It’s an exciting week here at School of the Bible. The first time our students get to do a presentation. It’s very short, just five minutes each, to talk about one of the character attributes of God. Believe it or not, it would actually be easier for them if we gave them half an hour to start, but most of them would quit before they began, because the initial perception is that a shorter amount of time is easier. And, in all fairness, this may be true for some people.
So our “big college word” of the week is Homiletics. Basically, how to teach and preach. It can seem a bit mechanical, tiresome, and definitely nonspiritual to be talking through the mechanics of how to teach something. How do you get an audience’s attention? What do you do with them once you have their attention? And so on.
But there is one thing underlying this that is so crucial, even more important than a perfectly-polished message. It can be summed up in a simple, three-letter question: why?
Why is this important? Why should it matter to my audience? Why should it matter to me?
But there is another question they need to ask that is also key. The question of “what?” What does it mean when I say that God is holy/loving/merciful/______ (insert character attribute here)? What, if anything, should I do about it? What, practically, is the impact of this in real life, both for me and my audience.
Growing up, I heard about the 5 W’s and the H. Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. The challenge of Homiletics week is to teach our students the how, without neglecting the other 5 things on the list. It’s harder than it sounds, taking baby steps in trying to deliver a message to a group of 30+ people, struggling with the mechanics of your own routine and process of teaching, but still remembering that, at the end of the day, you haven’t truly taught unless people have understood you. Your polished presentation will mean absolutely nothing if there isn’t a beating heart underneath the shiny surface.
The older I get, the more respect I have for people who are “real”. They aren’t trying to show off or copy who someone else is. They are just being themselves, and doing what they do. Those are the people I pay the most attention to, and the people I most want to brag on to others.
So that’s what’s going on in my little corner of East Texas. But what about you? Who are you, really? What are you doing today? When are you reading this? Where are you at, whether geographically, or in the journey of life? Why are you doing what you are doing, saying what you are saying, living how you are living? How are you doing what you are doing, living what you are living?
Perhaps this all seems a bit formulaic, but the questions are there, and they are worth asking. The answers to those questions can help you see where you’re at, and what, if anything, needs changing. We can write or say answers to these questions, but the real key is in living the answers. The way we actually live tells everyone what our real answers are.
Six short questions.
What answers will you live out?
As always, please feel free to share your comments below.