Digging in to Who God Created You To Be

Ep.13 | Interview with Reza Zadeh

Hosted by Craig Smith


  • What it was like growing up Muslim | 2:34
  • A “first” Super Bowl Sunday and Athletes in Action | 5:32
  • Include everyone in your audience | Tips on message development | 10:25
  • Whittling your message down to it’s critical core | 18:32
  • Don’t emulate or copy but pull out “nuggets” | 25:58


1 | Always Have Your Audience in Mind

Reza does an incredible job of communicating with his audience, whether they’re pro athletes hearing the Gospel for the first team of legacy church-goers who have being attending every Sunday for their whole lives. His emphasis on his messages are, “don’t make it awkward for the audience” and, “connect with them on the basics.” He states that he rarely changes his Gospel presentation and makes a true effort to connect with who he’s preaching too. In today’s episode, he has a wonderful story about his first Christian service and how weird everything seemed to him. And because of that, he wants to eliminate that from the experience of is audiences! How tips for this are:
Don’t assume the audience knows the story you’re going over (or really anything about the message),
Invite the believer and non-believer into the message,
 Get to the point quickly and be concise with your words while communicating context,
Have a clear Call-To-Action.

2 | The Critical Core

Reza makes a great point that, when he is with the Broncos or other pro-athletes, he is on a tight schedule. Sometimes on Sunday, our messages can run a little long and that’s ok because we have the time and the platform for that. But, because of the time constraint(s), and the necessity to break things down for his audience so that they can grasp it, Reza states the importance of communicating context efficiently. When you have context for your audience, it is helpful to ask if the information is critical for the core of the message. Will that context help them grasp the larger point, will it help them take their next steps, and if not, leave it out. Prepare well and deliver well!

3 | Don’t Copy

With today’s plethora of media platforms, it’s really easy to get hooked on someone’s style pf preaching that you love. But that’s not necessarily how God has designed us to communicate. Reza’s message to young preachers is to focus on the kind of communicator that God made you. He states the importance of having many voices in your life, those to build you up and coach you and challenge you and those that you can pull small nuggets from to add to your style. But first and foremost, become the communicator that God made you to be. Don’t be anyone else.


Welcome back to the Clarity podcast for the second episode of 2020. We’re so excited to bring you another episode that strives to bring you insight and applications for communicating and preaching. Today we have an awesome guest with us, Reza Zadeh. Reza played football at Colorado State University (Go Rams!), pastored at Timberline Church in Fort Collins, CO, and in 2014, he and his wife Allyson joined staff with Athletes in Action. Reza is also part of the teaching team here at Mission Hills Church and we love having him here.

Listen in today as Craig and Reza discuss communicating with clarity to a variety of audiences, the amount of emphasis we place on sports in our culture and our role within that, as well as digging into who God created us to be, individually. You don’t want to miss this.


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