“…THE MAN THAT HEARS SPEAKS CONSTANTLY.”
Have a blessed weekend!
When men of God turn themselves into gods of men, then it’s time the sons of men realize that they too are sons of God. In essence, that no one has a monopoly on revelation. Jesus has made a way for us by his death to enter the Holy of Holies and approach God by and for ourselves (see Hebrews 10: 16 – 20). We are in the New Testament dispensation of the priesthood of all believers; if you allow anyone hoodwink you or pull the wool over your face; it won’t be God’s fault but yours. You can know God for yourself. And you should!
The challenge with the church has been that the people in the pews had for long lost the culture of the Berean Christians who double-checked and cross-checked the things they were taught in church (Acts 17:11). When you don’t know God’s word for yourself, anyone can spew baloney into your mind and you believe it hook, line and sinker; and still be thanking and celebrating him/her for it! It’s funny that when Muslims enter a mosque to worship, they leave their footwear by the door. Sad to say, methinks the average Nigerian churchgoer (born-again or not, Pentecostal, charismatic orthodox or by whatever label you choose to give them) unlike his Muslim counterpart leaves his brain by the door of the church! Else how do you explain the credulity with which we believe some stuffs spewed forth in the guise of the gospel by some men of the cloth from our numerous pulpits.
I know you will argue, faith does not agree with reasoning. Yes, and no! Faith agrees with reasoning; reasoning of a different kind – the Bible kind. Paul said; if anyone preaches a gospel different from the one we have preached to you, let him be accursed! I mean, that scripture makes me cringe with holy awe as a preacher and teacher of God’s word. Whatever anyone – and I mean whoever, by whatever name or title the person goes – says that does not agree with the whole counsel of God as set forth in the Bible, vomit it! Before anyone teach you and fill your mind and heart with anything short of the full orbed truth of God’s word, tell him or her, “Teacher, don’t teach me nonsense!” Read the Bible for yourself. Think. Meditate. Compare and research scriptures. Double-check and re-check what you heard in church or by a TV preacher. Refuse to be a twenty-first century slave. Use your spirit, and use your mind! If you refuse to think or you cannot think, you are a slave all the same. And I’m sorry to say, I see a new generation of slaves in the Nigerian church; enslaved by their wrong beliefs and to their overlords (pastors, prophets, teachers etc.) who taught them wrongly. You’re responsible for what and who you choose to believe.
This is an observation to my fellow men of the cloth but it should come in handy for anybody who does any form of public speaking.
Brent Filson in the book Executive Speeches wrote: “The Constitution guarantees free speech, but it does not guarantee listeners. Even if you do get listeners, there is no guarantee that they will be listening. So your first responsibility as a speaker is to gain and keep the audience’s attention.” I couldn’t agree more!
Now, to gain and keep the audience’s attention you must not just have something meaningful and beneficial to say, you must be able to say it interestingly. I believe that as a speaker the way to engage your audience and guarantee their attention is two-fold: entertain and educate. Better put, I want to entertain my listeners while educating them. (You say, “Heaven is too serious for that!”) You can’t be more serious than Jesus yet He was entertaining. How else could He have spoken to more than five thousand people for three days straight and got their attention without a public address system. They were so engrossed in what he was saying that they forgot to eat!
As a speaker I had always wanted my listeners to say something like, “I see! That was interesting. Now let me begin to take action on what I’ve learnt here.” I want to ‘preach’ to people without being ‘preachy’! To tell them something without them feeling being told – that’s what I mean by being entertaining while educating.
I consider it my life calling equipping people to find, follow and fulfill their God-given destinies. My listener must not only be able to discern their life purposes through my messages, they must also be inspired to identify practical steps to take to accomplish the same. Education that lacks entertainment content is not only boring but accomplishes little. In a similar vein, entertainment that has no solid educational value falls short of any lasting impact. The question therefore is “Are you entertaining without educating or educating without entertaining?” YOU WILL SUCCEED!
P. S. I have written on the subject of public speaking here before in a series of posts titled 10-Tips-for-Speaking-to-Impact-Lives. To read those pieces you can click on the link and these: 10-tips (2); 10-tips (3) and 10-tips (4).
