In this series of blogs, I will be going through the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 4:25-7:29) to show how Jesus used different teaching techniques to help his audience get and remember his message. By using these techniques in your teaching, you too can help your audience get and remember your message.
“And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain…” (Matt. 5:1). Jesus did this so that his voice would carry farther. In other words, he wanted to make sure that everyone heard his message.
In your teaching, you must remember that it is all about the message, not the messenger. The point is not to draw the audience’s attention to yourself but to your message. The purpose of everything you do (where you stand, how you stand, the gestures you use, your tone of voice) should be to get the message to your audience. Avoid doing or saying anything that distracts your audience from your message, such as playing with the keys in your pocket, which I subconsciously used to do until my son pointed it out to me.
Of course, your audience will not get your message if you don’t know what it is. Know your message. What is the main point that you are trying to communicate to them? Gear everything in your teaching to getting that point across. Anything else is a distraction.
I once had a pastor who would “wing it” when he taught. He would start off with his intended subject, A, but his mind moved so fast that something he said would remind him of something else which would remind him of another thing and before you knew it, he had touched upon subject H and every subject in between, without completing his thought on any one of them. If you were to ask people what he had said, quite often they would say, “I don’t know!” He finally disciplined himself by outlining his teaching and putting the outline on an overhead for all of us to see.
Know your message. Stick to it. Don’t confuse your audience by going down rabbit trails.