Today I’m sharing the short Bible teaching I prepared for my “speaker evaluation group” at She Speaks (which is where I got to meet and hear Emily Freeman speak last month!)
For months leading up to SheSpeaks, I was praying, “Dear Lord, five minutes?!?” Seriously? It takes me five minutes to tell my first story and get my first laughs from my audience!
Then I discovered that one of my favorite Bible characters takes far less than five minutes to give the keynote address of her lifetime!
Join me in the story of the woman at the well at John 4:39:
39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in [Jesus] because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”
This woman waits how long to launch her speaking ministry?
I don’t think she has time to order business cards from VistaPrint.com, let alone get a good head shot taken.
What’s her only training for her first keynote?
She’s talked with Jesus.
And how does talking with Jesus effect her?
Verse 28 says she leaves her water jar and heads back to town. Now, either she’s so excited that she totally forgets what she’s doing, or she knows she can’t run fast enough with the jar.
Either way, she’s bursting to share Jesus!
So, back in town, she sets up her PowerPoint and starts with a graph of a startling statistic…
What is the opening line of her keynote?
“He told me everything I ever did.”
“Everything” she “ever did”?!?
Jesus has said three things about her.
- No husband
- Five previous husbands
- Live-in boyfriend.
Like for so many women, “everything I ever did” boils down to relationships.
This woman is living out of a broken heart.
And Jesus, she thinks, just might be the One who can heal it.
So the people hear what the woman says about her encounter with Jesus.
And this is what we do when we share our testimonies:
we give others head knowledge about Jesus.
But, we can’t stop there!
The woman at the well isn’t sharing head knowledge about Jesus so her listeners can take notes and tell her, “Oh, you are such a wonderful speaker!”
No. She wants her hearers to
head to Jesus themselves!
She doesn’t even end properly! No heart-tugging story with Kleenex being passed, no repetition of her key point three times for certainty.
She closes with a question! (Clearly she hadn’t even Googled “Is Jesus the Christ?” – talking about unprepared!)
But what kind of response does this speaker’s keynote address produce?
40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days.
This speaker’s keynote address – “He understands failed relationships!” – causes her audience to head to Jesus and hear Jesus for 2 full days!
And whose words actually transform the people’s lives?
41 And because of [Jesus’] words many more became believers.
42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”
This story convicts me of the danger lurking each time this speaker gives her keynote address.
It’s the danger of wanting the women to hear me.
Because what women hear they take to heart.
And when I haven’t invested time to hear Jesus, I need my audience to hear me and take me to heart.
My broken heart needs constant fixing, and there’s nothing like the endorphine rush of a responsive audience. (Especially when the Kleenex get moving around the room!)
This story convicts me that my #1 priority is to hear Jesus.
(and only then!)
share my encounter with Him
others head to Jesus and hear Jesus for themselves.
When we give this kind of keynote address, the women who “hear us” will ultimately…
and they will take to
And then they will KNOW this Jesus is the healer of their broken hearts, too.
- What do you see/hear in the story of the woman at the well today?
- Other than Jesus, who is your favorite Bible character? Why?
- Anything else on your heart!