You hear it preached, taught in schools, pushed in seminars, touted in books and urged on parents to encourage it in their kids.
All that from people who have no idea what is going to happen 1 minute, 1 day, 1 month or 1 year in the future, let alone in eternity.
I believe it can be one of the most powerful traps in our lives. One that will lead either to arrogance or despair.
Don't get me wrong. I believe in dynamic, strong, confident, incredible people. All three of my children were raised to be this way and I am married to a woman who is not only godly, but a wise, respected incredible attorney.
The key? The source from where our confidence flows.
In His Service,
Dr. Vance Hardisty
We know that millennials are leaving the church in droves and it breaks our hearts. As pastors and teachers we want to speak and communicate so that they hear, listen, make changes in their lives and want to come back, bring their friends and hear more!
But we have been told:
- there is a communication barrier
- we don't speak the same language
- we don't have the same values
- we are too old
- we ... you name it, they've said it.
The conclusion? Millennials can only be reached by someone their own age.
In fact, reaching them is fairly simple. Here are the four things that they want in every presentation. And the funny thing is, if you put these four things into your messages, you will end up reaching everybody.
First, thank you for the time you gave taking our survey “What would you tell Pastors and Teachers?”. This may have been a number of months ago, but you took a 3 question survey that I sent to you on LinkedIn.
I know you are busy, but please know that your input will bless others. These results help build the foundation for a series of seminars that I give to pastors, teachers, professors and chaplains internationally. We focus on training Pastors and Teachers in nations where they cannot afford either the time or expense to get an education. For each group, we bring the entire foundation of knowledge that they will need in order to carry out their calling in the Kingdom of God.
This survey about presentation skills is only one of over 20 topics that we teach.
To date, we have had 2868 leaders from dozens of nations take the survey and these are the results to date:
Question #1 How would you rate most pastors and teachers as speakers?...
"I love you!"
"You are more important to me than anyone or anything else (except God)."
"Will you go out with me?"
3 sentences to say to your spouse for a great marriage.
Miss these and you can mess up your ministry! Why? Because your relationship with your spouse radiates to everyone you meet and will either validate or negate everything you say from up front.
Often, because of the noise and confusion of life, we miss the 4 issues that can derail our leadership and ability to communicate.
These 4 things are difficult for us to see in ourselves. In fact, if you really want to know if you have them, you need to have the courage to ask those closest to you whether they see any of these 4 in you.
I know that I struggled when I heard that several of these were in my life. It was frustrating. I wanted to think I was better. But that thinking only delayed my dealing with the issues and prevented me from being the man God called me to be.
Don't make the mistake I made. Write these 4 issues down. Take them to your spouse or a best friend and ask them to be honest with you. If they say one or more of these are in your life, then tell them and the Lord you want to change. Ask them to hold you accountable, every time they see one of these beginning to show up. Then determine...
What does it take to teach so that your audience is impacted?
1. You must know why you are teaching. No, not the general why. Not because it is your job. You need to know why... why these people, why this day, why this subject, why this passage. These are questions that you should process over and over as you prepare.
2. You must know your audience. Don't write off this point if you have the same audience each week. On a regular basis, you should ask yourself if you really know where your people are, with what are they struggling, what are the real questions, what do they face in the real world? If your teaching does not directly address the people who are listening and where they are living, you are wasting your time.
3. Nail the application. So many teachers and preachers figure that the people will just figure this one out, or that God will graciously reveal it to them. That may be true for a small...
Be the visionary! Refuse to be average! People need you to go to the edge of the cliff, then call them out to see what an incredible life they could have if they would take the risk.
A visionary does not see things the way they were. Anyone can do that. A visionary does not see things as they could be. That is an encourager. Some people will say that a visionary sees things as they could be. Not so. A visionary see things as they ARE. They believe so strongly in what they know, that their vision propels people to be far more than they ever dreamed they could be.
Is a visionary a wishful thinker? Hardly. A visionary sees the future differently than others do for three primary reasons:
1. A visionary KNOWS who God is, how magnificent He is and what He can do through anyone.
2. A visionary KNOWS the potential of each person with whom he/she speaks is far greater than what they have yet lived up...
This IS your job and your calling! It is not just to impact the people who are present in your audience, it is about all the people that THEY know and will impact for generations.
So, you MUST operate in excellence. Prepare in excellence, work in excellence, perfect the message that God has given, pray diligently, because the message that you are delivering is for 10, 20 and 100 years from now.
Don't you dare settle!
The lives of the people to whom you speak will change, they will change the people around them, they will change their children, who will change their children. And one day, God will introduce you to all the people your message impacted because YOU were diligent and faithful to the calling God has on your life.
Just outside the window of the house where I was working, God placed a very powerful visual lesson.
In a brief moment God showed me how as leaders he fills us, strengthens us and equips us to minister to others.
Every day, the weather would warm, some of the snow would melt and the water would trickle down those icicles and drip to the ground. But as evening closed in and the temperature dropped, the drops of water moved slower and slower until they would no longer make it to the ground but freeze to the icicle, making it longer and stronger.
Two very clear lessons.
First, as we spend time with God each day, he drip feeds us, bit by bit, strengthening us for the task at hand. If we fail to spend time with Him, listening to the voice of His Spirit, we miss on the blessing that God has for us.
Second, the drops only form on the icicle when the weather is very cold. It is in the times of struggle, when the way is not clear, when it seems...
There are three powerful lessons in the snow about effective preaching/teaching. And because of these lessons, you must spend the time! Do the work! IT'S WORTH IT.
Please watch the video to see what the snow teaches us about giving our very best every time we present God's truths. If we are not careful, when we prepare to speak or preach, we can focus on the hard work. And it IS hard work. Anything good takes time and effort. But, if you focus on that, you will never adequately prepare.
Instead focus on the impact:
First there is the impact in the lives of those who hear, and change, and if you do your job as God has called you to, that impact will last for a long time.
Second, those who change will be a witness to all those who surround them and that witness will change more lives.
Third, there will be those who want to follow in your footsteps, delivering truth from God's Word in such a way that it impact lives. As you prepare, remember you are paving the way for other world...