Innovative Ministry
Know Your Audience: 8 Principles for Speaking Effectively in Any Situation
Speaking effectively has more to do with how well you listen than how much you talk.

6. Stick to the Source

Facing a new and potentially challenging audience is not the time to experiment with new ideas or make stuff up. You can hurt people that way. Starting with yourself.

So I stuck to the source. I went to my room after the conversation with the chaplain and I opened my Bible.

Even when I don’t know what I’m talking about, God does.

7. Tell a Story

That night in my room I rediscovered one of my favorite Bible stories about one of my all-time heroes. Caleb.

Caleb’s story is smack in the middle of Numbers 13-14, the passage that inspired the title of The Grasshopper Myth, so I didn’t have to look far.

Stories are universal. That’s why Jesus depended on them. When all else fails, tell a story.

Caleb started out as the only one of the 12 spies who said “we can take the land.” Joshua wasn’t heard from – not on that first day, anyway. It was only after everyone cried through the night that we see Joshua tearing his clothes in sorrow with Caleb the next day. (Numbers 13:30 – 14:9)

I told Caleb’s story at the Prayer Breakfast, then asked some questions. What happened that night? Did Caleb talk to the other 11 spies? I would have. Did he try to convince them all, but only win Joshua over? I think that’s likely.

Caleb faced a difficult task with very little evidence of success. Good people told him it couldn’t be done. He had less than a 10 percent success rate, then a loooong time (40 years) watching everything collapse, before success finally came.

I encouraged them to be Calebs. Stand for what’s right. Keep at it, no matter how small the returns seem to be. Stay for long-term results. Be faithful.

Stories are universal. That’s why Jesus depended on them. When all else fails, tell a story.

8. Quit When You’re Done

I stopped speaking before the clock told me I had to. That may have been their favorite part of my talk.

And now I am done again. So I will quit.

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December 22, 2016 at 3:17 AM

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