If you are responsible for communicating biblical truth, consider yourself a preacher (at least for the now)—you are a communicator of God’s Word. If that describes you, these next four principles are especially for you. Pay close attention, read thoughtfully and carefully, as I apply this to whatever may be your ministry.
First, always stay on the subject—Christ. For Paul it was always about Christ. Though explaining the altar of the unknown God of Athens, everything for Paul pointed to Christ. Preaching that doesn’t exalt Christ is empty preaching. Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers, “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). For Paul, to live was Christ and to die was gain.
Second, always speak the truth without fear. Do not be overly impressed with those who have come to the class or who sit in the church where you serve. And it makes no difference how much they’re worth or how little they contribute.
Third, always start where your audience is. Paul hooked those men in his first sentence. You can, too, if you spend some time thinking about it. Know your audience well enough to build a bridge quickly. Find a way to get into their world and then build a bridge to Christ. Remember: begin with the familiar in order to acquaint them with the unfamiliar.
Fourth, always surrender the results to God. Once they have heard the message, your part ends. Your task is to communicate truth. It’s God’s job to draw people to Himself. You prepare the patient; He does the surgery. They don’t need manipulation. There’s enough of that going on. You don’t need to follow them out to their car or push them into a corner. God will reach them, just as He did in Athens. Leave the results to God.
When your heart is right, it’s amazing what you’re able to see. And when you see it clearly, it’s remarkable how God can give you the words to say. You may be amazed how God uses you, just as He did Paul in that ancient metropolis so many years ago. When his moment arrived, he was ready.
When your moment comes, stand and deliver. God will give you courage as you tell others of His Son. There is no greater honor on earth.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.