, preacher, Small Group leader, Sunday School teacher or one given an opportunity to share his/her testimony, we are sharing a monumentally important message and the stakes could not be higher. Eternity looms ahead and lives hand in the balance.
That said, the weighty (and wonderful) responsibility of communicating life changing truth should cause us to approach our task with a blood earnest seriousness. Guided by The Word and the Spirit of God, as we prepare the messages that we are privileged to be able to communicate I think it’d be helpful to ask ourselves a few questions before we share….
1. Is Jesus Central To What I Am Saying Here? – Believe me, it’s easy to get off track. There are a ton of noble causes, life lessons, etc we can focus on as we stand before those God has placed in our paths…but there is only one who is mighty to save, sustain and serve as the Sovereign Lord of our lives. Whether teaching from the Old or New Testament, expositing a Psalm or an Epistle, it’s all about Jesus. Make sure that He is the central theme of your message.
2. Does What I Am Saying Challenge Me? – if not, it probably won’t challenge them either.
3. Do I Have Any Hidden Agendas? – this is the difference in preaching “to” or preaching “at” someone. Nothing wrong with dealing with someone who needs to be dealt with, but that doesn’t need to come from a pulpit, it needs to happen personally. Speak with a person, preach to your people.
4. Will this Cause Someone to think? – the greatest compliment a teacher/preacher could ever receive isn’t a pat on the back and a sincere “excellent sermon, preacher“! No, those are very nice (and beneficial if received in humility) but the greatest compliment a teacher/preacher can receive in this life is “that really made me think about some things“.
5. Could I Have Prepared This Message WITHOUT The Spirits Guidance? – God often blesses communicators with extraordinary abilities. He has given Spiritual gifts to them which serve as essential and great assets for accomplishing His will on this earth. But we must be careful here not to pridefully and lazily rest in those abilities for our greatest assets can become our greatest liabilities when we use them outside of His will and power.
Admittedly, though I do go through this checklist before I preach each message, I fail often (thankful for grace when I do!). I’m working at it though and I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve as a conduit of truth. I hope this may help you communicate more effectively in the coming days.
Soli Deo Gloria!