They Make It Look Easy

This year I was in the States when the Wimbledon tennis championships were taking place.  So I missed the annual spectacle.  I’ve watched it many times.  Not just the tennis on TV, but the resulting tennis in the local courts.  People watch their heroes on TV, the best tennis players in the world.  Then they are inspired to go to the local courts and have a go themselves.  Courts that sit empty for most of the year are always busy the first week of July!  Why?  Because the best make it look easy.  It’s true in tennis, in football, in every sport.

In some ways that is our challenge as preachers.  We have to be the best that we can be.  We have to study exegetical stuff that would never be a bestseller.  We have to wrestle with the complexities of current trends and the complex motivations that move people to think in certain ways.  We have to somehow interact with all levels of social, religious, spiritual and fashionable trends, sometimes at very high levels.  Yet in it all, we have to be careful not to come across as high academics.  It’s tempting to do that.  After all, it’s easier to not translate from erudite verbosity to normal speech.  It’s better for the ego to dazzle and impress our listeners.  But remember the great tennis players.  They make something immensely complex look so easy.

Let’s strive to do the same.  Replace the twelve letter word with a five letter word or a couple of them.  Speak like a compelling communicator rather than a dull lecturing “expert.”  Let’s do the extra work and put aside our egos in order to communicate effectively.  Perhaps then the gospel will be free to access lives with all practicality.  Perhaps then people will rush out to the tennis courts of their lives and apply God’s word for themselves!

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