Archive for August 8, 2011

August 7, 2011



Mark 4:33-34

Having an impactful message or influencing someone is determined by one thing…the ability to relate to what is being said. There is nothing more painful (or ineffective for that matter), for the speaker or the audience, than to be in the room where a message is not received or understood. You can have the greatest and most applicable and relevant message in the world but if you are not connecting with the audience and getting the nods from the crowd, you had might as well be speaking Swahili to Iowa kindergarten students.  Let me put it into other, more relevant terms. You’re working in a candy store and a 13 year old kid walks up to you and says, “I was in here yesterday and bought some gum for $.25. Today, it’s $.20. Why?” You respond with a full dissertation of retail dynamics, economic theory, and the evolution of the US capitalistic markets over the past 120 years rather than saying, “We wanted to sell more so we put it on sale this morning.” Is the dissertation answer wrong? No. Fundamentally, and if done correctly, we would likely wind up at the spot as the “…we put it on sale this morning” answer. However, which answer is the youngster more likely to relate to and understand? That answer is pretty easy.

Throughout Jesus’ ministry, He shared the Truths of heaven, eternity, and the will of the Father through parables or stories. In Mark chapter 4, we read a number of parables but more importantly learn why He used parables to teach. In verse 11, Jesus told His disciples, “You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom – you know how it works. But to those who can’t see it yet, everything comes in stories, creating readiness, nudging them toward receptive insight.” Verses 33-34 sums it up, “With many stories like these, He (Jesus) presented His message to them (people), fitting the stories to their experience and maturity. He was never without a story when He spoke…. ”

Challenge:  A barrier to effective communication is the lack of relatability.  For anyone who has delivered any kind of message, the term “lightbulbs” may have been used. That is referring to the looks on the audience’s faces when the switch is turned on (lightbulb lights up) and they understand what is being said…when they get it. Good teachers become very skilled in the art of modifying a concept and presenting it in as many ways as necessary so that the entire class’s “lightbulbs” light up. Jesus was a great Teacher. As the Creator of the heavens and the earth, He had infinite wisdom and intellect. However, whether He was talking to most or least educated, He shared in a way where the importance of the Message was never lessened and the understandability of it was always maximized. Our challenge is to follow Christ’s example and share what God has put on out heart as well as our knowledge of His word in ways anyone, despite their walk or level of familiarity with Scripture, can understand it.

Prayer: Lord, You are all powerful, all present, and all knowing. You were there at the beginning of time and have infinite knowledge and wisdom. Yet, You lower Yourself to us and speak to us so we understand Your life changing and eternal message. I don’t deserve Your grace but I am grateful for Your blessings and Your unconditional love. Lord, please help me share Your love and Message in ways that those I talk to can understand. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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