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Love Your Audience

February 21, 2011

Know your audience. Love your audience.

Does this sound insultingly obvious? It should be. I recently heard a speaker say this phrase as she was talking about Jesus’ communication style. Jesus understood and loved the people to whom he was speaking.

We want to speak about spiritual issues and confront worldviews that we see are damaging to human beings or against God’s desires for his creation. But, we often approach our communication from a posture of harshness, anger, and critique that does not reveal our love for those to whom we speak. Or, we speak in generalizations and abstractions that don’t take into account that there are real people behind ideas or systems that we oppose. Do we really believe that our ‘enemies’ are not people too, people who have their own reasons for believing the way they do, their own stories of what brought them to the places they are?

If we were to really love our audiences (even those we intend to critique), how might this change how we speak?

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