I wrote a lesson on Psalm 73 recently:
Surely God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold. Psalms 73:1-2 (NIV)
Here is my paraphrase:
I know God is good. . . in theory. But, my life pretty much stinks right now. Why doesn’t God do something for me. . . NOW!
I used this story from Warren Wiersbe’s commentary:
It was brought home to me when our first child was born. In the hospital God took that child. I only heard the cry of that little one. All she ever did in her life was cry. I shall never forget the day she died. Across the hall from where my wife was, there was a very wealthy couple who had a baby boy, and their rich friends came to celebrate with them. As I drove into the parking lot in my old beat-up Chevrolet, they all drove up in Cadillacs. They went into the hospital with their champagne and celebrated the birth of the little boy. He was a precious looking little baby — all they desired, I guess. I shall never forget that night. It was summertime, and I went out on a balcony that was there and cried out to God. To be honest with you, I don’t know to this good day why God took our baby and left the baby across the hall. They have money, and, boy, they live it up! I have seen write-ups about them, and they have been in trouble several times. Their little boy is now an adult, as my daughter would be. After all these years, I still don’t have the answer. You may be thinking, You are a minister, and you don’t have the answer? No, I don’t have the answer. Then how can you comfort others? Well, I’ll tell you how. Although I don’t have the answer, I know the One who does, and He has told me to walk with him by faith. He tests me by putting me in the dark. Then I’ll reach out my hand and take his. In His Word He tells me that I can trust Him. Someday He will explain the whys of life to me. — Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee.
If that doesn’t move you, try watching this video
I am still waiting for a sermon that fits with that video. WOW.
Sticky teaching does that. It moves people emotionally.
Think about the times when you have been moved greatly by God. Did logic do the trick? Were you changed by mere information? Or, did emotion play a role?
Think about a really great teaching you have heard. Was it mere facts, or did the speaker pull on your heart strings?
Heath and Heath (Made to Stick) and Emotions.
I found some great examples of moving people emotionally on Heath and Heath’s web page. Check these out:
Bill Gates releases a jar full of mosquitoes
In his talk at TED, Bill Gates released a jar full of mosquitoes, sending them out to feast on some of the world’s best & brightest blood. “Malaria is spread by mosquitoes,” he said. “I brought some. Here, I’ll let them roam around. There is no reason only poor people should be infected.” He then waited a few minutes before reassuring the crowd that the mosquitoes were malaria-free.
A bit mean, maybe, but at least he broke through to people’s emotions.
Ben of Ben and Jerry’s
You may agree or disagree with their position, but you can’t disagree that this is sticky communication. http://www.truemajority.org/bensbbs/
Emotions and video
One of the best ways to move people emotionally is through the use of video. I include links to appropriate videos in my lessons from time to time under the creative element section. Here are a few of the sites I turn to:
Some of these are downloadable clips. They range in price from about $2 to 20. Wingclips references movies that you can rent and show. You can see the clip on their site, rent the DVD, or download it from their site. It is time consuming finding videos, but when you find a good one, it can really make a lessons.
Jesus and emotion
Jesus clearly moved people emotionally. So much so that the crucified him. So much so that people died for him.
It is not enough to teach what Jesus taught. We need to teach HOW Jesus taught. How do we do that? That is the subject of the next article.