Paul writes to the early disciples of Jesus on the great city of Corinth, and asks: "Now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how shall I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will any one know what is played? And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? So with yourselves; if you in a tongue utter speech that is not intelligible, how will any one know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning; but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me." (I Cor 14:6-11).
Paul was making reference to the specific gift of speaking in a spiritual language (the gift of tongues), but the message may well be expanded. We who are preachers have a special responsibility to keep our message so simple, and interesting, that even a child will be able to grasp it. I have listened to many preachers who have been so intent on displaying their own academic excellence that they have simply talked "over the heads" of the gathered congregation! But God's people are described, not as giraffes, but as sheep! We who give out the Gospel message must keep the feed at a level that the sheep can reach!
Of course, this doesn't only apply to preachers! All of us are preaching the Gospel, all of the time, whether we are aware that we are doing so, or not! In the workplace; at our leisure activities; in the home (especially if we are the only disciples of Jesus there); wherever we may be, if people know that we claim to follow the Nazarene, then they are reading us, and listening to us, all of the time!
There is an old poem - that I may well have quoted on this blog before - that reminds us of this: