There is an old adage in journalism that tells writers, “don’t bury the lead.” This refers to placing the most important and attention grabbing elements of a story in the body of an article instead of at the beginning where they belong. As a result, the reader loses interest because no one wants to read through secondary points of information to eventually get to the main point.
I’m learning that this principle should also hold true in our lives and in the ministry of our churches. Far too often we bury the lead in our communication and present people with things that aren’t of utmost importance to either them or us with the result that we waste their time and lose their interest.
In our daily interactions with the people around us, we often spend so much time talking about the weather, the game, or last night’s episode of (fill in the blank) that we never get to what really matters. If all that your coworkers or classmates know about you after weeks, months, or even years of being around you is your ideal outside temperature, you have buried the lead.
In the church, it feels like we often bury the lead when it comes to the most important thing we have to communicate: the gospel. We have the most compelling story available on planet earth. Yet we often hide it beneath a mound of secondary matters that don’t really matter in comparison. Pastors, God’s design for sex is not the most interesting and attention grabbing thing you have to say. God’s plan for parenting is not the most pressing issue of our day. The bold, unashamed, and fresh proclamation of the gospel is. If you are so busy preaching about what people should do that you don’t have time to preach about what Christ has done, you have buried the lead.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that small talk shouldn’t be a part of our conversations. And I’m not saying that we shouldn’t give people a vision for the full life Christ has come to give us by applying biblical principles.
But I am saying that there should never be a question in people’s minds about what matters most to us-and therefore to them.
Read more from Steven here.