Dangers of Long Words -- In every school the instruction given should be as easy to understand as was that given by Christ. The use of long words confuses the mind and eclipses the beauty of the thought presented. There is need of teachers who will come close to their students and who will give clear, definite instruction, illustrating spiritual things by the things of nature and by the familiar events of everyday experience.-- CT 261.
Use of the Gospel Net -- The Lord wishes you to learn how to use the gospel net. Many need to learn this art. In order for you to be successful in your work, the meshes of your net-- the application of the Scriptures-- must be close, and the meaning easily discerned. Then make the most of drawing in the net. Come right to the point. Make your illustrations self-evident.
However great a man's knowledge, it is of no avail unless he is able to communicate it to others. Let the pathos of your voice, its deep feeling, make its impression on hearts. Urge your students to surrender themselves to God. . . .
Make your explanations clear; for I know that there are many who do not understand many of the things said to them. Let the Holy Spirit mold and fashion your speech, cleansing it from all dross. Speak as little children, remembering that there are many well advanced in years who are but little children in understanding.-- CT 253, 254.
Close Application and Hard Study -- To learn how to open the Scriptures to others in an acceptable manner, means close application and hard study. This is necessary in order to give a connected discourse in a clear, forcible way, making all the important points stand out so clear as not to be misunderstood.-- Lt 185, 1899.
Logical Sequence of Ideas -- Some minds are more like an old curiosity shop than anything else. Many odd bits and ends of truth have been picked up and stored away there; but they know not how to present them in a clear, connected manner. It is the relation that these ideas have to one another that gives them value. Every idea and statement should be as closely united as the links in a chain. When a minister throws out a mass of matter before the people for them to pick up and arrange in order, his labors are lost; for there are few who will do it.-- Ev 648, 649.
A Few Essential Points at a Time -- The truth is so different in its character and work from the popular errors that are preached from the pulpit, that as it is brought before the people it almost takes away their breath and senses. It is strong meat and should be dealt out judiciously; then those who listen, if you stop when you should, will be eager to hear more.
God has made His messengers the depositaries of His truth, weighty and important with eternal results. Light is to shine forth amid the moral darkness to reveal sin and error. The truth must be given point after point. It must be spoken distinctly and with clear utterance making a few essential points; then it will be as a nail fastened in a sure place by the Master of assemblies.
The preacher should labor to carry the understanding and sympathies of the people with him. Do not place the crib too high where the people cannot follow. This would not be wise generalship in teaching the truth.-- Lt 7, 1885.
Things New and Old From God's Treasure House -- Ministers need to have a more clear, simple manner in presenting the truth as it is in Jesus. . . . Those who neglect this part of the work need to be converted themselves before venturing to give a discourse. Those whose hearts are filled with the love of Jesus, with the precious truths of His Word, will be able to draw from the treasure house of God things new and old. They will not find time to relate anecdotes; they will not strain to become orators,
soaring so high that they cannot carry the people with them; but in simple language, with touching earnestness, they will present the truth as it is in Jesus.-- 1SM 157.
Futility of Intellectual Discourses -- Ministers should present the truth in a clear, simple manner. There are among their hearers many who need a plain explanation of the steps requisite in conversion. The great masses of the people are more ignorant on this point than is supposed. Among graduates from college, eloquent orators, able statesmen, men in high positions of trust, there are many who have given their powers to other matters, and have neglected the things of greatest importance. When such men form part of a congregation, the speaker often strains every power to preach an intellectual discourse, and fails to reveal Christ. He does not show that sin is the transgression of the law. He does not make plain the way of salvation. That which would have touched the hearts of his hearers, would have been to point them to Christ dying to bring redemption within their reach.-- GW 170.
Importance of Obedience to God's Commands -- So plainly is the truth to be presented that no transgressor, hearing it, shall be excusable in failing to discern the importance of obedience to God's commands. -- GW 148.
