I am tasked with captivating and holding the attention of people for 30 minutes or so every week with nothing more than a microphone. I seek to earn the unadulterated focus of thousands of eyeballs, non-stop for a half an hour or more in a culture that is basically bombarded and constantly assaulted with varying, fast-changing images and stimuli every single day. This focused half of an hour takes place in a culture scammed into thinking that multi-tasking is actually effective and efficient.
My challenge to do so is only further complicated by our intense dependence upon technology and the need to abbreviate nearly every communique (140 characters) while minimizing the human voice and human emotion as much as possible (emojis). Two sentences are now a new paragraph. The “word count” function in Microsoft Word is now most relevant when writing blogs, etc. Of the five human senses, I think hearing is most on the decline for its irrelevance in communicating in today’s culture.
If this challenge wasn’t extreme enough, we can add in an additional factor; the subject matter of each weekly attention-holding discussion comes from one book that has been around for thousands of years. Many listeners have already read the subject matter being presented. Many listeners have already heard a previous, often less-than captivating, elaboration on the same narrative within the book as many as 10 to 15 times.
By now, I hope you see the need for divine intervention (anointing) in preaching a message to today’s culture.
There are 168 hours in a week. Let’s say that on average you sleep 7 hours a day. Your total hours awake per week are somewhere around 119 hours. Out of those 119 hours, how much of that time is, for the most part, focused? How much time per week do you focus your thoughts, attentiveness, and creativity upon one solitary thing, subject, or task?
Is your life too hurried, too complicated, and far less efficient and productive than it could be? Who or what is in control of your ability to focus? What are you going to do about providing yourself with the very affordable luxury of a level of focus that leads you to solving problems, creating solutions, hearing from God, and changing the world?
If you have time and you’re not distracted, make a decision. Your challenge in this culture is no different than mine. I preach with an expectation that the Spirit of God will intervene; for if He doesn’t, I fail. You too are a priest, should you not do likewise as you seek to focus first on Him? Your heavenly Father has the gall to call us into a love that asks for all of our heart and all of our mind and all of our strength. Find, or better yet, intentionally clear a space this week where you can give Him what He longs for and do likewise for your neighbor. Simplicity.
-Dr. Gary Hewins
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