Know Your Audience, Stick To Your Message

  • Tuesday, November 30, 2010
  • One of the first things you do when you prepare a speech or a presentation is to do an analysis of your audience. Whether it’s to a capacity crowd at Madison Square Garden or a small group fishing along the coast of Crete, you want your speech to relate to their situation, their needs, their interests and understanding.

    When Titus went to Crete, there were already groups of Christians scattered across the island. Most likely, they were located in the dozens of communities along the coast of Crete. Undoubtedly, they were struggling to survive in a culture that was full of liars, pirates and thieves. The island was part of the Roman Empire, but due to it’s separation from the mainland, the people of Crete were very independent and argumentative. The early Christians on Crete were living in the land which was the mythological birthplace of the Greek god Zeus. He was believed to be the father of gods and of men, the king of heaven and the king of the gods.

    The transformational message which Paul outlines in his letter to Titus is to preach to the people of Crete that there is one true God who is the creator of the universe. That He is true to His Word. That He foretold of the battle between good and evil. That He provided for the salvation of all people through His Son Jesus Christ. That His church is called to reach out to the people that surround them.

    The message that Titus took to the early Christians in Crete was that there are three foundational characteristics of their gatherings, their churches. The first is evangelism. The Christians of Crete had faith in God. Their faith was in the saving sacrifice of His Son Jesus which had been foretold from the beginning.

    "Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect." Titus 2:9,10

    The second foundational stone of the Christian church is education. By seeking to understand God’s plan, by searching for deeper knowledge of His provision, by desiring to live lives pleasing to Him, the church would glorify God.

    "Hold fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and refute those who contradict." Titus 1:9

    And the third characteristic of the church is that it’s built on expectation. God has provided a plan, and His plan is built on the saving grace provided by Christ. He promised salvation from the beginning and He is true to His word.

    "In the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago." Titus 1:2

    Evangelize, educate, expect. These are key to a strong church, one built on the promise and provision of God. The message was true in the first century, and it’s been true throughout the ages. Whether to the people on the island of Crete or the people in the city of Lincoln, build His church through evangelization, education, expectation.

    "Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen." Romans 16:25-27


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