Monday, May 18, 2015

May 18, 2015 - Talk It Up!

Recently at an event where I was speaking I was explaining the rules of an icebreaker basketball competition… one of the instructions was to “get your own rebound.” That seems very basic to most but one little girl at the event promptly asked, “What’s a rebound?”

Clear communication is a key to success. Coaches often remind their players to talk on the court so they will function well as a unit. I can still picture being on the court and calling out to a teammate that there was a pick coming, or yelling to switch on defense… I can picture turning to my teammates in a baseball game to make sure we all knew how many outs there were… We were always encouraged to “talk it up.”

The Great Commission calls each of us that are believers to be communicators… to “talk it up.” We need to make sure that what we are communicating is accurate and clear!

When sharing the message of Christ as the Substitute make sure that you are not speaking in “Christianeze.” That is the language/jargon of the church that often is misunderstood and leads to confusion. As I was recently reading a book by Pat Williams (of course about John Wooden) he brought up author and. television correspondent Polly LaBarre. Williams states that “LaBarre correctly labeled technically confusing speech ‘jargon monoxide,’ a deadly verbal poison that asphyxiates communication.” (Found in the book Coach Wooden’s Greatest Secret by Pat Williams)

I have sat under many teachers/preachers that simply left me scratching my head wondering what I just heard. Messages are often muddied up by unnecessary terminology; sometimes they even have contradictory points due to the communicator being driven by emotion instead of accuracy; and sometimes communicators simply remain silent on the things that truly matter.

Let me encourage you when dealing with the Gospel to be absolutely committed to clarity and accuracy. Talking about being justified, sanctified, glorified… deep fried or homogenized… it all can be “jargon monoxide” to the unbeliever… “asphyxiating communication” and leaving the unsaved lost. Avoid confusing clichĂ©s and avoid adding unnecessary things that muddy the message.

I think Jesus made the Gospel message quite clear in John 3:14-18. Do me a favor and read those verses… go ahead get out your Playbook or pull it up on your phone…

Vs 15 “whoever ______________ in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Vs 16 “whoever ______________ in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Vs 18 “He who ______________ is not condemned; but he who does not ______________ is condemned already, because he has not ______________ in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

I like clear and simple communication. I don’t think Jesus could have been any clearer. There are many valid things to teach and share with someone but when it comes to the Gospel we need to get to the point and avoid potential confusion in the hearer. I’ve got a great idea… again back to The Playbook…

Acts 16 records a conversation between a jailer and a couple men of God (Paul and Silas.) Point blank the man asks what he needs to do to be saved (vs 30); to which they reply, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…” (vs 31.)

Note the jailer wants to know what he can do to earn Gods favor and the response is to trust (believe on) the One that paid the way!

Team, we need to communicate! We need to “talk it up” or I guess clearly put… “Talk Him up!” Let’s tell others what Jesus has done for us!

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