Well-Defined, Clear Sermons -- If you have the
quickening grace of Christ to energize your movements, you will put earnestness into your sermons. Your subject will be clear and well-defined in your mind. You will not be lengthy in your remarks, neither will you speak hesitatingly, as though you did not yourself believe what you were saying. You must overcome slow hesitation, and undecided, sluggish movements, and learn to be minute men.
The subjects which many of our ministers present before the people are not half as connected and as clear and strong in argument as they should be.-- RH April 6, 1886.
No Artificial Embellishments -- God calls upon the ministers of the gospel not to seek to stretch themselves beyond their measure by bringing forward artificial embellishments, striving for the praise and applause of men, being ambitious for a vain show of intellect and eloquence. . . .The more clearly ministers discern Christ, and catch His spirit, the more forcibly will they preach the simple truth of which Christ is the center.-- Ev 181.
Praying Too Little, Studying Too Much -- They [ministers] injure the work, injure the effect of the truth that they would advocate, by crowding into one discourse so much and making so many points that minds cannot always appreciate or follow them. More success would attend their labors if they riveted one or two points in the minds of the hearers and make these points of vital importance, press them home and urge upon them the danger of
rejecting the light upon those points. Let the minds of the hearers distinctly understand the bearing of every point and then urge to a decision.
I was shown that the time that is consumed in so much reading and study is often worse than thrown away. A large portion of the time spent over books and in studying should be spent before God imploring Him for heavenly wisdom and for strength and power to let the truth, which they do fully understand, shine out before the people in its clearness and harmonious beauty. There is too little time spent in secret prayer and in sacred meditation. The cry of God's servants should be for the holy unction and to be clothed with salvation, that what they preach may reach hearts. Time is so short and ministers of these last days are so few that they should throw all their energies into the work, and should be in close connection with God and holy angels, that a tremendous power may be in their preaching-- a compelling power, to draw every soul who is honest and loves the truth right along to embrace it.-- Ms 7, 1863.
Teachings of the Chief Shepherd -- On Sunday, at 11 a.m., Brother Wilson of New Zealand gave a most profitable discourse, beautiful in its simplicity, and in no way savoring of cheapness. The more plain and simple a discourse is, the more do the teachings of the undershepherds represent the teaching of the Chief Shepherd.-- Lt 82, 1895.
Danger of Soaring Too High -- The preacher
should endeavor to carry the understanding and sympathies of the people with him. Do not soar too high, where they cannot follow, but give the truth point after point, slowly and distinctly, making a few essential points, then it will be as a nail fastened in a sure place by the Master of assemblies. If you stop when you should, giving them no more at once than they can comprehend and profit by, they will be eager to hear more, and thus the interest will be sustained.-- Ev 177.
Vital Subjects Easily Understood -- Our ministers should seek to make the most favorable presentation of truth. So far as possible, let all speak the same things. Let the discourses be simple, and treating upon vital subjects that can be easily understood.-- 1SM 167.
Ample Facilities for Reaching People -- Ministers, in your discourses do not climb up so high that the people cannot understand what you say. I have been instructed that we get altogether too high in our representation of Bible truth. We lose much by not coming to the simplicity of true godliness. God has given us all we need to enable us to reach the souls around us, yet the reformations that were made in Christ's day as the result of the presentation of the gospel, are rare today. We need the converting power of God in our hearts to teach us simplicity in words and works.-- Ms 85, 1909.
God's Word, Not Man's -- Preach the truth with
the meekness of simplicity, remembering that it is not your words, but the Word of God that is to cut its way to the heart.-- RH June 13, 1912.
Meat in Due Season -- Present the truth as it is in Jesus, with all meekness and lowliness, which means with simplicity and in sincerity, giving meat in due season, and to every man his portion of meat.-- Ev 432.
Simplicity of God's Children -- Men and women are wandering in the mist and
fog of error. They want to know what is truth. Tell them, not in high-flown
language, but with the simplicity of the children of God.-- CM 72.