Companies and other organizations sometimes encourage their employees or members to develop what they call “elevator speeches.” An elevator speech is a 30 second introduction, or sometimes a sales pitch, which gives all the essential facts in the time it takes to ride an elevator a couple of floors. It is not meant to close the deal, but simply to create interest and to begin a conversation.
The explanation in the back of our synod catechism could be used to build elevator speeches about various doctrines and aspects of the faith. For example, our neighbors and co-workers will most likely have some awareness this Spring of Easter. If a person had question number 145 committed to memory they could use this as a little outline to talk about why Christian’s celebrate Easter. The question reads:
145. Why is Christ’s resurrection so important and comforting?
Christ’s resurrection proves that A. Christ is the son of God; B. His doctrine is the truth; C. God the Father accepted Christ’s sacrifice for the reconciliation of the world; and D. all believers in Christ will rise to eternal life (p. 139-140).
That answer is well-laid out and thorough. It could be recited naturally in less than 30 seconds. As an added bonus the explanation in the catechism also lists Bible passages related to or proving each point. The person who memorizes this question and answer should at least read through those passages, but if the goal is to be prepared to speak about these things to the neighbor we might also strive to remember those passages, but even if we didn’t memorize the passages we would know where to find answers if the elevator speech did lead to a conversation.
The same sort of thing could be done with various doctrines as they relate to holidays, like Christmas, of which the world is aware or of topics that are controversial or that people find troubling such as what is the fate of a suicide victim or why is abortion wrong. The synod catechism has an index of topics in the back that is very useful for this purpose (p. 292).
I am confident that the Christian who prepares an elevator speech on a topic such as why Christ’s resurrection is important will be blessed in the preparation even if they never find the opportunity to use it. But so, also, I am fairly convinced that if such a speech is prepared, that the person will find the opportunity to use it and that they will also be blessed in that.