Several weeks ago I hopped up onto my current soap box. You can read my passionate plea here. That day my friend Donna Jones left a comment, and we started a communication in which I found out she’s written a book on this very topic. Donna is here today with a highlight from her book Seek: A Woman’s Guide to Meeting God. ~Amy
As a speaker, you want your message to reach every woman in your audience, not just the gal who already thinks like you,
So, how can you make sure your message resonates with the unchurched gal? The new believer? The friend invited by someone who desperately wants her to know Jesus? Many speakers figure if they avoid big, religious terms they’ve made their message appealing to everyone. But is that really all we need to do?
After years of speaking to 1000s of new believers and seekers, (and making my share of mistakes along the way!) I’ve learned that reaching women—all women—in your audience can be boiled down to one simple principle:
Know what you know. Know what she doesn’t.
Of course a seeking gal isn’t going to be familiar with words like “sanctification”. That’s a no brainer. But in all likelihood, she won’t really know what you mean when you talk about “sin” or “discipleship” or even “asking Jesus into your heart” – all terms we Christians use freely. To reach an unchurched woman, think intentionally about what you know—about the truths and terms that seem so basic to you, they are almost intuitive—then picture the gal who has never opened a page of the Bible. Ever.
Will she know what you know?
As a speaker you can help her know what you know.
How? Two ways:
1. Make her feel included, not excluded.
Remember that a woman who’s never been to church doesn’t know things as basic to you and me as how to look up a Bible passage. Make your messages inclusive by adding helpful comments like “turn with me to the book of Psalms, which is near the middle of the Bible” and avoid statements like “you remember the story of David and Goliath…” If she didn’t grow up in church, she doesn’t remember—how could she?
As you prepare a talk, put yourself in her shoes. Know what you know and know what she doesn’t.
2. Explain spiritual concepts with non-spiritual examples.
Jesus was the master teacher in this regard. He freely used everyday examples to illustrate eternal truth.
In a talk I gave a few years ago I planned on discussing grace, which got me thinking about how to explain grace to an unchurched friend. Oh sure, I was familiar with “Grace is God’s riches at Christ’s expense”, but questioned whether that definition would resonate with a seeker. Explaining grace proved tougher than I thought.
Then God reminded me of my 16th summer and the day I wrecked our brand new family car. (You can find the 4 minute video version of this story at www.donnajones.org, or in Chapter Two of Seek: A Woman’s Guide to Meeting God).
Preparing for the worst, I reluctantly faced my dad. Dad shocked me when he didn’t dole out any punishment, and, in fact, didn’t even raise his voice. Hours later I received a phone call inviting me to a friend’s house. There’s no way, I thought. Not getting punished was one thing, but being allowed to socialize was a whole different ball game. Dad surprised me once more by agreeing to let me go, then reached into his pocket, and held out his keys with a smile. “Go. Have fun. And you can take my car.” Not getting punished? That was mercy. Receiving the car keys? That was grace.
You and I understand words like grace and mercy because we’ve been around the spiritual block a time or two. But does the women sitting in the audience? She will if you’re sensitive to what you know that she doesn’t, and explain it to her in a way that makes sense.
Do you want to reach every woman in your audience, no matter where she is on her spiritual journey? You can. Know what you know that she doesn’t know. Then explain what you know in a way that is uniquely you.
Donna Jones is passionate about helping women find and follow God. She is a national speaker and the author of two books, including her latest, SEEK: A Woman’s Guide to Meeting God, which was written for the gal who’s just beginning her spiritual journey or those who want to help others discover the basics. Donna is a mom of three who loves cute sale shoes and a good cup of coffee. You can connect with Donna at www.donnajones.org or www.seekmeetinggod.com.