Matthew 13:19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.
I am including this one because the verse did much to direct me when I began pastoring in 1995. For me, up until that time, I had never notice this verse and it became real at a time that I was really seeking wisdom as a new pastor.
Straight out of college and into the field, I found myself as a youth pastor, although I had never heard of a youth pastor at the time. It was on-the-job-training. I poured my life into it for 11 years and hung with teens very well.
Then God begin to lead my heart to pastor. I was in strange territory and I needed help. Within the first month God led me straight to this verse and then I understood that it did not matter what sermon method or style I used to deliver a message that burned in my heart. If I did not communicate it then it was wasted breath.
I had always thought that the hard ground was their hard hearts and hard heads that would not listen. That is not what Jesus said here.
Someone once told me that preaching or teaching should not be for the purpose of educating alone, but speak it in such a way that the group can repeat it to someone else. Use all the illustrations you can. Jesus illustrated.
Speak the Word of God to be understood or the enemy will snatch it away from their hearts.
Feel free to leave a comment or insight.