Weekly Thought – March 24, 2015
Fred’s sense of reverence began early in his life. As the son of a Southern Baptist pastor, he recognized the respect for God. As a layman, he spent much of his life speaking to Christian audiences. He was known for his ability to bring Christian principles to the audience in down to earth terms.
Your support of our efforts to preserve Fred’s work while “stretching and blessing the next generation of leaders… to the glory of God” is greatly appreciated.
Imperatives in Effective Speaking (Part 6)
A) Be empowered. I’m speaking of spiritual empowerment. When we speak for God, we should communicate God’s message for God’s glory, not our own. This requires the presence of the Holy Spirit to own the communication. The Spirit must convince; we can only present.
Our motives must be as pure as humanly possible. We become stewards of the message, not the authors. Years ago after speaking five or six times at a men’s retreat I flew home expecting to be exhausted. But I wasn’t. As I thought about why not, it occurred to me… The pipe never gets tired because it doesn’t do the work, just the pump. That was the answer: I was the pipe, not the pump. The Spirit is the pump. As long as I remember to be the cleanest, clearest pipe possible, the message will flow.
May I give a personal word here? When I am speaking for God I am never spiritually ready until I would prefer someone else do it, even though I’ve spent tremendous time in preparation. To me, empowerment is evidenced in those moments of holy hush. I call these pregnant moments because I know the seed was planted and life will come forth.
B) Pray before speaking. Prayer should be an ingredient in the preparation, not a sauce poured over it. If you have prayed adequately before speaking you won’t need to ask the audience to pray for you while you speak. They should be listening.
Prayer helps me eliminate the extraneous… those ego licks, hidden agenda items, or subtle kicks at my enemies. When I’m praying right, I’m conscious of God’s listening while the audience listens.
C) Discover the sacredness of brevity. Leave the audience wanting more. In a flea market for one dollar I found a sign which I keep on my wall: “Lord, fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff. And nudge me when I’ve said enough.”
Never go beyond the allotted time. It isn’t how much material we have but how much time we can hold the interest of the audience. You will never be criticized for giving them something useful then giving them some time back.
It’s good to be able to close by quoting your subject to show you’ve gone full circle, you stayed with your intention, and you knew when to stop.
This week think about: 1) How serious am I when speaking God’s message? 2) What role does prayer play in my preparation? 3) Who supports me in my preparation?
Words of Wisdom: “Remember, you are the pipe, not the pump.”
Wisdom from the Word: “When they arrest you and hand you over for trial, do not worry about what to speak. But say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 15:11 NET Bible)