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17 November 2023 ‘I will give you shepherds…who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.’ Jeremiah 3:15 NIV

One day, a young Bible college graduate wanted to impress his congregation, so he put the  biggest, most important-sounding words he could find into his Sunday morning sermon. But it was a disaster! As he stepped down from the pulpit, he met an old preacher who said, ‘Son, you spoke over their heads.’ Irritated and defensive, the young minister said, ‘Then why don’t they stretch their necks?’ The old preacher replied, ‘Jesus said, “Feed my sheep,” not my giraffes!’ That’s just a story, but it contains a serious point: whether we’re in a pulpit, a classroom, a meeting, or talking to someone one-to-one over coffee, we need to decide whether our 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.’ Our aim shouldn’t be to communicate just knowledge, but also understanding. A good teacher isn’t measured by what he or she knows – it’s what the student learns from them. If we want to connect with people, making things simple is a vital skill. But that doesn’t mean we should be patronising about it. 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 out to people, keep these four words firmly in mind: 1) Heart. To move someone, you must first inspire 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 real, achievable way. 4) Humour. 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.


Contrary winds (2) Sunday 10 December
Contrary winds (1) Saturday 09 December
Humble yourself Friday 08 December
How to pray when you’re sick Thursday 07 December
Do you know why you’re here? Wednesday 06 December
A father’s blessing Tuesday 05 December
Finding common ground (3) Monday 04 December

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