Jump directly to the Content

Red-Letter Days

When God's message changes the messenger.

For years I have worried weekly about how to effectively shape messages from God's Word. You know how it goes: begin with an attention-arresting anecdote, follow with scholarly exegesis peppered with witty, well-timed illustrations, and close with a heart-wrenching final story to lead toward application and call for response.

But I've been gradually growing in my awareness that it's a whole lot more effective, for everyone, when the Word shapes the messenger first.

My transformation in this area has been gradual, but the realization came suddenly. It happened over dinner with our middle child, a college sophomore.

About a month into his fall semester, I drove to his college and took him to dinner at an Italian restaurant off campus. He explained that anything tastes better when it's prepared somewhere other than the cafeteria. As we talked he told me that he'd been assigned to give a five-minute devotional thought at choir the next day.

"Got any ideas?" he asked.

I didn't, but to stall ...

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

How the Family Church Grows
How the Family Church Grows
Honest talk about leading change in the smaller congregation.
From the Magazine
I Wanted a Bigger God Than My Hindu Guru Offered
I Wanted a Bigger God Than My Hindu Guru Offered
As my doubts about his teachings grew, so did a secret fascination with Jesus.
Editor's Pick
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
Understanding God and our world needs more than bare reason and experience.