Friday, September 8, 2023

Chuck Swindoll: A Model of Communication

While in Texas I had the chance to visit an old friend who was Becky's youth pastor at Grace Bible Church in Dallas, where we were married in 1976. 

Chuck is one of the best public speakers I have ever heard. On Sunday he was coming off a 9 week sabbatical, and you could tell how happy he was to be back in the saddle. 

This month Stonebriar will be celebrating its 25th anniversary, so Chuck reflected on what he saw as his major priorities for the church for the past two and a half decades. 

Chuck has always impressed me as being a very loving pastor. I think that's what makes him such an effective speaker. Do you see yourself as a public speaker? If so, do you see yourself as confident, prepared, and effective? Public speaking involves an organized, face-to-face, well-prepared and intentional attempt to inform, entertain, or persuade people through words, physical delivery, and visual clues. The ancient Greeks used public speaking primarily to praise or persuade others. Since all Greek citizens had the right to speak during the assembly, a need for skilled public speakers arose. I do enough public speaking to know how difficult it can be to do it well. If you do ever have a chance to view any of Chuck's sermons, I believe you will learn much about what is needed to do it well. 

  • Chuck smiles much.
  • He focuses on his audience, not a camera. 
  • He pauses between key thoughts, thus allowing people to process information.
  • He is an expert at making proper word choices.
  • He avoids a monotone delivery.
  • He speaks clearly, enunciates carefully.
  • He speaks from the heart.
  • He has a knack for simplifying the complex.

In addition, he rarely refers to his notes. When he does, it's mostly to quote someone verbatim. Pastor friend, if you can, refer to your notes as seldom as possible. And for heaven's sake, stop scrolling down your iPad with your index finger. Every time you do that, you lose your audience. 

Through the years I've learned much about public speaking from pastor-teachers like Chuck Swindoll. Learning from his experience has reminded me again of the type of speaker I hope to become some day. Chuck is always a blessing with his balance, lucidity, and depth. His messages are worth watching. 

Stonebriar is a note-taking church. I love that.