Keep it simple
“I will give you shepherds…who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.” Jer 3:15 NIV
Seeking to impress the congregation, a young seminary graduate incorporated the biggest words he could find into his Sunday-morning sermon. It was a disaster! Stepping down from the pulpit, he met an old preacher who said, “Son, you spoke over their heads.” Irritated and defensive, the young seminarian said, “Then why don’t they stretch their necks?” To which the old preacher replied, “Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep,’ not my giraffes!” Whether you’re in a pulpit, a classroom, a board meeting, or talking to someone one-on-one over coffee, you must decide whether your goal is to impress people—or help them. God said, “I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.” Your aim shouldn’t be merely to communicate knowledge—but understanding. The measure of a good teacher isn’t what he or she knows—it’s what the student learns. Making things simple is a necessary skill if you want to connect with people. To put it in the words of Albert Einstein: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it enough.” If you’re serious about trying to reach people, keep these four words firmly in mind: (1) Heart. To move someone, you must touch them on an emotional level. (2) Hope. By spelling out their potential and their possibilities, you will inspire them to try. (3) Help. Show them how to apply what you’re saying in a tangible way. (4) Humor. By laughing at your own mistakes, you let people know their problem isn’t unique—and to someone who is struggling, that can be the best feeling in the world.