I was working on a lesson — Good Questions Have Groups Talking — on Naaman. I was just about wrapped up, but needed a story or two to really make it work. I did a search on my Kindle for the word Naaman. It searches 300 books and before long, comes up with this story from Andy Stanley:
I concluded with the idea that sometimes God will ask us to do things we don’t understand. And that the only way to fully understand is to obey. We will all look back with a sigh of relief or feel the pain of regret. Then I delivered my statement: To understand why, submit and apply. I repeated it several times. I had them repeat it. Then I closed.
When I left the platform that day I knew I had connected. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I had stumbled onto something that would shape my approach to communication.
Two years later, on a Sunday morning, a college student walked up to me and said, “Hey, you’re that guy. You spoke at my high school chapel.” Then he paused, collected his thoughts and said, “To understand why, submit and apply.” He smiled, “I still remember,” he said. Then he turned and walked away. He didn’t remember my name. I never knew his. None of that mattered. What mattered was that those thirty minutes in chapel two years earlier were not a waste of time after all. One simple, well-crafted truth had found its mark in the heart of a high school student.
That Sunday morning was a defining moment. Since then I have prepared hundreds of outlines and preached hundreds of sermons. But my goal has been the same since that exasperating night in my efficiency apartment wrestling with the story of Namaan. Every time I stand to communicate I want to take one simple truth and lodge it in the heart of the listener. I want them to know that one thing and know what to do with it. — Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication (Andy Stanley and Lane Jones)