"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...
We all know that stories engage audiences better than anything else. If a story is told correctly, people will never forget it and more importantly, they will never forget the truth attached to that story.
But the problem is that most speakers and preachers do it terribly wrong. Instead of engaging their audience they throw away the opportunity and ruin what could have been a powerful story.
Here are three things you can do that will allow you to engage your audience and begin to fully realize the power of story.
Can you take constructive input - or does it bug you?
Great leaders know who they are and what they are called to do. Other people's input, constructive criticism and sometimes, just plain criticism only makes them better and stronger.
The reason? They know that they are really only speaking and presenting for an audience of one. Our Lord Jesus Christ. And, if they have listened closely to the Holy Spirit, worked hard and given it their best, they know that God is satisfied. And if He is satisfied, then what else matters?
That doesn't mean they don't listen to others, who might have a different perspective, in order to become better at what they do. In fact, great leaders know they will never be the best at what they do. They can always get better, they can always learn.
So, in reality, they look forward to people's comments. Not just the ones that say they were wonderful, but the ones that point out where they could do a better...
No creativity? Thoughts not flowing? God had the solution 1000's of years ago and science just caught up!
The solution? Thanksgiving and Praise.
I Thessalonians 5:18 - Give thanks in all things.
Hebrews 13:15 - Offer up the sacrifice of praise.
Everyone thought those were just spiritual principles. They are, but they are so much more! When you set everything you are doing aside and thank God for all the great things in your life. Then you take time to praise Him for how great He is, you change you.
Science has discovered that through the process ordained by God, chemicals are released, which alter the state of your brain and release the creativity God has programmed into you.
The next time you are stuck - stop! Give thanks. Offer praise. Then return to your work and you will be amazed at what has happened.
Dr. Vance Hardisty