Preaching: All about the Messenger, Message, & Ministry.
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The Preaching Ezine (the newsletter of Preachology.com)
Issue #008, February 11, 2009
Mark Hollingsworth here. Hope you are having a great week in the Lord.
Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Broadus upon speaking about the nature of eloquence, asked the question, "What is good preaching?" Or, more generally, what is eloquence? This is not a merely speculative inquiry, for our fundamental views on the subject will influence, to a greater extent than we may be aware, our practical efforts.
Without reviewing the copious discussions of the question, the following statement may be offered: Eloquence is so speaking as not merely to convince the judgment, kindle the imagination, and move the feelings, but to give a powerful impulse to the will.
All of these are necessary elements of eloquence, but that which is most characteristic is the last. There may be instruction and conviction without eloquence. The fancy may be charmed, as by a poem or novel, when you would not think of calling it eloquence. The feelings may be deeply stirred by a pathetic tale or a harrowing description, but no corresponding action taken being proposed, we do not speak of it as eloquence.
On the other hand, it is not strictly correct to say that "eloquence is so speaking as to carry your point;" for there may be an invincible prejudice, or other insuperable obstacle, as, for example, a preacher may be truly eloquent, without actually inducing his hearers to repent.
There must be a powerful impulse upon the will; the hearers must feel smitten, stirred, moved to, or at least moved towards, some action or determination to act.
Words that by carrying conviction, kindling imagination, and arousing emotion, produce such an effect as this upon the will, are rightly called eloquent words. Augustine put it this way, "Make the truth plain, make it pleasing, make it moving."
2 Tim. 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Christ’s Principles of Communication
Text(s): Luke 4:36; Matthew 27:54
And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.
Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
Communications can never be more effective than its source. Jesus communicated in such a way that people were amazed at His authority, power and truthful insights. The problem with so many communicators in our modern world is they are relying on theories that have not been given to them by God.
Let us look at some of the principles of communications that Jesus demonstrated to His disciples that continue to stand the test of time.
1. Jesus wanted His disciples to be transformed in their thinking before they could qualify to communicate His truth to others.
Jesus said, “A good tree will produce good fruit.” The Lord knew that without the willingness to be cleansed, empowered and instructed by the Holy Spirit, no one could do the works of God in their own human wisdom. Communicating the truth of God can only be done through an understanding of the scriptures.
Visions, dreams and spiritual experiences are no substitute for the way that God’s word can transform the perspectives of an individual. Jesus wants every believer to take the advice from Paul who wrote, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15)
Without a disciplined study of the scriptures we lack a solid foundation from which to communicate truth.
2. Jesus knew that communication of truth is done through interpersonal involvement, relationship building, and group ministry experiences.
Many occasions the disciples of Jesus learned a great deal of truth by working alongside of the Lord in real ministry experiences. If you want to learn how to communicate be willing to be 100% involved in ministries with other Godly people. (Matt. 4:19) The disciples learned by following the example of the great communicator.
3. Jesus involved as many senses of His audiences as possible to enhance communication.
When Jesus fed the 5,000 He actively involved people’s sense of touch, taste, sight, hearing and smelling. The Lord knew that good communications would involve multiple channels working simultaneously. When we are able to engage our audiences in as many senses as possible for the longest period of time the communications will have a long lasting impression.
4. Jesus considered the perspective of each person so He could adjust His message according to every situation.
The Lord crafted each message to suit the greatest needs of the person or audiences He addressed. When He gave the Sermon on the Mount, he addressed the problems of poverty, depression, persecution, misunderstanding, purpose, and many everyday problems.
Communicate in a way that addresses the emotional, mental, social, cultural, economic, family and spiritual problems of ordinary people. Speak to broken hearts that are really hungering and thirsting for answers to life’s problems.
5. Jesus communicated in a way that He tried to remove as many distracting barriers as possible.
Most people have natural filters (prejudices, wrong assumptions, bitterness, etc.) in their brain to screen out messages that may at one time given them personal pain. The Lord tried to assure people of His love before speaking truth. Jesus helped everyone feel that He did not condemn or hold any prejudice. The Lord did not see any reason why they could not get their problem solved.
People were not only inspired by Christ’s communication, but they were instructed and persuaded to follow after truth. Jesus was the Master of the doing the impossible things that no one else could do. People knew that Christ’s truth could work in ways that we may not be able understand, but it was still worth believing.
6. Jesus used credible mediators in the culture to enhance His communications.
When Jesus went to various parts of society His disciples represented a wide variety of professions, social classes and educational levels that reinforced His credibility. Good communications often need contextual witnesses to enhance its veracity, reliability and suitability.
When people saw the changes that Christ’s truth had brought about in the lives of the disciples, they were more apt to believe.
7. Jesus made great efforts to balance the emotional, rational, inspiring, behavioral and spiritual aspects of every message.
Without a holistic approach our communications can often come across deficient and lacking in breadth. One day the Lord sent the disciples out to preach. As they went He gave them authority and power to drive out all demons and cure diseases and to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. (Luke 9:1,2)
When they returned the disciples declared, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” Christ said, “Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)
Never overestimate or underestimate the effects of your communications. Consider your communication outcomes in the light of eternity. Ask the Lord for the ability to communicate to the kinds of people who will be true reflections of Jesus.
Conclusion: Jesus wants us to communicate the way He communicated.
Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
What's New at Preachology.com?
I just recently added some material to the "Sermon Illustrations" page of my website. Take a look at the Sermon Illustrations Personalize Biblical Truth page and the "Stories" section. There's a "Free Sermon Illustrations" page where I share my illustrations and there's a "Your Sermon Illustration Page" where you can share your great illustrations with all of us.
I also just recently added some more material at preachology.com on the FREE SERMONS page. There is also new material at the YOUR SERMONS page. There's a sermon there from Loy in Louisiana. He submitted a great sermon on "Mission Fishing." See below.
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Until next time... here, there, or in the air!
Well, that's about it for now.
Do you have any comments, ideas, or feedback? I'd love to hear from you. You can either reply to this ezine or go to the form on the "Contact Me" page on my website and tell me what you think.
Yours for Powerful Preaching,
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