I try really hard not to assume what people know. In order to determine what it is they know, I ask questions or make statements gauging their responses. I can usually tell when people have heard something for the first time so when I see that reaction (raised eyebrows, quizzical looks) I start teaching at the point and move forward. Being able to read people is an integral in being effective. In a number of churches, speakers who do not know how to read the reactions of people never know when people have stopped listening. Studies have shown that most people can only tolerate sitting and listening for about 45 minutes at a time. After that—they zone-out. Experienced speakers are more mindful of their audience than the piles of notes or manuscript in front of them. Most people can tolerate an exuberant speaker (who has something to say) far more and longer than a tedious, boring, one. When we seek God and ask His help in becoming all that He would have us to be, He gives us revelation and others—who didn’t ask—don’t understand why we’re different or are seemingly rebellious and certainly non-traditional.
Rebellious and non-traditional—that would be me. I have been called rebellious because I did not follow rules that did not make any sense (in churches and in life) and non-traditional because I did not understand the purpose of the tradition and no one could adequately explain it. For instance, many churches have the congregants to wear certain colors for specific events. I’ve been involved with churches who wanted the women to wear white on Communion Sundays. I tried it for a while, but then I got tired of having to throw away white out-fits because of all the make-up embedded in them (dry cleaning is not very effective with make-up). So, I decided to wear red on those Sundays. The looks I got! When asked why, I merely replied that red was a more appropriate color to wear than white and that no one had been able to convince me that God established the “white” apparel through His Word. If we are celebrating His shed blood—why not red? At any rate, I don’t back down and most see me as impossible. It’s terrific—I am God’s unique creation and I do not have to follow the path of another when it does not make sense. Hallelujah!