You know the old philosophical challenge, "If a tree falls in the
forest and there's nobody there to hear it, does it make a sound?"
Well...I have another version of this: "If a pastor is teaching and nobody is listening, SHOULD he be silent?"
My version of this can be modified to include teachers, writers, keynote speakers, seminar presenters and others. The point is whether or not it's a waste of time to continue sharing the message if and when your audience isn't tuned-in or, over time, seems to be missing the point....
The obvious answer is, "Yes." Why bother talking to the wall, so-to-speak? Still, with human audiences, there's another factor here: the subconscious mind. Even if we're mentally distracted, our brains are recording what were hearing. And, rarely are we SO mentally focused elsewhere that we literally hear nothing being said around us.
In Christian parlance, we are talking about planting seeds. We sow seeds whenever we speak God's Word. It may appear that nothing is happening and nobody is listening. Still, in reality, seeds are being planted...some will spout...some will grow, produce fruit, and multiply.
So teachers and preachers, as I keep telling myself when people I've taught for 10 or more years act like nothing I've said has penetrated their consciousness, "Keep speaking...don't give up...somewhere, somehow--seeds are being planted.
To the harvest,