“…THE MAN THAT HEARS SPEAKS CONSTANTLY.”
Have a blessed weekend!
Here is the concluding part of this series. Hope you find it useful. Let me have your views and things to add that I might have left out. Let’s go!
#9. BE BRIEF! MAKE IT SHORT AND MEMORABLE.
BREVITY is a key to impactful speeches and sermons. Check it out; the most memorable speeches in history have been known to be very short. I heard it said somewhere several years ago and I have found it to be true from experience: The mind cannot absorb more than the seat can endure! That is so much the truer for this generation that seem to be perpetually plagued by attention deficit disorder (ADD).
I have always believed that it does not take an everlasting sermon to make an everlasting impact. And I read it somewhere that speeches do not have to be long to be great. Short speeches do not have to be long to be important. Long sermons have been known to be short on impact! Great speakers keep it short and simple. It takes a masterful speaker to make complex issues simple. The fool makes simple things complex, all for the sake of being considered profound. Learn to be brief. You can be simple without being simplistic!
#10. NEVER EVER YOU SPEAK WITHOUT THE ANOINTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. (Acts 1:5, 8; 1 Cor. 2:1-5) Whatever you do, get the ANOINTING. That’s my greatest trade secret! All what I have mentioned earlier (brevity, humor, knowledge, inspiration, passion, integrity etc.) in this particular series will hold no water except you are anointed by the Holy Ghost. This means that above all, you have to get the anointing. An un-anointed preacher is like an unwashed soap salesman – he does not use his own product. He lacks believability. It is the anointing, not human eloquence or oratorical skills that changes people’s lives. It is the anointing that infuses your words with power causing it to impact people positively. So, with all your getting, get the unction! I wish you a blessed and impactful speaking experience. You will succeed!
You may see the previous three posts on this same subject here:
10 Tips for Speaking To Impact Lives (1 of 4)
10 Tips for Speaking To Impact Lives (2 of 4)
10 Tips for Speaking To Impact Lives (3 of 4)
Hi there! Let’s resume our talking points on speaking with impact. I hope you’ve been able to take something away from these posts. If you missed the first two posts in which I covered #1 through #5, you can get them here and here.
#6. NEVER TALK PEOPLE DOWN, LIFT THEM UP!
Whatever your subject, inspire them. The easiest message to preach is one of condemnation. You don’t have to try, to beat people down. They already are! But it takes a committed speaker, who is out to help people, to inspire and lift them up. I believe you can talk about hell without raising it, because I have done that before. And I must tell you, from experience, that it is not as easy or as simple as it looks to inspire people. You have to work at it. Inspiring people does not mean you have to sugarcoat or downplay the severity and seriousness of what you’re discussing. It only means that you approach your subject from a positive angle focused on helping people and not condemning them. INSPIRATION is an indispensable key if you want to impact people.
#7. FOR GOD’S SAKE, LOOSEN UP!
Don’t be too uptight. HUMOR is vital in public speaking. If you can get people to laugh, then you can get them to identify with what you’re saying. I’m not saying you have to become a stand-up comic. No! But you see, rare is the speaker who is able to connect with his/her audience without using humor. I can tell you that firsthand! You may not be the “funny type”, I know. But you sure can find a good joke to tell, all the better if the joke is on you. Just don’t think that because you’re discussing something serious, you have to take yourself too seriously. Catch my drift?
#8. NEVER SPEAK WITHOUT COPYING THE MOST IMPACTFUL SPEAKER OF ALL TIMES – JESUS. TELL STORIES.
Everyone loves a good story. People may forget your actual words from a speech but they may never forget the story you used to illustrate your point. That, my friend, is THE POWER OF STORY. Many people, I’m sure you too, and even non-church going people remember classic illustrations (we call them parables) of Jesus like; the Sower, the Good Samaritan, the lost sheep, the lost coin and the (lost) Prodigal Son, the Persistent Widow and the Unjust Judge etc. And once you can recollect the story, the essence of the message becomes clear and indelible to your mind. Ditto! I make it a point never to speak without telling stories. You don’t have to have an exceptional ability to craft stories, just real life illustrations relevant to the subject matter of your discourse will do. I will conclude this in my next post. YOU WILL SUCCEED!