Saturday, January 27, 2007

Being clever

We have a new business in town but all I know is its location and its name--"Solutia Tas Inc.". I'm sure the name means something, in Latin I suspect, but it doesn't mean a thing to me. In fact, I suspect it is probably something clever, if you happen to know Latin. Instead of helping me (and everybody else) know what this business does it, the name just makes it more confusing.

Brethren, sometimes our preaching is just like solutia tas--in trying to be clever we lose the audience. Perhaps we use big words that sound educated, and may indeed be the perfect word for the thought we are trying to express, but if no one understands them the point is lost. Or maybe our reasoning is so stretched that even we have trouble following it. The end result is that our "profound" teaching is lost on our audience. The object of preaching is to teach, clarify, and/or motivate the audience--if that is not accomplished then our preaching has failed.

People don't remember what they don't understand. And as Brother N.B. Hardeman said, "Never underestimate the ignorance of your audience." We are all ignorant of some things and in most audiences for the Gospel there are some, who because they are children, or new converts, or visitors, know practically nothing about the Gospel. There are others who know something, but have gaps in their knowledge. Unless you lay the foundation the conclusions of your lesson will likely be lost on them. When people don't understand what is preached they aren't likely to remember it and are even less likely to put it into practice.


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