PRAYER: Dear Lord, bless this time we spend together today. Hear our prayers as humble pleas and requests, Help us use our lips and speak wisely though them, through our minds may we think thoughtfully. Please take our hands and work with them and turn our hearts from sin and set them on Fire for you LORD. In Jesus name, AMEN.
Every moment in life is a teaching opportunity. Jesus taught us this, but Leaders can also inspire others - this is often referred to as Preaching, and often preaching further inspires other to Reach for excellence. Hence what Grace referenced in her reading of the scriptures earlier this morning: my personal leadership model of Teaching, Preaching and Reaching.I think we can all agree that Jesus is the greatest teacher of all, to ever walk the face of the Earth.
So how did Jesus and His Disciples teach?
1. JESUS TOLD STORIES Jesus told countless parables (Mark 4:34). He pulled spiritual truth from everyday life. Not only did these stories make Jesus’ preaching more memorable, they also connected in a much more profound way. Think about the parable of the Prodigal Son. Jesus could have proclaimed, “God loves you so much that He will welcome you back to Him no matter how far you have wandered away.” That is definitely true. However, Jesus instead chooses to tell the story of a boy who disowned his family, partied away his inheritance, came home to beg for mercy, but was surprisingly welcomed with open arms by his father who waited daily for his return. Which is more powerful? If you want to preach like Jesus, tell stories. Lots of them. Use examples from everyday life to teach spiritual truth.
2. JESUS SHOCKED PEOPLE Jesus often used hyperbole. He taught using outrageous examples, exaggerations, or shocking statements that got people’s attention. These statements were not all meant to be taken literally, but they definitely got the point across. For example, Jesus didn’t really mean we have to rip out our eyes and amputate our hands for causing us to sin (Matthew 5:29-30), or else all Christians would be blind amputees. He also didn’t mean that the people he spoke to literally had logs in their eyes (Matthew 7:3-5). Jesus was simply making a very clear point. Jesus said things that shocked people and exaggerated the truth to emphasize His point. If you want to preach like Jesus, Shock people. Exaggerate a little with your questions. Say outrageous things that aren’t meant to be literal, but grab attention and communicate the point clearly.
3. JESUS CRAFTED MEMORABLE SAYINGS Jesus spoke poetically. He often used catchy sayings and plays on words. This isn’t always apparent in English translations. However, in the original language, Jesus made it much easier for his listeners to remember what he said. For example, Jesus memorably said, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you.” (Luke 6:37-38a CSB). Another great example is the Golden Rule (Luke 6:31). If you want to preach like Jesus, craft memorable statements. Make the main point easy to remember. If your people remember the message, they will be able to take it with them wherever they go.
4. JESUS ASKED QUESTIONS Rather than tell everyone the answer right away, Jesus used the Socratic Method. He led His audience to conclusions by asking a lot of questions. For examples, check out Matthew 16:26, or 22:20-21, or look at this resource that lists 173 questions Jesus asked. Questions are a powerful teaching method, especially when teaching a hostile crowd (like unbelievers). Questions stimulate critical thinking. Asking good questions makes the audience hungry to find the answers. If you want to preach like Jesus, ask a lot of questions. Do not reveal the answer immediately. Help your audience use their own brains.
5. JESUS USED OBJECTS IN HIS LESSONS Jesus often used object lessons to communicate to his audience. He washed the feet of the disciples to teach servant leadership (John 13:3–17). He called a little child to him to discuss childlike faith (Matthew 18:1–4). He described unselfish giving after watching a widow drop two small coins into the temple offering (Mark 12:41–44). When he told the parable of the sower, there is a good chance he was standing near a field. Visually communicated truth is far more powerful than merely stated truth. If you want to preach like Jesus, use objects lessons. Block out time in your sermon preparation to be creative. Think of ways to communicate your message visually.
6. JESUS USED REPETITION Jesus helped His audience learn His lessons by frequently repeating Himself. He taught the same major themes again and again. For example, Jesus spoke of his death and resurrection over and over again (Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:33–34), and the disciples still didn’t get it. Sometimes people need to hear something many times over before it fully sinks in. In addition, teachings that get repeated get remembered. If you want to preach like Jesus, repeat. Find the main point of your message and say it again and again, and don’t be afraid to preach on important subjects more than once a year. If you want to be a better preacher, look no further than Jesus. Tell stories, be shocking, craft memorable statements, use object lessons, and repeat.
7. MAKING IT MEANINGFUL
People need examples of joy and dependence on God even in human imperfection. They need to see what it means to be a Christian and human at the same time. There are always bad examples around, I am often that example myself, this may come as such a surprise to you but I am pretty tough on our girls. Like Paul, I know what the girls are capable of: Pam and I strive to teach our girls to be humble, hard-working, helpful to others, and always empathetic. Like Paul, be a responsible person.
Paul said he had all the incentives of an eternal hope. He was free to reach toward excellence because he had a strong confidence in the future. "Our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.“
Our earthly situation is always compelling in the past and now. Current events and circumstances may appear dark and grim. But as Christians we are not locked into this situation. While this does not excuse our carelessness or unconcern, it does deliver us from anxiety, because "our common goal is in heaven." Staying centered when the world is very much spinning around you.
No matter what circumstances he faced, Paul could continue to reach for excellence because he was a hopeful person.
He wrote, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope" (Romans 15:13).
Paul was determined to be the best person he could be, for God. He said, "I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (verse 14).
Thanks Be to God. Amen.
References: Jermy Meyers - www.redeeminggod.com