By diligent effort all may acquire the power to read intelligibly, and to speak in a full, clear, round tone, in a distinct and impressive manner. By doing this we may greatly increase our efficiency as workers for Christ.
Every Christian is called to make known to others the unsearchable riches of Christ; therefore he should seek for perfection in speech. He should present the Word of God in a way that will commend it to the hearers. God does not design that His human channels shall be uncouth. It is not His will that man shall belittle or degrade the heavenly current that flows through him to the world.
Soft, Musical Cadence—The one who gives Bible readings in the congregation or in the family should be able to read with a soft, musical cadence which will charm the hearers.
A Great Power—Let those who labor in word and doctrine strive to perfect themselves in the use of language. The voice is a great power, and yet many have not trained their voices in such a way that they may be used to their highest capacity.
Clear Understanding for Everyone—He who has bestowed upon us all the gifts that enable us to be workers together with God, expects His servants to cultivate their voices so that they can speak and sing in a way that all can understand.
Imperfect Utterance, a Dishonor to God—Let all make the most of the talent of speech. God calls for a higher, more perfect ministry. He is dishonored by the imperfect utterance of the one who by painstaking effort could become an acceptable mouthpiece for Him. The truth is too often marred by the channel through which it passes.
The Lord calls upon all who are connected with His service to give attention to the cultivation of the voice, that they may utter in an acceptable manner the great and solemn truths He has entrusted to them. Let none mar the truth by defective utterance. Let not those who have neglected to cultivate the talent of speech suppose that they are qualified to minister, for they have yet to obtain the power to communicate.
Defective Voices of Ministers—Ministers of the gospel should know how to speak with power and expression, making the words of eternal life so expressive and impressive that the hearers cannot but feel their weight. I am pained as I hear the defective voices of many of our ministers. Such ministers rob God of the glory He might have if they had trained themselves to speak the word with power.
No man should regard himself as qualified to enter the ministry until by persevering effort he has overcome every defect in his utterance. If he attempts to speak to the people without knowing how to use the talent of speech, half his influence is lost, for he has little power to hold the attention of a congregation.
Abuse of the Gift of Speech—The gift of speech has been greatly abused and widely perverted from its intended purpose; but let those who claim to be children of the heavenly King awake to their responsibility, and make the most of this talent. Let no one say, “It is of no use for me to try to pray; for others do not hear me.” Rather let him say, “I will make earnest effort to overcome this God-dishonoring habit of speaking in a low, indistinct tone. I will put myself under discipline until my voice shall be audible even to those who are dull of hearing.”
This article is excerpted from the book The Voice in Speech and Song, pp. 173-177, by Ellen G. White.