Winston Churchill

The Power Of The Spoken Word

In Articles, Direction Articles, Faith by Jamie WrefordLeave a Comment

Dr Bill Hogg, now ministering in North America, stirs us with lessons from a British hero…


Gary Oldman gives a stellar performance as Churchill in Darkest Hour. With the threat of German invasion and pressure to pursue a negotiated peace with Hitler, the Prime Minister gives an historic speech. The effect is electric. His political nemesis, Viscount Halifax, is asked what happened. He responds, “He mobilised the English language and sent it into battle.”

Winston Churchill makes a fascinating leadership study. His courageous wartime leadership offers loads of lessons. Let’s settle on one: the power of the spoken word.

Churchill used the power of the spoken word to fortify fearful Brits and call a country to action.

“We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…”

Portait photo of Dr Bill Hogg

Dr. Bill Hogg says he was inspired by Winston Churchill’s wartime oratory

I was inspired by Winston Churchill’s wartime oratory. As I watched Darkest Hour, I was reminded my homeland faced a huge genuine threat. I was struck by the courage, heroism and sacrifice of those who fought against Hitler. I was also reminded of the power of words. Churchill used words to address and diffuse those who would undermine his leadership. He used words to infuse hope in the hearts of the British people. He used words to call people to a cause far greater than themselves.

I was also reminded that words really matter.

Churchill’s oratory made an historic difference. Words count. Paul knew this. The gospel veteran wrote, “…faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ,” (Romans 10:17). Paul is convinced of the power of the gospel (Romans 1:16) and the necessity of preaching the gospel (Romans 10:17). Paul cites Isaiah the prophet as a reminder of the privilege and power of announcing the good news. “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’”(Romans 10:14-15).

This article was taken from the March 2020 issue of Direction Magazine.

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