What I'm about to write may be useless for most....if not all. However, you know I love to study public speakers whether it is another preacher, a newscaster, a politician, or a television host. For those of us who stand before any group, it is most important to connect. More than anything about the task, we want to do a fruitful job.
Something occurred to me that made me wonder if others who speak weigh the same ideas. Whatever the occasion, I do not focus on how well I will do in my presentation but how well the audience will hear. Said another way, in my mental preparation I try to imagine what those listening will receive. I pray a lot for the ears of those in front of me. I ask God to connect them to His message.
When I focus on the hearers, one of the first things which comes to my attention is what are they going to walk away with of value. Now this may seem obvious, yet how many of us prepare lessons which have three points and a conclusion because such officially forms a sermon whether the content says anything pertinent? We must be alert that the direction and the content must be fitting for those listening. Will it inspire? Will it relate? Will it persuade? Will it challenge? Will it heal? Will it offer hope?
Today finds enormous pressure upon time. As speakers we cannot afford to waste the ear-time of hearers. If they are going to lend us their ears, we must do our best to fill them with God-sized news above and beyond the world's wisdom. We must speak in terms of the wow and mystery of Jesus and not just terms of properly formed grammatical statements combined with a Greek meaning found in a Lexicon. We must make zealous effort to speak of matters.....which matter!
Don't worry about how well you are doing. Concentrate on the hearers. If they walk away having understood clearly a message, you have accomplished your task.