Friday, January 11, 2013

DEVOTION: A Captive Audience by Shirley Corder and Pam Ford Davis

From Shirley: Following the launch of my book, Strength Renewed, Meditations for Your Journey through Breast Cancer, I suddenly had 11 speaking engagements within a few weeks. 

I am used to speaking in church situations, where everyone sits in straight rows facing front, and there are few distractions. This was a whole new concept for me. 

I spoke at ladies' weight loss centres and a men's breakfast. I spoke on the radio, where the DJ changed the thrust of the talk as I walked into the studio. A few days later I spoke at a ladies' group where the president got up to introduce me and told the audience what I'd be talking about. Hmm. Interesting. It was the topic I'd expected to speak about on the radio, but not what I'd been asked to address this group about. 

I spoke to biggish groups, and I spoke to small groups. I spoke where there was a lectern and a power point projector, and I spoke where there was no official place to stand, and if I'd taken two steps in any direction I'd have fallen off the platform. 

All in all, I became more and more flexible as the days went by. I leaned to ignore ringing cellphones, but I admit I did get thrown when two people had a loud conversation in the doorway, completely distracting the audience. When I said to my husband later that I'd lost track of my point, he look astonished. "I didn't notice," he said. I have a feeling no one did. They were all distracted by the same conversation. 

When I read this message by Pam Ford Davis, I could truly identify with what she has to say. So now, over to Pam!

From Pam:  When speaking, we appreciate the undivided attention of others. To be realistic, that seldom happens. Background sounds and innumerable distractions divert the listener’s attention. Any pastor or public speaker is well aware of the problem. His or her goal is to keep listeners focused, holding them captive by their compelling message.

The expression "having a captive audience" is descriptive of having the undivided attention of an individual or a group. At least for a while, you speak and they must listen. 

The Bible has a story with a prison as the location for the drama. "But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them (Acts 16:25 NKJ)."

During this season, many churches host community sings and hold watch night services. None could compare with this jail scene. Paul and Silas, in captivity, could have moaned and groaned; instead, they chose to sing, praise, and worship God. Praying and singing got the attention of others in similar straits. If we do the unexpected, in times of trouble, we may discover we too have "a captive audience!"

Pam Ford Davis is a freelance writer with a focus on devotionals. She has published articles in Mature Living Magazine, Secret Place, Daily Devotionals for the Deaf, and Light from the Word Daily Devotional.

Available now in book store: FORGET-ME-NOT DAILY DEVOTIONAL 


  1. Great Post! Thank you, Pam and Shirley. The lesson here is that to get your audience focused, you must be focused -- on God.

  2. Yes, so right Judith. And to know that when our attention wanders, at least His doesn't!