I’ve been thinking about Rico Tice’s seminar on evangelistic preaching and believe his diagram on art, virtue and knowledge in sermons can be applied to all verbal communication including dialogue.
In any verbal communication there is a degree of art. The language of an adult is different from a child’s and some adults are better communicators than others. The art of communication is a mixture of gifting, wisdom, practice and study. To communicate we need to be able to listen and speak well (James 1:19). But good communication requires virtue (James 1:20). Someone who is faithful and trustworthy is a better communicator of a truth than a habitual liar whose words cannot be trusted. Proverbs 2:12 reveals the need for virtue in good communication;
Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse.
And knowledge is the last key to good communication
Proverbs 23:12 Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.
It is clear that ministers of the gospel can’t hope to be good communicators simply by going to the theological college that provides the deepest and widest knowledge of God. We must also work on the art of communication and on virtue (being sanctified) if the gospel is going to be heard in our preaching, teaching, one to one and small group settings.
A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. (Proverbs 17:27)