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God has not called anyone to speak; He has called us to communicate. Speaking is when the words of my mouth enter the openings of your ears. Communicating is when what is understood in my mind is understood in yours. The two are as different as day and night.

Speaking or communicating begins when a person walks to the pulpit. A speaker asks, "I have 30 minutes, how am I going to fill it?" A communicator asks, "I have something to say and I only have 30 minutes to say it in. How am I going to do it?" So he looks at everything in his message and decides not merely what he needs to say, but what he doesn't need to say. He is not just there to fill time; he's out to change lives.

A communicator is more enjoyable for a listener, because his content is purposeful within the timeframe. He doesn't speak for an eternity even though he's speaking on eternity! He doesn't ramble with loosely connected stories until the clock says it's time to stop. His message has direction, purpose, thought, and reasoning in it.

A communicator thinks through his introduction carefully. He must establish a need for his audience to listen to him. He double-checks that his illustrations solidify the point he is making. He also doesn't use humor for the purpose of filling dead space. He only uses humor to make a point because he knows when people are laughing, they are listening.

A communicator carefully plans his conclusion with an eternal perspective. He doesn’t close his message by saying, "Times up. Let’s pray." He closes with a need for action. Truth has impacted him, so he communicates that truth in order to impact his audience. How he concludes his message is critical.

Speaking and communicating are vastly different for understandable reasons. A speaker often has you looking at your watch wondering when he will be done. A communicator has you looking at your watch, saying, "Is he done already?"

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