The following thought comes from “The Minister As Prophet,” written by Charles Edward Jefferson in 1902. It will help any pastor who, four times a week, fifty-two weeks a year, year after year after decade, preaches the truths of God’s Word – and sometimes wonders if any of it “sticks.”
“Never endeavor to be eloquent. It may be that God will let you be eloquent a half dozen times in your life, but I am sure that you cannot be eloquent if you try to be…
“A man must speak his message, taking care that it be clear and true, and then leave all the impressions in the hand of God. The fact is, no preacher knows what impressions are the deepest or just when or where they are made. In walking through the woods after a storm, we hear the creaking of a broken branch, and by and by, with terrific thunder, it comes crashing down across the path. It startles us, but we do not bring it home.
“But on our return we discover a bur sticking to our garment. When and where we got it we do not know. We passed it, we touched it, it clung to us, it seized us without hurrah and clamor, and unknowingly we brought it home. So it is with truth.
“The sermons that rattle and thunder are not the sermons that stay with us longest. They startle and they excite a momentary wonder, but we do not bring them home. The truths which we are carrying with us to our eternal home are truths which we have passed near at some point or other along our earthly pilgrimage, and they, touching us, have stuck to us ; and because the Spirit of God is in them, they keep clinging to us and we to them, although we cannot tell just how or when or why they and we first came together.
“Scatter God’s truths through your congregation, and rest assured that some one will carry one of them home!”