Communicating the Christian message with unchurched people and outsiders
Avoiding the tragedy of non-communication
In most sermons for Christians, or any Christian magazine, there are usually very many jargon words and phrases. We feel comfortable with them! Using them makes us feel that we belong! In prayer too, we love to use these ‘Christianese’ words, as humorist Jim Watkins demonstrates.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place,” said George Bernard Shaw. The word ‘preach’ does not just mean ‘one-way verbal communication’ – as in a sermon or evangelistic address. It has a much broader sense - ‘to effectively communicate’. If the receivers have not understood the message, real communication has probably not occurred. Colossians 1:6 strongly implies that understanding on the part of the hearers is essential to true gospel preaching.
The word ‘communicate’ also has a root meaning that helps us: that of ‘communing’ or interacting over common ground.