Do You Understand Me?

This summer I was able to travel to the West African country of Ghana. While I was there I encountered new experiences, I met new people and I learned an important lesson in communication.

I spent a little over two weeks of my time at the Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies located in Tamale, Ghana. This school is, as the name suggests, a Bible school. The purpose of the school is to teach men the Bible so that they can go and share the gospel with others. As I think back to my teaching there I can recall a phrase that I used over and over again. The phrase was: “do you understand?”

You see, while the students there could speak English, it was not their native language. This problem, coupled with the fact that I have a tendency to speak quickly, led to confusion on behalf of the students. As daunting as it was I had to keep asking the question to ensure that the students were actually taking in the information I was giving to them. The more I thought about that, the more I thought about us when spreading the gospel.

Paul, at the end of the letter to the Colossians, asked the church in Colossae to pray for him so that a door would be opened for him to declare the word (4:3). He then goes on to ask that they pray that he speaks the word clearly (4:4).

Paul asked the church to pray for open doors of evangelism. He knew though, that if those opportunities to teach were going to come up, he would need to make sure that he spoke it clearly.

This is an important principle for us to learn today as well. I’ve read books and listened to lessons by many different “scholars,” but many times I come away feeling more confused about the subject than I was before.

When we go and teach others the gospel we need to make sure we are doing like Paul and spreading the word with clarity. The message of the gospel is simple and we need to present it as such. Remember that we are dealing with people’s souls and where they will spend eternity. As we teach the gospel to others let us remember to teach it clearly, so that it is easily understood by the one whom we are teaching.  -Jack Dodgen

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