Ministry Tip of the Week #1:
"There's nothing new under the sun," except you.
In the end, the only thing we really have to share is ourselves. There's nothing I can say that can't be read in a book. If there's something you learn from me that you can't find anywhere else, it's only that little bit of myself that's mixed in with the information; but that kind of transparency can make all the difference in the world.
Pope Paul VI said that "modern man learns not from teachers but from witnesses, and from teachers only when they are witnesses." I love this quote! It reminds me that whenever I'm teaching or talking to friends and family, the moment I begin to relate my own experiences and share intimate details about my own life, hearts begin to open.
Now, please don't think I'm saying we should make everything about ourselves whenever we can, or that we need to divulge all the juicy intimacies of our private life. I'm certainly not suggesting that. "Share yourself" means that your personal witness to Christ and to the power of his grace in your life (including specific, even semi-vulnerable examples) will mean more to your audience than any amount of doctrine, no matter how well you can explain it. This is especially true when we learn to "time it" and, be it a friendly conversation or a more formal setting, to connect Church teaching with our living experience of faith at just the right moment. Let something of yourself spill over in the teaching. Let them see it on your face, and they'll know it's real.