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
She was 16, there were 250 people in the room and she did 4 things that absolutely MESMERIZED THE AUDIENCE. These 4 things you should do every week.
It was just last week. I watched as a 16 year old spoke, following two experienced speakers and the room was restless. They'd been sitting and listening too long.
I've been in that spot and I wondered what she would do to grab and hold their attention?
She actually did 4 things that kept the entire audience leaning forward, barely moving and at the end, her action step was so powerful it motivated the entire audience.
If we want to be powerful and effective communicators of the Word of God, we should be doing doing exactly what she did every time we speak.
Often we believe that being a great communicator is all about the content being delivered and the way in which it is delivered. But that couldn't be further from the truth.
There is one thing that runs under the surface that will either support or destroy your message and that is... your integrity.
If you are not living what it is that you are telling others to live, you will tell others with your voice, body language, words and most convincingly you will radiate it subconsciously. Your audience will sense a dissonance, an incongruity that they may not be able to identify, but which will clearly tell them not to believe what you are saying - because you don't believe it. If you believed it, you would be living it.
In addition to negating your message, incongruity between what you do and what you say will cause health problems in your own life as your brain sends out mixed signals to your body. (read Switch On Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf)
Pastors, teachers, chaplains - when you are creative, people NEVER FORGET the truth you teach.
It's not about you, it is about creating the foundation for personal shift in people's lives. All of us can study and deliver truth. But when we do not use the creativity that God placed within us, we are neglecting one of His greatest tools of communication.
Christ got in a boat, blasted the religious leaders, forgave the adulterous woman, healed people, broke the rabbinical Sabbath AND taught. He taught AFTER he got people's attention.
That is what we need to do, we get people's attention with creativity, and then we attach the truth of God's word to their heightened sense of awareness. The result? For hours, sometimes days, maybe weeks afterwards, the truth stays in their hearts and minds and causes change.
ISN'T THAT WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO?!!
Every GREAT speaker LISTENS to the audience - NOT before, NOT after, but DURING their presentation. Your audience will tell you how to be dynamic, when to change and how to be better.
So often we take our time preparing, we work hard and like what we see on paper and what we hear when we practice. The problem is that the presentation is NOT FOR US. It is for them.
If you will listen to and watch your audience closely while you present, they will tell you if your message is gripping, dynamic and memorable. They will also tell you where you have become boring or just plain blown it in your presentation.
The first thing you must listen for is noise. Rustling, paper shuffling, feet moving around, shifting in chairs... we've all heard it. If that noise starts it means that somewhere along the way you have lost the attention of the audience, you are no longer captivating.
The second thing is to watch the eyes of the audience....
So often we spend all our time preparing the content. We study, work hard, pray and hope for the best. But that is not how God made us. God built us so that our expectations directly impact our actions, which radically influence how the audience reacts.
That expectation is called faith. Faith that there is something greater at work than our own efforts. Faith that the message that you have prepared is not just for that particular event. Faith that God has chosen you for just exactly that time, that audience, that location and has given you the truth they need to hear.
You should enter into every presentation that God gives you with nothing short of believing that God is going to change people, generations and the world with the few simple words you are going to utter. Not because you are good, but because He is great and His Word is great.
So, enter into every opportunity with sky high expectations, believing that your time with...