Rhetoric & Homiletics: Capturing Connection!

Image result for pulling you in  Pulling You Into The Story

By a turn of events, I happened to “stream” a great — mid-weekmissionary — message.

As I listened, I found myself more and more moved and focused.  Then at one point, he made a statement which really drew me into the account he was sharing.

If you would like to see and hear the whole message, here is the video link to his whole message.  It is worth the listen!

I am only going to highlight a small blurb (blurb video link) from his message and then highlight a speaking principle.


Brief Background:

The speaker’s name was Nathan Arce.

Pastor Arce began his message with a report on the social conditions within their country — Venezuela.   Mr. & Mrs. Arce then shared what they are doing ministry wise as they work in a country which is in terrible turmoil.

The people of his church face real physical basic needs.  As most of us are aware present-day Venezuela has politically, financially, and nationally collapsed. 

To bring you up to where we enter the video clip, let me add some of the preliminary information included from his message.

Nathan Arce, a missionary to Venezuela, is a third-generation missionary in Venezuela.

Mrs. Arce is a native of Venezuela and one of the individuals saved by her father-in-law’s ministry in Venezuela.

Pastor & Mrs. Arce started a “Feed The Children” ministry and have between able to feed around 200 children – and often up to 800 people a day.  This part of their ministry is primarily directed to feeding children first, followed by the teens, and then adults.

Before the video clip, Mrs. Arce gives away the general story which her husband had planned to and still used.  As he tells the story, some of the details are already known by the audience but most are reiterated as he shares the story.:

As We Enter The Clip:

Nathan was “texting” back and forth with a young believer in the church — Leonardo.  Nathan asked, “Tell me the truth — How you doing?”

After some reluctance, Leonardo then said, “Pastor — You Asked — The truth is we have been eating mangoes — green mangoes — the last two weeks.”

Leonardo told Pastor Arce that his daughter was fighting a lung infection and that he finally found some antibiotics at a medical facility.  The cost — his whole month’s salary.

As Nathan shared the story, he said  (transcript from the video clip). . . .

“[Leonardo] couldn’t find it at the hospital . . . . . so he looked it out in several places and finally found it, and the cost that they were selling it to — was a higher cost than it was supposed to be .. but it was the only place he could – able to find it . . . . So he ended up paying his whole month’s salary . . . which wasn’t very much at all — to buy this medication for his daughter —

“You would do the same.”

You would invest this money to make sure your daughter had that.”


It was when Nathan said —  “You would do the same.” —  that the words grabbed / re-grabbed my hearing.

It was not that I was not listening.  I was already engaged and focused.  Nevertheless,  my mind and heart were caught with those words — “You would do the same.”

When that happens — (at the time or after the message) I want to “go analytical!”1

What just happened which . . . .

moved me
caught my attention
drew me in
made me think
kept me following and listening
captured and connected


Going Analytical:

Those words . . . . “You would do the same.”

brought me into the story.
made the situation my situation.
made it real-life.
identified me with Leonardo’s love and sacrifice.
made it actual – not theoretical.

What a simple homiletical lesson was highlighted in my thinking!

Capturing Connection


Part of effectiveness in preaching includes bringing the audience into the “story” — whether it be a present-day or a biblical story.  It was a simple reminder of how simple and effective it is to bring the audience into what you are talking about with a simple personal phrase.

“You would do the same.”


It can be a story as shared by Nathan Arce, or a biblical story such as Abraham & Isaac / Jonathan & Saul About David / The Woman Who Touched The Garment Of Jesus / The Madman of Gedara / etc.

“You would do the same.”



There are also a number of ways to say what Nathan Arce said . . .

You would do the same.
Isn’t that what you would do?
He’s just like us, isn’t he — wanting to and willing to . . . .
That’s how most of us would respond.  It’s not unusual.  It is typical.
Isn’t that how we think?
People there are just like people here.
People in Bible times are not that much different.  Are they?
That’s what (parents-mothers-father-children-friends) do.  Isn’t it?
Put yourself into that situation.  Isn’t that us?
You would _______ for _______.  No?
Why did _____ do that?  Because _____ thinks just like us.



  1. Going Analytical:: As previously stated, we can not only respond mentally, emotionally, spiritually to what has been said, but we can step back and ask “What just happened which made me respond, think, feel this-or-that way.”

We can not only think, but we can think about our thoughts.

We can go analytical!



  • 2019/07/17
  • Speaker: Nathan Arce
  • Title: Count It All Joy
  • Scripture: James 1:2-2


Link: 4:10-minute mark:  This link leaves out the beginning part of the report where he and his wife share the “Feed the Children” ministry.

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