The complete title for this entry should be “The Effective Message for the Mentally Challenge Community and Everyone Else.” Of course, this title is much too long. Therefore, I had to shorten it. Yet, I’ve come to believe that the way to peek the interest people who are intellectually disabled also works for everyone else.
When I did free-lance writing for a national Christian magazine, the editors were adament that there should be only one point to each article. Naturally, this point acted like a root and many branches could be explored in the thesis. However, the one point should always be the pivotal point that is examined.
Coming to Special Gathering, a ministry within the mentally challenged community, I found the same philosophy was promoted as the correct way to share the Gospel to people who are developmentally delayed or intellectually disabled. One point for each devotion or sermon given.
In our preparation, we begin with an attention-getting device which usually helps to explain the need. Then the one point is given. And we are off and running.
Usually, I will tell the Bible story or explain the Scripture that is being highlighted. Then I will branch into a brief explanation, followed by several examples which illustrate how this Scriptural principle applies to our lives.
Over the years, an interesting thing has evolved. I not only speak at Special Gathering but I’m often asked to share at local churches, women’s groups and civil functions. When I speak to “normal” audiences, I find that the devotion I prepare for Special Gathering members works equally as well. I may need to change the examples that illustrate the Biblical principle. Nevertheless, this minor tweeking means little when a truth from the Bible is being taught.
We are told that the most terrifying thing to citizens of the US is being asked to speak in front of an audience. Because this is true, I’m convinced that the one-point principle can take most of the fear from this situation.