In Matthew 13:23 Jesus shares Divine insight, "And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty."
To be able to bear and bring forth fruit it is absolutely necessary to understand what the Word of God is saying. Once understood, this Word has to be acted upon.
We assume people are understanding just because we have said the right words and they have smiled and nodded their heads. What has taken us a lifetime to understand and grasp, we expect those we are sharing the Gospel to instantly comprehend. Is it really a surprise when they don't?
The reality in many cases is something quite different than we intended. I have seen this over and over again. People tend to hear what they think you are saying, not necessarily what you are saying.
Another aspect of this is our tendency to believe people need lots of information before they can really "get it." Often, little of what I am trying to communicate is getting across. All my words are filtered through their own worldview, experiences, prejudices, upbringing, etc. How nice it would be if there were a way to get inside someone's brain and see what is really being understood!
Our message is also suspect in that our listeners often question or are confused by our motivations. Why are they here? Why are they telling me this? What do they really want out of me? What's in it for me if I accept their message?
Anyway, I think I'll go back and meditate a bit more on Matthew 13. A key missiological feature is the need for people to clearly understand the Gospel message. It is our responsibility to communicate that message clearly.