Shut up shuttin up.

April 14, 2010

Jim Rayburn, the founder of Young Life wrote a book that gave the vision for his ministry:  It’s a Sin to Bore a Kid. This has always been a the forefront of my thinking and planning for ministry, no matter the age of the people to whom I was planning to minister.

I think most organizations need to take on a creed similar to the title of Rayburn’s book if the organization feels that it has anything important to say.  That would include schools and churches.  If I am ever again given the opportunity to speak to a group, whether it be children or adults, I will try to remember a “message” I heard recently.  Not so I can repeat what I heard, but so I could avoid putting my audience to sleep.

Imagine this post written in a way that would force you to open a fresh window in the middle of each sentence, and imagine that it would take you several seconds to open each window.  Would you read the entire post?  I doubt it.  I wouldn’t.  Unnecessary pauses for “effect” can ruin an otherwise good message faster than a fire drill, and make it take twice as long to deliver the same message, again to ruinous ends.

If you, or I get the chance to speak in front of a group we need to remember to speak in complete sentences, pause very briefly for commas and periods, and once or twice if you are really trying to drive home a point.  Any more than that and  we will loose our entire audience.  It is arrogance to think that every sentence we deliver is so profound that we need to pause and let it sink in.  And if every sentence is important than none of them are, really.

Whether at church or sitting in my back yard, I need to avoid boring my audience.  I also understand that if these brief posts are not brief enough you will quite reading.  And if they don’t say anything worthwhile you will, justifiably,  quit reading.

If I want to be a good friend and neighbor, I need to shut up and listen.  You too.

One of my favorite cartoons is Bugs Bunny in a room with two thugs.  One of them tells Bugs to shut up!  Bugs takes way too long to tell the thugs that he knows how to shut up, until finally, the exasperated thug tells him to “Shut up shuttin up!”  We need to do that sometimes don’t we?

I would hope if I say something worth pondering my listeners (or readers) would take the time to ponder when I am finished.  We don’t need to stop in the middle to ponder everything. I think I’ll think about that for a while.  What do you think?


One Response to “Shut up shuttin up.”

  1. Kim said

    I think I will pause and think about it?

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